The Reader Mini-Review

Overall Grade: C

The Reader is one of those movies that seems to have everything; excellent performances, superb craftmanship, an interesting premise, and high-minded themes. The only thing it doesn't have is my reccomendation. I found The Reader to be serval movies in one; a Penthouse seduction (with some explicit nudity, so be warned), a discussion of the morality of those "just followed orders", and ultimately a pyschobabble tale of paralysed emotions. Behind the high-minded ideals and veneer, The Reader doesn't have much heft to it, and I left the theatre wondering how one man's moral confusion about an affair he had one summer mattered at all in comparison to the poor decisions he made his life, let alone in comparison to the Holocaust (which is used for not much more than window dressing in this film). After 30 minutes of this film, I found myself sighing, and shifting in my seat. I offer you a link to a film review by another Kyle (Kyle Smith of the NY Daily Post), who disliked the film as well; he just sums it up better than I ever could, with a lot more humor and wit.

Kyle Smith's The Reader Review