Jakob the Liar
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In Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II, poor Jewish cafe owner Jakob accidentally overhears a forbidden radio news bulletin signaling Soviet military successes against German forces. To combat the overwhelming depression and suicide that pervades the ghetto, Jakob tells fictitious news bulletins about Allied advances against the Nazis. These lies keep hope and humor alive among the ghetto inhabitants-spirits are lifted, hearts are refreshed and hope is reborn. The Germans learn of the mythical radio, however, and begin a search for the resistance hero who dares operate it...
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 29%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Seems forced, calculating, self-conscious."
‑ Susan Stark, Detroit News
"A markedly better picture than Roberto Benigni's far more sentimental Oscar collector."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"So sternly manipulative that it becomes a chore to watch."
‑ Michael Dequina, TheMovieReport.com
"Jakob the Liar ends up as a film that is tirelessly trying to tell us something, but never quite gets to the point while making the audience work too hard for too little a payoff."
‑ Tony Toscano, Citadel Broadcasting
"Jakob the Liar is too closed off to provide sufficient air for its deprecating humor (jokes, such as they are, fall flat), and the relentless struggle by the hapless people to survive is not adequately transmitted."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
"I never lost awareness that I was watching actors speaking lines, not real people."
‑ Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune
"Jakob the Liar wants the freedom of the Benigni film but doesn't want to pay the dues."
‑ Roger Ebert, At the Movies
"Jakob the Liar isn't nearly as intolerable as you might expect of a Holocaust fable starring Robin Williams."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"Collapses in a heavy-breathing marriage of irony and unearned sentiment."
‑ Mark Halverson, Sacramento News & Review
"Unsatisfying!"
‑ Duane Dudek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Jakob the Liar deserves a place alongside Life Is Beautiful and, yes, even Schindler's List."
‑ Jay Carr, Boston Globe
"Peter Kassovitz establishes an effectively grim, cramped yet barren setting, making respectful use of locations in Poland and Budapest."
‑ Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"A sober drama about hope as a postive spiritual force."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"The story is so underdeveloped that it's almost inert."
‑ Steve Rhodes, Internet Reviews
"Even though director Peter Kassovitz tries hard to reproduce the soul-chilling despair of the ghetto, truth eludes Jakob The Liar."
‑ Randall King, Winnipeg Sun
More reviews for Jakob the Liar on Rotten Tomatoes

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