Schindler's List (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes

Schindler's List (1993)



Critic Consensus: Schindler's List blends the abject horror of the Holocaust with Steven Spielberg's signature tender humanism to create the director's dramatic masterpiece.

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Movie Info

Based on a true story, Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List stars Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, a German businessman in Poland who sees an opportunity to make money from the Nazis' rise to power. He starts a company to make cookware and utensils, using flattery and bribes to win military contracts, and brings in accountant and financier Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley) to help run the factory. By staffing his plant with Jews who've been herded into Krakow's ghetto by Nazi troops, Schindler has a dependable unpaid labor force. For Stern, a job in a war-related plant could mean survival for himself and the other Jews working for Schindler. However, in 1942, all of Krakow's Jews are assigned to the Plaszow Forced Labor Camp, overseen by Commandant Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes), an embittered alcoholic who occasionally shoots prisoners from his balcony. Schindler arranges to continue using Polish Jews in his plant, but, as he sees what is happening to his employees, he begins to develop a conscience. He realizes that his factory (now refitted to manufacture ammunition) is the only thing preventing his staff from being shipped to the death camps. Soon Schindler demands more workers and starts bribing Nazi leaders to keep Jews on his employee lists and out of the camps. By the time Germany falls to the allies, Schindler has lost his entire fortune -- and saved 1,100 people from likely death. Schindler's List was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won seven, including Best Picture and a long-coveted Best Director for Spielberg, and it quickly gained praise as one of the finest American movies about the Holocaust. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Steven Zaillian
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 9, 2004
Universal Pictures - Official Site


Liam Neeson
as Oskar Schindler
Ben Kingsley
as Itzhak Stern
Ralph Fiennes
as Amon Goeth
Caroline Goodall
as Emilie Schindler
Jonathan Sagall
as Poldek Pfefferberg
Jonathan Sagalle
as Poldek Pfefferberg
Embeth Davidtz
as Helen Hirsch
Shmulik Levy
as Wilek Chilowicz
Mark Ivanir
as Marcel Goldberg
Andrzej Seweryn
as Julian Scherner
Malgoscha Gebel
as Victoria Klonowska
Friedrich von Thun
as Rolf Czurda
Krzysztof Luft
as Herman Toffel
Harry Nehring
as Leo John
Frederick von Thun
as Rolf Czurda
Norbert Weisser
as Albert Hujar
Elina Löwensohn
as Diana Reiter
Adi Nitzan
as Mila Pfefferberg
Anna Mucha
as Danka Dresner
Michael Schneider
as Juda Dresner
Jacek Wojcicki
as Henry Rosner
Branko Lustig
as Nightclub Maitre d'
Beata Paluch
as Manci Rosner
Ezra Dagan
as Rabbi Menasha Levart...
Rami Heuberger
as Josef Bau
Jerzy Nowak
as Investor
Adam Siemion
as OD/Chicken Boy
Henryk Bista
as Mr. Lowenstein
Tadeusz Bradecki
as DEF Foreman
Vili Matula
as Investigator
August Schmölzer
as Dieter Reeder
Erwin Leder
as SS Waffen Officer
Jochen Nickel
as Wilhelm Kunde
Olaf Lubaszenko
as Auschwitz Guard
Martin Semmelrogge
as SS Waffen Man
Tadeusz Huk
as Gestapo Brinnlitz
Osman Ragheb
as Border Guard
Agnieszka Kruk
as Czurda's Girl
Jeremy Flynn
as Brinnlitz Man
Maciej Kozlowski
as SS Guard Zablocie
Martin Bergmann
as SS NCO Zablocie
Peter Flechtner
as SS NCO-Ghetto
Maciej Winkler
as Black Marketeer
Bettina Kupfer
as Regina Perlman
Ludger Pistor
as Josef Liepold
Haymon Maria Butting...
as Auschwitz Guard
Georges Kern
as Depot Master
Bettina Kupfer
as Regina Perlman
Martin Bergmann
as SS NCO Zablocie
Peter Flechtner
as SS NCO-Ghetto
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News & Interviews for Schindler's List

Critic Reviews for Schindler's List

All Critics (81) | Top Critics (18)

Spielberg ultimately remains Spielberg, finding his enduring themes within Thomas Keneally's novel and giving them the full Spielberg treatment.

Full Review… | February 17, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

For this film Spielberg has done the best directing of his career. Much of his previous work has been clever and some of it better than that, but Schindler's List is masterly.

Full Review… | January 7, 2014
The New Republic
Top Critic

More than any previous non-documentary Holocaust movie, this one convinces through the accumulation of such detail.

Full Review… | May 6, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Schindler's List is filmed in black and white, but the triumph of Neeson's portrait and Steven Zaillian's screenplay is that Oskar Schindler remains gray and enigmatic.

Full Review… | May 6, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

What the visual immediacy of Schindler's List does is to prod each of us to fill in the gaps of emotion for ourselves. To put this another way, the more you are able to invest in this superb, demanding film, the more you are likely to get back.

Full Review… | May 6, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Few American movies since the silent era have had anything approaching this picture's narrative boldness, visual audacity, and emotional directness.

Full Review… | February 22, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Schindler's List

Spielbergs masterpiece. An amazing cast makes this one of the all time best movies.

John Manard

Super Reviewer


Spielberg's direction is wonderful as he recreates the abject horrors of the Holocaust in this profoundly sad and disturbing drama made with so much love and dedication by everyone involved, with a narrative that is so fascinating due to the complexity of Schindler's character.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Thomas Keneally's novel based on the role of Oscar Schindler during the holocaust was very much his cinematic coming of age. Many have criticized Schindler as a profiteer and coward for not taking up arms against the Nazis. He was not a soldier and if he had done, at best he may have killed a handful of inconsequential German troops before dying a "hero's death". And every man, woman and child who worked in his factory would have been murdered. Spielberg does not shy away from the fact that he was not a saint, showing him to be a womaniser and hedonistic opportunist but when he was faced with the human tragedy of his environment he acted; a reaction that was all too rare at the time. In fact Spielberg draws parallels between Schindler and Goeth, his counterpart in the military workcamp but whereas the industrialist was a man of compassion, Goeth was the embodiment of the Nazi party; a cold, cruel and ruthless man who acted without conscience or mercy. It's true that the film is guilty of button pushing, but it is the manipulation of a master story teller; the highlighting of the girl in the red coat in particular is obviously Spielberg's way around the old adage of "one death is a tradegy, a million deaths is a statistic." Putting a human face on an individual tragedy is the only way it is possible to process horror on such an unimaginable scale. Beautifully shot and expertly played, Schindler's List is a remarkable and moving film that will no doubt be part of a larger monument to an atrocity that must be remembered to ensure that it is never, ever repeated.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Schindler's List Quotes

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