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The Reader

HD   R Closed Captioning

Stephen Daldry

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About the Movie

Post-World War II Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 193
  • Fresh: 119
  • Rotten: 74
  • Average Rating: 6.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: Stephen Daldry's film is sensitively realized and dramatically absorbing, but comes across as an essentially cerebral experience without gut impact. – Todd McCarthy, Variety, Apr 30, 2012

Fresh: If Winslet carries the complex psychological intrigue of the film on her shoulders, David Kross carries the heart of it on his. – Kristin Tillotson, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Apr 27, 2012

Fresh: It is a majestically sombre, always gripping film, told with immense restraint and no hint of sensationalism. – Evan Williams, The Australian, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Its issues are infinite and moveable. It's a bold and challenging work. – Dave Calhoun, Time Out Sydney, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Powerful and very, very challenging but SOOOOOOO worth watching!!!!

I used to love going to the movies with my Dad - we shared a great love of film and our lively discussions and critique afterwards was always half the fun :) I couldn't wait to see The Reader and went to see it when it first opened with some friends... I was completely drawn into the story from the beginning and couldn't believe that when my two friends left the theatre, they were relatively unmoved (although both agreed that the performances were "good"). They just felt "it was slow" and that "not a lot happened"... I couldn't disagree strongly enough... If you're expecting a glitzy Hollywood dramatisation you'll no doubt be disappointed and this movie probably isn't for you... but if you enjoy a movie with a powerful, provacative storyline and some absolutely outstanding performances (Kate your Oscar is richly deserved, well done!!!!), then this is a MUST SEE!!!! There's, there's no denying it's understated but I was so moved by the film that I left the theatre emotionally drained as it is so utterly heartbreaking. It's a very powerful film that will really challenge you!!!! Sadly my Dad passed away a few years back but I'm sure he would have loved it too!

Deserving of Best Pic Nom.

I have found that screenwriters take creative liberty when adapting a book into film, and something usually gets lost in translation. However, The Reader gets in right. When I read the novel I felt every emotion possible (even threw the book against the wall). This film captures the emotion and conveys it to the audience. Kate Winslet is amazing and new-comer David Kross stands up strongly next to her. This film was more than deserving of the nomination it recieved, and the win for Kate.

Deep and Powerful

This film is quite painful to watch at points because it is so telling of human ego, human dishonesty and human inhumanity on all levels of human interaction. The emotional impact on me was similar to what I felt when I first watched "Sophie's Choice". The stories are different, but the criss crossing of subtle emotions lead to the same place... Humans are capable of the most unselfish and elevated acts of kindness and also the most depraved and hideous acts of thoughtless cruelty, all within the same person. We are contradictions and so it has always been. Excellent acting by all, and Kate Winslet was quite amazing to say the least. She was able to capture all the subtleties, both good and bad, of a seriously flawed individual. Bravo!

The Reader
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2008

Customer Ratings