Empire - 10/01/2008 4 stars out of 5 -- "Mark Herman's adaptation of John Boyne's novella succeeds....Both Vera Farmiga and David Thewlis furnish their parental roles with real humanity."
USA Today - 11/07/2008 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS adds another poignant tale to the canon of Holocaust movies....It is also a notably faithful rendering of John Boyne's novel, told from the perspective of a young boy."
Los Angeles Times - 11/07/2008
"[A]n affecting drama that refuses to soft-pedal its harrowing conclusion."
Chicago Sun-Times - 11/05/2008
"THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS is not only about Germany during the war, although the story it tells is heartbreaking in more than one way."
Rolling Stone - 11/13/2008 3 stars out of 4 -- "[T]he power of the story and the performances -- young Butterfield amazes -- is indisputable."
Based on the novel by John Boyne, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS is a wrenching Holocaust story about a young German boy and his forbidden friendship with a Jewish child. Bruno (Asa Butterfield) is living a charmed life in Berlin as the son of a high-ranking Nazi soldier, when his father (David Thewlis) is suddenly transferred to a job out in the country. Bruno, as well as his sister Gretel (Amber Beattie) and mother (Vera Farmiga) must all join him at his new post. Bruno is lonely and confused by his new surroundings, and he doesn't understand why he can't wander the grounds or play at a nearby farm. The "farm," of course, is a concentration camp, though Bruno doesn't know this. He soon sneaks away to explore, and meets Shmuel (Jack Scanlon) a prisoner of the camp. Shmuel is eight, the same age as Bruno, and the two form a timid, careful friendship, playing checkers and catch through the barbed wire fence. Bruno knows that his friendship with Shmuel is dangerous, but after witnessing brutal violence perpetrated against some very kind people, he has begun to question the Nazi doctrine of hate. He is no longer sure what to make of his soldier father, whom he once believed to be a hero. When he learns that Shmuel is in trouble, he vows to help him, and together the boys form an outrageous plan that culminates in the film's devastating climax.
Farmiga and Thewlis put in excellent performances, while Scanlon and Butterfield, are equally impressive, doing a fine job of carrying the weight of such a heavy film. The BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS is a deeply moving and--it must be said--disturbing movie. But it is a remarkable story, told with masterly intelligence and grace.
Based On A Novel |
Theatrical Release |
World War II |