‘The Book Thief’ Review: Death and Plucky Tween Find Their Voice in Holocaust Tale

Death won’t stop talking in “The Book Thief.”

The narrative device, carried over from Markus Zusak’s popular novel, quickly wears out its welcome in the movie: Yes, the Grim Reaper had his hands full during Nazi Germany, but do we really need to hear his recurrent voice-over musings about death? It verges on creepy to hear middle-aged Death (voiced by British stage actor Roger Allam) explain how special he knew young Liesel (Sophie Nelisse) was from the moment he first saw her.

Especially considering how family-friendly this well-intentioned survival story is meant to be.




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