Best Movies by Farr
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Poster
Released Runtime Category
2008 94 Drama, War
Director Language
Mark Herman English
Actors
Asa Butterfield, Jack Scanlon, Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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What's it About

Bored after moving from Berlin to the countryside with his Nazi commandant father (Thewlis) and mother (Farmiga), 8-year-old Bruno (Butterfield) one day spots what appears to be a nearby farm where everyone is dressed in striped pajamas. Oblivious to the war, and with his parents refusing to discuss the matter, Bruno ventures out to a barbed-wire fence beyond their property and befriends Shmuel (Scanlon), a boy his age emptying a wheelbarrow on the other side. Over time, as Bruno discovers the truth about Shmuel’s life, he sets in motion a tragic chain of events.

Why we love it

Herman’s thoughtful, heartbreaking child’s-eye portrait of the Holocaust, adapted from a novel by John Boyle, pits the innocence of youth against the unimaginable horrors of Germany’s wartime atrocities. Drawing strong performances from his two young actors, as well as finely tuned support work from Thewlis and Farmiga, Herman (“Little Voice”) handles this melodramatic material with admirable sensitivity and restraint, avoiding a maudlin tone and the pitfalls of sentimentality. Gradually, as the boys become aware of the darker reality that envelops their forbidden camaraderie, “Boy” builds to a tense, emotionally fraught climax.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"