The Book Thief (2013)

logoDirector: Brian Percival

Writer: Michael Petroni (Screenplay) Markus Zusak (Novel)

Starring: Sophie Nelisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Kirsten Block, Heike Makatsch, Nico Liersch, Ben Schnetzer


Plot: While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being sheltered by her adoptive parents.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Powerful, Moving Drama


Story: The Book Thief starts by when Liesel’s (Nelisse) brother dies, talk about a sad start right? Liesel gets adopted by the Hubermann’s Hans (Rush) and Rosa (Watson) who had planned to take both the children to help hide them during the war. Rosa is very strict while Hans is fun trying to make her time with them fun. Local boy Rudy (Liersch) tries his best to befriend Liesel and welcome her to the school. As Liesel time with Hans continues she learns how to read and the joy of books. Liesel has to copy with the Nazi book burning parades where she has to stand by everything against her.

Liesel manages to save a book and Hans agrees to help her hide the book making it their own secret. The Hubermann’s are also keeping their own secret when stranger Max (Schnetzer) turns up on their door step, this leads to Liesel being ordered to keep a secret but her interest in the books keeps her curiosity high. When we learn that Max is in a fact a Jew in hiding, he begins a friendship with Liesel while she learns that she isn’t the only lover of books. Liesel also learns how she will need to grow up through the wartime where so many children have to suffer.

The Book Thief is a very powerful story about one girl’s struggle through the war, abandoned by her mother she has to learn to grow up in a new family, new town under a belief she doesn’t want to follow. We watch how she learns about books, learns how to read and learns that even through such a hard time she can trust people. We also see the harsh reality of the war where we will lose people. The idea the story is told by death is very clever because the narration gives away what will happen but spares us the details and almost makes it touching how he takes the souls. This is an adaptation so I don’t personally know how well it compares to the books but as a film itself it is a good story to watch unfold. (7/10)


Actor Review


Sophie Nelisse: Liesel Meminger young girl who gets sent to live with another family during the war where she learns she has a love of books during the wartime struggle. Sophie gives a great performance for an actress of her age, watch out for the name in the future. (8/10)


Geoffrey Rush: Hans Hubermann father of the adopted family who is much more laid back than his wife, but his promises could put the whole family at danger. Geoffrey gives a good performance and one we all know he is very capable off. (7/10)


Emily Watson: Rosa Hubermann mother of the adopted family who is very strict but equally has a heart of gold as she just wants to protect her family. Emily gives a good performance too and much like Rush we know we can trust her in these sort of roles. (7/10)


Ben Schnetzer: Max a Jewish man in hiding in the Hubermann house hold after his father saved Han’s life. He befriends Liesel and they both have their own way to hate Hitler and his men together. Ben gives a good performance and makes for an engaging character. (7/10)


Support Cast: The Book Thief supporting cast is filled with the other town’s people who are all trying to keep their heads down and the soldiers trying to fight a war they have no control over.


Director Review: Brian Percival – Brian does a good job directing this powerful drama. (7/10)


Drama: The Book Thief shows the relationship between people during the wartime and how they struggled to keep things safe. (9/10)

War: The Book Thief tells of the struggle through the eyes of one of the innocent children who would have been caught up in the middle of it all. (9/10)

Settings: The Book Thief creates authentic settings to put us right in the middle of World War II. (10/10)

Suggestion: The Book Thief is one to try, if you have read the book I honestly can’t tell you if it is a good adaptations but it is an enjoyable film to watch. (Try It)


Best Part: Christmas.

Worst Part: Final Moments.


Believability: Even though the story is made up, the situation the people find themselves in would have been real. (7/10)

Chances of Tears: You may have some by the end. (5/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Nominated for best music written for motion picture.

Box Office: $76 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes

Tagline: Courage beyond words.


Overall: Beautiful Drama

Rating 75

One comment on “The Book Thief (2013)

  1. Pingback: 2015 Watched List Part One | Movie Reviews 101

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