'The Reader' Critic Reviews

89%
MovieWeb:   3 reviews
61%
Rotten Tomatoes:   198 reviews
  • John Wirt Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
    75
    Built around Kate Winslet's enigmatic Hanna, this impeccably staged, nuanced drama is not easily forgotten.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Robert Roten Laramie Movie Scope
    67
    Like the main character's feelings about themselves and each other, I too have mixed feelings about this film.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Joseph Proimakis Movies for the Masses
    30
    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
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Gina Carbone Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)
    69
    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.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Jim Judy Screen It!
    Parental Content Review
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Leonard Maltin Leonard Maltin's Picks
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Matt Stevens E! Online
    75
    The Reader remains riveting as long as exquisite Winslet stays on screen.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Christopher Smith Bangor Daily News (Maine)
    67
    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.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Rob Humanick Projection Booth
    42
    Suffers chiefly from a distasteful thematic overemphasis, though not far behind is the film's rather insistent self-flattery.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Amy Nicholson I.E. Weekly
    42
    An airless vacuum labeled Serious Film
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Bob Bloom Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
    88
    Outstanding performances define "The Reader," but all pale in comparison with Kate Winslet's Hanna.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Jackie K. Cooper jackiekcooper.com
    70
    Solid acting by star Kate Winslet but not by co-star Fiennes; the movie is complete in some areas but lacking in others
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • John Beifuss Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
    50
    'The Reader' suggests -- what? That Nazis might have been nicer if they'd spent more time reading instead of burning books?
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Neil Smith Film4
    80
    A superbly crafted yet oddly unmoving film that's easier to admire than to genuinely like.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Rob Daniel Sky Movies
    60
    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.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Derek Malcolm This is London
    80
    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.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Mark Adams Daily Mirror [UK]
    80
    The Reader is a thoughtful and absorbing film, which is packed with delicately-structured twists and punctuated with truly impressive performances.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Matthew Turner ViewLondon
    80
    Impressively directed, superbly acted and emotionally engaging, this is a thought-provoking drama that practically screams Oscar.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Steve Schneider Orlando Weekly
    Director Stephen Daldry and screenwriter David Hare adapt Bernhard Schlink's novel into a shuffling, episodic entertainment that's undermined by inconsistent casting.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Rich Cline Shadows on the Wall
    90
    An intelligent approach sets this intense drama apart from the crowd, recounting a morally complex story without telling us how to think
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Jolene Mendez Entertainment Spectrum
    60
    "The Reader" definitely could have more to offer the listener.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Matt Brunson Creative Loafing
    63
    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.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Sun Online
    100
    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.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Dave Calhoun Time Out
    67
    Its issues are infinite and moveable. It's a bold and challenging work.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Christopher Tookey Daily Mail [UK]
    60
    Kate Winslet is the reason to see the sombre, understated, literary The Reader, which has touching moments but never delivers on its early promise.
    Full Review » 6 years ago