Dear Library Patrons, The mission of NYPL is to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities. Government support only pays for a portion of our work, so we rely on you to help - from stocking our shelves with amazing books, expanding our e-Book selection, classes, events, or even making free WiFi accessible to all. We are trying to raise $500,000 by December 31: an ambitious goal, but one that will fund incredible learning and reading in our community. Please consider donating to help keep our services free to all New Yorkers in 2015 >>


The Reader

(DVD - 2009)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Reader
"What have we learned (and what might we have forgotten) from history's bloody backwash? Guilt, love, and history are three skeins, woven together to create human beings or, alternately, human monsters. The question of wartime culpability undergirds the May-December romance in postwar Berlin between Hanna, a weary-looking, sexually rapacious streetcar ticket-taker and Michael, a young schoolboy whom she seduces, ravenously and to his great delight. One day, Hanna is gone, with no explanation, and Michael grows into a promising young law student. His class attends a trial, where the new Germany judges the past and, by default, the lovers as well."--Container.
Publisher: [New York, N.Y.] : Weinstein Co. Home Entertainment ; Santa Monica, Calif. : Distributed by Genius Products, c2009
Edition: Widescreen version
Branch Call Number: DVD MOVIE R
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (124 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Dec 13, 2014
  • slarsen rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is an excellent story with good casting! Highly recommend.

Jun 12, 2014
  • Isley rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Pretty good “love” story that goes against the usual grain and even has a bit to say--but ultimately I didn't find myself all that invested. Bonus points for being about the holocaust without being too overbearing with the pathos.

May 07, 2014
  • Reynold_Nugter rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Well done story. Worth watching.

Oct 29, 2013
  • pegasus71 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The spoken language of English seemed glaringly inappropriate, especially in the court room scenes, with the exception, of course, in the final scenes taking place in New York City. While Winslet does a fine job in her role, nevertheless I found it very disconcerting to hear her speak English with a German accent as well as the German actors, especially Bruno Ganz (whom I’ve seen in many wonderful German language films) speaking English in the context of this story. It all impressed me as very artificial and significantly undercut the reality and power of the storyline. I understand that Daldry, being a Britisher, was probably not equipped to deal with making the film in German. However, it would have been greatly enhanced if the appropriate languages had been used.

Jun 15, 2013
  • druby1 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The book was better.

Mar 25, 2013
  • angie_3 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is a very touching and sad movie. It's very well done. There is some content not meant for younger audiences.

hey kid what are u ? chinese or japanese

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Definitely a sad story. Winslet is excellent; David Kross as young Michael Berg and the great Ralph Fiennes as well. I was, like many others, flabbergasted at young Michael's silence in dealing with Hanna's sentencing for a report she couldn't possibly have been responsible for. But I'm also somewhat surprised at the lack of commentary about the ages of the above, and their adult relationship that summer in '58. If I'm not mistaken, Michael was fifteen, and at movie's end we see that Hanna was born in '22, which would've made her 36. I wonder, if the genders were reversed, and the fifteen year old was female, would we be hearing an uproar of "statutory rape!"? Interesting...

Nov 19, 2011
  • kwarah rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This ILLITRATE woman, ashamed of admitting of being illitrate, paid a very heavy price for crimes committed by the NAZI's.

Micheal could have testified the woman is illitrate, therefore not responsible for the report of the 300 dead ppeople.

This is injustice at it's best.


Aug 29, 2011
  • hellyale rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Plot : 4 Stars
Acting: 5 Stars
Predictability: 3 Stars
Makes me want to read to ladies: 5 Stars.
Have to see a penis: 1 star.
Frustration at one characters stubbornness: 5 stars

Natural, unfolding in a slow yet steady pace, hooking and dragging you for the ride. Some loose ends but nothing too major.
This movie will leave you questioning the system of justice our culture takes for granted. The questions of law being situational, and character judgement not taken in to consideration. Sad yet Happy, Seductive yet innocent. Not recommended for those under the age of 13.

View All Comments


Add a Quote

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Teacher: "The notion of secrecy is central to Western literature. You may say, the whole idea of character is defined by people holding specific information which for various reasons, sometimes perverse, sometimes noble, they are determined not to disclose."

Jul 31, 2011
  • bdls206 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Michael: I'm not frightened. I'm not frightened of anything. The more I suffer, the more I love. Danger will only increase my love. It will sharpen it, forgive its vice. I will be the only angel you need. You will leave life even more beautiful than you entered it. Heaven will take you back and look at you and say: Only one thing can make a soul complete and that thing is love.

Jul 31, 2011
  • bdls206 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Hanna Schmitz: It doesn't matter what I feel. It doesn't matter what I think. The dead are still dead.


Add Age Suitability

Jul 31, 2011
  • bdls206 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

bdls206 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Oct 31, 2009
  • cstabix rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

cstabix thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Summary

Sep 06, 2011
  • haploU5 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A fifteen year old boy, Michael, has an affair with an older woman, Hanna, in post WWII Germany. Hanna, lonely and a little troubled, seems to get solace from having Michael read to her. One day, Michael stops by her appartment only to find her gone.
Years later, Michael is a law student and attends a Nazi war crime trial where they meet again.

Jul 31, 2011
  • bdls206 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial.


Add a Notice

Feb 21, 2012
  • raghoud87 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: and nudity

Jul 31, 2011
  • bdls206 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Find it at NYPL


Your Cart

Hello! We noticed you have the following items in your cart right now:

If you'd still like to purchase the items you have in your cart, you can do that now.

You'll be able to purchase your eBook after you have checked out your current cart.

The Reader
The Reader

To continue with your eBook purchase immediately, you can clear your cart by clicking below.

All items will be removed from your cart.

I'd like to keep browsing! I'll decide later.

Powered by BiblioCommons.
app07 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52