The Reader

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Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 139 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The Reader opens in post-WWII Germany when teenager Michael Berg becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna, a stranger twice his age. Michael recovers from scarlet fever and seeks out Hanna to thank her. The two are quickly drawn into a passionate but secretive affair. (The Weinstein Company)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 38
  2. Negative: 2 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Jenni Miller
    100
    Winslet deserves an Oscar for her amazing performance.
  2. 78
    There is a sense of ambiguity at the core of The Reader that makes it all the more brutal, all the more honest in its deflowering of love and what one imagines love ought to be instead of what it too often is.
  3. Fiennes brings to the role a shimmering subtlety.
  4. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    60
    The epitome of middle-brow 'quality' drama -- admirable within its limitations, but Bernard Schlink's Oprah Winfrey Book Club-approved book wasn't exactly literature, as this isn't exactly cinema.
  5. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    60
    The Reader can feel stilted and abstract: the film's only flesh-and-blood characters spend half the movie separated. But its emotional impact sneaks up on you. The Reader asks tough questions, and, to its credit, provides no easy answers.
  6. So why, despite everyone's best efforts, does all this bigness seem so small and unfocused and simply not up to the task?
  7. 10
    The shallowest "serious" film to be reeling this year.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 44
  2. Negative: 6 out of 44
  1. SilroneL.
    Dec 13, 2008
    10
    incredible and powerfull movie. Winslet, Kross and Fiennes are amazing.
  2. FrankO.
    Jan 10, 2009
    10
    This is on my top 10 list for 2008 right now. I found it a beautiful and powerful movie. It's like two separate films in one, the first This is on my top 10 list for 2008 right now. I found it a beautiful and powerful movie. It's like two separate films in one, the first half a love affair while the 2nd half was a resolution to the impact of secrets among ourselves. I strongly recommend this film for any serious movie goer. Expand
  3. HillaryP.
    Jan 10, 2009
    10
    To KL before ragging on this movie for the full frontal nudity of a teenager, maybe you should do some research, the "teenager" was born To KL before ragging on this movie for the full frontal nudity of a teenager, maybe you should do some research, the "teenager" was born 7/90, making him 18 and of legal age of consent to film what ever he wants...so I urge you to judge the film on its actual content and not your uninformed opinion. This is fiction people!! Expand
  4. JayH.
    Apr 9, 2009
    8
    Winslet's powerful and remarkable performance makes this well worth watching. Very well written, fine period detail. The story is always Winslet's powerful and remarkable performance makes this well worth watching. Very well written, fine period detail. The story is always interesting. The art direction and cinematography are exceptional. Expand
  5. SimoneR
    Jul 22, 2009
    7
    Bit late to review this particular movie, but was inspired to search the internet directly afterwards to see what others has drawn from it, Bit late to review this particular movie, but was inspired to search the internet directly afterwards to see what others has drawn from it, to help me sort out my own concerns and was compelled to comment on the review in this forum by Thomas S. Your take on the deabilitating affliction of shame that shapes the course of human lives as it festers away under the calm construction of secrets and lies truly affected me........I guess the truth sets us all free. Expand
  6. roberti
    Feb 28, 2009
    6
    When Ralph Fiennes starts looking wistful, and the flashbacks attack, the film lapses into sentimentality. Scenes of Winslet with young When Ralph Fiennes starts looking wistful, and the flashbacks attack, the film lapses into sentimentality. Scenes of Winslet with young Kross, however, crackle with the power of sexual coming-of-age. Still, too many questions hover unanswered and we leave unsatisfied. Expand
  7. Jan 11, 2014
    0
    I would only say: bad, bad movie. The protagonist isn't able to act, and the screenplay was atrocious and very bad. The main theme was trivialI would only say: bad, bad movie. The protagonist isn't able to act, and the screenplay was atrocious and very bad. The main theme was trivial and repetitive. There are many other better movies about this theme and I think The Reader isn't absolutely brilliant or good one. Bye! Expand

See all 44 User Reviews

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