'The Reader' Critic Reviews
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Built around Kate Winslet's enigmatic Hanna, this impeccably staged, nuanced drama is not easily forgotten.
Laramie Movie Scope
Like the main character's feelings about themselves and each other, I too have mixed feelings about this film.
Movies for the Masses
Epifaneiako ksysimo allis mias ekdohis tis ebraikis pligis poy prokalese i germaniki banaysotita, ayti ti fora employtismeni me eksanthropistiko erotiko proto misaoro, poy den kamoyflarei katholoy tis eksarseis symbatikotitas sto ksediploma, i tis melodra
Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)
How do you solve a problem like The Reader? It's deep and layered and sexy and Oscary and left no emotional impression. It happened and I left.
Leonard Maltin's Picks
The Reader remains riveting as long as exquisite Winslet stays on screen.
Bangor Daily News (Maine)
It tries so hard to construct something profound, the effort competes with the performances, stealing away some of the rawness of the emotions. But not all of them. Winslet and Kross are especially terrific.
An airless vacuum labeled Serious Film
Suffers chiefly from a distasteful thematic overemphasis, though not far behind is the film's rather insistent self-flattery.
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
Outstanding performances define "The Reader," but all pale in comparison with Kate Winslet's Hanna.
Jackie K. Cooper
Solid acting by star Kate Winslet but not by co-star Fiennes; the movie is complete in some areas but lacking in others
The still, sad music of humanity - surely that should have been The Reader's score. We hear it in Winslet's performance at least, at once contained and tremendous, at once filigree in touch and fully wrought in thought and being.
The revelation of evil not only confounds the characters here; it numbs the film, stifles whatever wayward life it once had in it.
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
'The Reader' suggests -- what? That Nazis might have been nicer if they'd spent more time reading instead of burning books?
The Reader suffers from Weinstein syndrome, in which an interesting novel is filleted to its bare skeleton by overpowering producer Harvey Weinstein, and made safe, easy to digest, and oh-so award friendly.
A superbly crafted yet oddly unmoving film that's easier to admire than to genuinely like.
This is London
Winslet's intricate performance and Daldry's skills of persuasion make it a worthy memorial to its producers, Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella, the values of whose own films it faithfully replicates.
Daily Mirror [UK]
The Reader is a thoughtful and absorbing film, which is packed with delicately-structured twists and punctuated with truly impressive performances.
Director Stephen Daldry and screenwriter David Hare adapt Bernhard Schlink's novel into a shuffling, episodic entertainment that's undermined by inconsistent casting.
Impressively directed, superbly acted and emotionally engaging, this is a thought-provoking drama that practically screams Oscar.
Shadows on the Wall
An intelligent approach sets this intense drama apart from the crowd, recounting a morally complex story without telling us how to think
"The Reader" definitely could have more to offer the listener.
Since more time is spent exposing the milky white breasts of Kate Winslet than exposing the horrors of the Holocaust, viewers might be forgiven for thinking they stumbled into a big-budget remake of Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS.
It is the kind of movie that will have you questioning your reactions and is a skilful piece of emotional manipulation from Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry. But what really makes The Reader a must-see are the performances of Winslet and Kross.