Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson play a World War II German couple who adopt Liesel, a young girl done by charismatic newcomer Sophie Nelisse.
The girl learns to love books from Rush's Hans, and after the Nazi's burn most of the village's books, she ends up stealing them from the town mayor's wife's library. Liesel's family also harbors a young Jewish man at the height of Hitler's persecution of the Jews.
The Book Thief is a riveting coming-of-age story about the courage it takes to do the right thing. It features exceptional performances. That said, Rush and Watson could stand and stare at the camera for two-hours and the performances would be award-worthy.
The flaw I couldn't get past is the time-frame and the kids. Set in a five-year period, Liesel and other children in the village don't age. It's distracting but not to the point that you won't want to see this most excellent film.
Never miss a local story.
-- Mr. Movie's most excellent reviews can also be found on his blog at www.tri-cityherald.com/arts/mrmovie.
Director: Brian Percival
Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Sophie Nelisse
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Rated R for mature themes, language. Its playing at the Carmike 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.