100

Chicago Sun-Times

By Richard Roeper
This is one of the best movies of the year, featuring one of the most perfect endings of any movie in recent memory.
Full Review
75

New York Post

By Lou Lumenick
Overall, it’s engaging and serves its young audience well — a rare Holocaust movie that doesn’t strain to become Oscar bait.
Full Review
75

Slant Magazine

By R. Kurt Osenlund
Books themselves become the story's key symbol, representing the past and future, loss and possibility, of a place that's ground zero for some of history's darkest days.
Full Review
75

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
The simplicity of Michael Petroni’s script seems a drawback at first. But skilled director Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) slowly, effectively tightens the vise as evil intrudes into the life of this child.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
The resulting film has some wrong notes and touches of preciousness, but mostly it's a moving and effective presentation of life under Nazism, as seen from an unusual angle.
Full Review
70

Variety

By Dennis Harvey
The Book Thief has been brought to the screen with quiet effectiveness and scrupulous taste by director Brian Percival and writer Michael Petroni.
Full Review
67

The A.V. Club

By Ben Kenigsberg
"Life Is Beautiful" may or may not have set a benchmark for tackiness in Holocaust cinema, but The Book Thief offers a hypothetical way in which the former might have been worse: At least it wasn’t narrated by Death.
Full Review
67

Entertainment Weekly

By Adam Markovitz
It would make for a pretty ghastly pageant if not for smart, understated turns by Watson and Geoffrey Rush as the charmingly Teutonic couple who rescue both Liesel and a stranded Jew (Ben Schnezter) — not to mention the movie itself — with honorable matter-of-factness.
Full Review
63

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
Then Death feels the need to intrude again. And again. If his accent weren't so charming, his voice so resonant, it would be depressing, all this meddling and mortality.
Full Review
63

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Anchoring the story is 9-year-old Liesel Meminger (Sophie Nélisse), whose first scenes are riveting.
Full Review
53 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.