"I see their ugliness and their beauty and wonder how the same thing can be both?" - Narrator / Death (Roger Allam)
The story takes place in the time surrounding the Second World War. Young Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) is removed from her commie mother and placed in a foster home. Her new foster mother appears to be cold and ruthless. Liesel must grow up and adapt to the changing social atmosphere. During this time she acquires the nasty habit of reading. However reading a secondary to what social skills she will learn, that is if she survives the war; these skills will carry her for the rest of her life.
If you are looking for something unique you will be disappointed. However for those who like challenging Junge/ Mädchen facing trials and tribulations during times of adversity than this movie is for you. The story is not unique with the exception of the subplot where it gets its title. What really makes the movie are the acting, the scenery, and even the background music, by John Williams, which acts as a character itself.
I have to admit that I have not read the book yet; therefore I can tell you whether the book by Marcus Zusak is better or not, that this movie holds its own independently.
For me the book burning scene made me feel a tad like films where they kick the family dog. It is well worth the time to view.