“Sober intelligence goes only so far in crafting an effective bigscreen version of the international bestseller The Reader,” says Variety‘s Todd McCarthy. “German author Bernhard Schlink‘s succinct, widely admired 1995 novel uses a late-1950s affair between a former concentration camp guard (Kate Winslet) and a teenager half her age (David Kross) to explore both generations’ difficulty in coming to terms with German war guilt. Stephen Daldry‘s film is sensitively realized and dramatically absorbing, but comes across as an essentially cerebral experience without gut impact.”