The Reader Reviews

  • Everything is admirable, worthy, and muffled in a blanket of Britishness in this well-bred production, which reunites director Stephen Daldry with screenwriter David Hare six years after The Hours.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum — Entertainment Weekly

  • The Reader is a scrupulously tasteful film about an erotic affair that turns to love.

    Manohla Dargis — New York Times

  • Under the gloss of high production value, under the sheen of hardback good taste, there is something naive and glib and meretricious. It left a very strange taste in my mouth.

    Peter Bradshaw — Guardian [UK]

  • A slow-moving but absorbing story of sexual awakening and moral dilemmas.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • As undeniably tasteful as The Reader is, it's also an absorbing and finally moving account of how one man comes to terms with both history and his story.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • After a sensuous introductory act, The Reader descends into a series of dismaying contradictions regarding the moral toxins of the Holocaust -- which still pollute postwar Germany.

    Wesley Morris — Boston Globe

  • Provocatively intentioned, The Reader is a movie worth seeing -- the kind of film you'll think about for days afterward. But when all is said and done, you're likely to wonder why the impact wasn't greater still.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • The Reader remains schematic, and ultimately reductive. It really is about literacy, which proves to be a dismayingly small answer to the enormous questions posed by Hanna's dark past.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • The Reader is a bold and provocative film and one of the most exquisite of 2008.

    Michael Granberry — Dallas Morning News

  • The trial's outcome leads us into a third act that continues to give renewed, rending meaning to the movie's title.

    Lisa Kennedy — Denver Post

  • It appears that the filmmakers have taken Hannah Arendt's notion of the 'banality of evil' way too literally.

    David Edelstein — New York Magazine

  • The whole film, in fact, with its loping pace and plaintive score, feels like a woefully polite, not to say British, take on a foreign horror; was there really no one, from the fierce new wave of German filmmakers, prepared to dramatize the Schlink?

    Anthony Lane — New Yorker

  • I believe the movie may be demonstrating a fact of human nature: Most people, most of the time, all over the world, choose to go along. We vote with the tribe.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • Told, coolly...the novel was hugely popular as well as controversial worldwide and an Oprah's Book Club selection besides. I'm afraid it needed a different set of interpreters to make any emotional sense of it onscreen.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • Surrounding the Holocaust morality play is another story that's more modestly scaled and, in this age of unashamed romance between older women and younger men, more contemporary.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • With this film Daldry proves himself the screen's reigning master at showing passion thwarted or repressed, this time to a propulsive Philip Glass-lite score from Nico Muhly.

    Carrie Rickey — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • (The Reader movie review at Minneapolis Star Tribune)

    Dean Essner — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • 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

  • At times The Reader is an interesting exploration of both the needs of man and the limits of law. But there are so many dead spots in the film after it gets rolling that the rolling too often comes to a stop.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • Winslet is outstanding, particularly given that Hanna is such an unsympathetic character. We never quite feel sympathy toward her, and it's testament to Winslet's skill and confidence that she never really asks us to.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

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