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58

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

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 133 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)
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. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    10
    The shallowest "serious" film to be reeling this year.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 43
  2. Negative: 6 out of 43
  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. HollyC
    May 5, 2009
    8
    Winslet definitely deserved her Oscar (though I haven't seen Revolutionary Road yet)--her portrayal was fascinating from start to Winslet definitely deserved her Oscar (though I haven't seen Revolutionary Road yet)--her portrayal was fascinating from start to finish. There is nothing black and white about this film for me (other than that Winslet is great and I loved Kross as well). No easy judgement of the characters or what they did, mercy regarding personal shame and punishment--all totally shown in their complexity-- and I'm pretty sure that was the idea. As soon as you want to condemn someone, you must face your own moral relativity. This film gives you many chances to judge or sympathize and leaves it to you to figure it out. Bravo. Expand
  5. SakalIevgeniia
    Feb 17, 2009
    7
    My first impression was that this is great and striking movie. It was like an attempt to look on things and events from inside. Firstly this My first impression was that this is great and striking movie. It was like an attempt to look on things and events from inside. Firstly this film reminded me The Captain Reddle in the way of showing the life in its shocking diversity. It raises the quastions of law and moral, what should be judged and what we could have a mercy on. So, frankly speaking, it seems a bit ideological, I mean an attempt to normalizing history. Is it possible to explain everything trough the feeling of obidience to law. Of course, moralizing is not the best way of accepting and interpretating because we should take into account different "personal reasons". Still as it was said in the film - every law is connected to current life. So from "today moral values" it seems like whitewashing of old crimes. PS. I am sorry for my grammar I am not a native speaker))) 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 43 User Reviews

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