Jakob the Liar

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Released 1999

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Movie Summary

Director:
Peter Kassovitz
Released:
1999
Rating:
PG-13
Jakob the Liar is a 1999 award-winning drama starring Robin Williams set during World War II. After the Nazis have taken Poland, a Jewish man, Jakob Heym (Robin Williams), is caught outside after curfew. He is brought in by guards to stand before the commandant. While he waits in the office, he hears a radio reporting on the movement of the Russian troops. When he returns to the ghetto, he reports what he has heard. Somehow, when people hear the news they assume that Jakob is actually in possession of a secret radio. They begin to circulate rumors about him and ask him for news updates. Jakob sees in this a unique opportunity to offer hope to a dejected people. He begins to craft stories about what he's heard about the Nazis losing ground throughout Europe. Meanwhile, he hides a Jewish girl who escape deportation to the camps. When the Germans hear about the radio, they come looking for it, and the search could endanger the thing that Jakob holds most dear.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    A markedly better picture than Roberto Benigni's far more sentimental Oscar collector.

  • 40

    The New York Times

    Alternates between bumbling group antics and strained poignancy...anticipates all laughter and emotion in ways that make it its own worst enemy.

  • 20

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    The latest in what feels like an endless string of movies ... in which the actor's parts have ruinously overdosed on sentimentality and schmaltz at the expense of humor and even sa...

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    Themes

    Military & War