‘Book Thief’ is tasteful but dull

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The Book Thief

A tale of WWII Germany as seen through the eyes of a young girl, “The Book Thief” is unobjectionable, sentimental, and not a little dull. It’s adapted from the much-loved 2005 bestseller by Markus Zusak, and the book’s fans may appreciate the way the film faithfully re-creates events on the page while keeping them generic enough for everyone to agree on.

Director Brian Percival has cut his teeth on “Downton Abbey” episodes; on the evidence of that show and this film, he’s an expert embalmer. With Sophie Nélisse as the young heroine and Geoffrey Rush — easily the best thing in the movie — as her hapless but adorable adoptive father.

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