Your Company

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, United States · 2008
Rated PG-13 · 1h 34m
Director Mark Herman
Starring Asa Butterfield, Jack Scanlon, Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis
Genre Drama, History, War

When his family moves from Berlin to Poland, young Bruno befriends Shmuel, a boy who lives on the other side of the fence where everyone wears striped pajamas. Unaware of Shmuel's fate as a Jewish prisoner or the role his own Nazi father plays in his imprisonment, Bruno embarks on a dangerous journey inside the camp's walls.

Stream The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


Los Angeles Times by

The film's two levels -- metaphoric and nitty-gritty -- don't mesh until the devastation of the closing sequence, which both indulges in and transcends melodrama.


Variety by Derek Elley

Opening half-hour has some of the best stuff in the movie, walking a precarious line between black irony and showing the war from a totally German viewpoint, without tipping over into gallows humor or parody.


ReelViews by James Berardinelli

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas should be heartbreaking, but it isn't. The muted quality of its impact is the result of narrative shortcuts and a desire to keep the images from being too startling.


The Hollywood Reporter by Ray Bennett

Boyne's tale is starkly cautionary, and writer-director Herman handles a difficult topic with great sensitivity, drawing splendid performances from his young actors with David Thewlis and Vera Farmiga and the other grown-ups reliably efficient.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is not only about Germany during the war, although the story it tells is heartbreaking in more than one way. It is about a value system that survives like a virus.


Philadelphia Inquirer by Steven Rea

In key ways, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is like Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth": a child, caught in the waking nightmare of one of history's ugliest times, confronting the horrors of a grown-up world, and dealing with them as best he, or she, can.


The A.V. Club by Tasha Robinson

The film has any number of chances to exploit the setting and Butterfield's wide-eyed innocence, but instead, it mines a vast, eerie tension by keeping both boys in the dark.

Users who liked this film also liked