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Schindler's List Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Because this film touches us so deeply, the catharsis has a power that few -- if any -- other moments in film history can match. And that's what establishes this as a transcendent motion picture experience.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    With flawless precision, the movie flows seamlessly between a virtual newsreel approach (to chronicle senseless, arbitrary atrocities on the people) and a slightly more direct narrative technique that characterized the film's three dominant characters - each one cast to perfection. [15 Dec 1993]

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Spielberg restages the Holocaust with an existential vividness unprecedented in any nondocumentary film: He makes us feel as if we're living right inside the 20th century's darkest-and most defining-episode.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    What is most amazing about this film is how completely Spielberg serves his story. The movie is brilliantly acted, written, directed and seen. Individual scenes are masterpieces of art direction, cinematography, special effects, crowd control.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Gene Siskel

    What is surprising is how well Spielberg captures the horror, moving his camera with the fury of a combat photographer on the run. [17 Dec 1993]

  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Julie Salamon

    A movie that falls outside the ordinary, or even the extraordinary. There is enormous passion and artistic integrity throughout this film. [11 Jan 1994, p.A10(E)]

  • See all Schindler's List reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Accurate, heartbreaking masterpiece about the Holocaust.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this brutal, emotionally devastating three-hour drama won several Oscars and has a powerful message about the human spirit -- but it pulls absolutely no punches when depicting the Holocaust. There are arbitrary murders and mass killings, Nazi commanders compare Jews to rats, children are killed, and there are scenes of shocking, grisly violence. There's also plenty of anti-Semitic language, smoking and drinking, and several scenes of nakedness. In two of them, a woman is naked from the waist up in bed and in sexual situations. But in the rest, nakedness is used to humiliate and harass Jewish residents of concentration camps.

  • Families can talk about their reaction to the film's emotionally difficult material.
  • Do you believe the atrocities depicted here can happen again? Why or why not?
  • Discuss other ways in which individuals make a difference.
  • Families may want to watch additional DVDs produced by the Survivors of the Shoah Foundation designed to help kids understand and confront bias.

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The film shows the best and worst of human nature -- psychotic mass murder and altruistic saving of lives.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: The film follows Schindler's transformation from greedy war profiteer to humanitarian who eventually saves the lives of 1,100 people destined for death at Auschwitz.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Depictions of point-blank shootings, murders, beatings, and mass murders.

  • sex false4

    Sex: A few scenes of nakedness associated with sex, but many other scenes show concentration camp members naked in non-sexual contexts.

  • language false3

    Language: Anti-Semitic epithets.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The Nazi commander is often drunk. Schindler smokes.