Film Review: The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Director Brian Percival’s cinematic adaptation of The Book Thief is engaging and entertaining. The film delivers a captivating tale with a rich historical context.

Young Liesel is sent to live with a foster family in Germany during World War II. Whilst there, Liesel discovers a love of reading that will transform the lives of those around her…

The Book Thief is a successful drama thanks to its strong writing. The main characters in the film are well developed, relationships appear natural, and situations are believable. The use and choice of narrator is an extremely effective tool in framing The Book Thief as a story, and serving as a reminder of the vulnerability of the characters.

With a child protagonist, The Book Thief counterbalances youthful discovery with a very real and harrowing period of history. The World War II setting is absolutely essential to the narrative. There are aspects of the film that are rather dark, reflecting the time and actuality of the historical setting. Michael Petroni’s adaptation of Marcus Zusak’s novel does not shy away from revealing the horrors of war or the insidiousness the Nazi regime. Yet at the same time there is a positive story of a young girl finding friendship in dark times and discovering a passion that shapes her life.

For viewers that have not read the book, Brian Percival’s film is furnished with a sense of trepidation. This is partly due to the choice of narrator reminding the audience of the ephemeral nature of existence. However, it is also thanks to the dangerousness of the setting that viewers will be concerned about the fate of the protagonists. The beauty of The Book Thief is that it compels its audience to care.

Performances in the film are great, with Sophie Nélisse strong as Liesel. Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson are well cast as Liesel’s foster parent. Some special effects are a little inauthentic, but thankfully these are not used too often.

The Book Thief is a wonderful story which is likely to absorb viewers throughout.

Stuff To Look At

Plenty of cinematic delights, including the latest trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a clip from The Book Thief and more…

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Here is the latest trailer for Captain America: The Winter Solider. The film sees the return of Chris Evans in the title role, plus Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is due for UK release on 28th March 2014.

The Book Thief

Based on the best-selling book by Markus Zusak, The Book Thief stars Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. The above clip is from the story, which is set during World War II. The Book Thief is released on 31st January 2014.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Anchorman 2 poster

Following the release of the latest trailer for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, here is the new poster for the film. The film seems to be pushing the 1980s setting, which is never a bad thing. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues hits UK screens on 20th December 2013.


Thriller Non-Stop stars Liam Neeson as an Air Marshall in a very perilous position. The trailer reads like Speed on a plane. Non-Stop is due for release on 28th February 2014.

American Hustler

Christian Bale is barely recognisable in American Hustler. It’s like the 1970s threw up all over David O. Russell’s film. Also starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustler hits screens on 20th December in the West End and 3rd January 2014 nationwide.

The Butler

Lee Daniels’ The Butler is just brimming with stars. Led by Forest Whitaker, the film also stars Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Mariah Carey and many others. The Butler is released in the UK on 15th November 2013.