The Book Thief

2013 PG-13 2h 11m Blu-ray / DVD

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The Book Thief

2013 PG-13 2h 11m Blu-ray / DVD
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  • Details
Young Liesel steals books to teach herself to read, giving her refuge from the horrors of Nazi Germany and her cold foster parents. When not reading, she forms a bond with the Jewish man her adoptive family is hiding in their home.
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen 2.40:1
Spanish (Neutral), English SDH
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Widescreen 2.40:1
Spanish (Neutral), English SDH, Portuguese (Brazilian)
English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service, Portuguese (Brazilian): Dolby Digital 5.1, English: DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 13+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 13+
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age 13+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that The Book Thief is a historical drama set in WWII Germany based on the bestselling young-adult novel by Australian author Markus Zusak. There are many scenes of violence, from the way the Nazis treat Jews, to schoolyard fights, to recurring bomb threats. There are many character deaths and near-deaths that will affect even the most jaded of viewers, though there's almost no blood and zero gore. Language includes German insults that translate to "a--hole" and "dirty swine" as well as "stupid" and "idiot."

Sexual Content

Rudy repeatedly asks for a kiss, and by the end of the movie, when Rudy and Liesel are about 14, it's clear they have feelings for each other. One kiss.


The violence ranges from the deaths of various characters to scenes of Nazis terrorizing Jews in front of their homes and businesses and other occasions. Every scene with a Nazi officer is fraught with anxiety, and the character deaths (or near deaths) will upset even adult viewers. There are also a couple of scenes of schoolyard bullying and fights. During a couple of bombing raids, the entire town evacuates and is worried, anxious and afraid. A Nazi officer strikes Liesel and then Hans.


Insults are used, but sometimes as terms of endearment and usually in German, like the expletives "Saumensch" and "Saukerl" ("dirty swine"), "Arschloch" ("a--hole"). Rosa often uses insults: "good-for-nothing"; "dreckigs" ("dirty"); "know-nothing," "stupid," and "idiot."

Social Behavior

The movie, as with the book, has positive messages about the power of literacy and books; the importance of unconditional friendship; the relationship between parents and children; and the necessity of standing up for other people in need. The presence of Death also encourages the viewer not to squander their lives, because you never know when the end will arrive.


One shot of an Apple computer and logo in the closing scene.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Some adults smoke cigarettes.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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