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The Notebook

Drama . War

In a village on the Hungarian border, two young brothers grow up during war time with their cruel grandmother and must learn every trick of evil to survive in the absurd world of adults.

Actors: András Gyémánt , László Gyémánt , Piroska Molnár , Ulrich Thomsen , Ulrich Matthes , Orsolya Tóth , Péter Andorai
Directors: János Szász
Release: 2013-09-19
More Info:
  • Tirdad Derakhshani

    A bleak, despairing testament to the cruelty of war, and how it mangles and defaces everyone it touches.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Kate Taylor

    The challenge for a filmmaker attempting to adapt the Agota Kristof novella The Notebook is how much of its startlingly amoral world can actually be shown.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Walter Addiego

    It's a nightmare fairy tale that can be very difficult to watch.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Though it features no battle scenes, The Notebook shines a powerful, unflinching light on the horrors of World War II.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Clayton Dillard

    János Szász's film is a thoroughly provocative WWII screed that almost deliberately goes out of its way to avoid sentimentality or bathos of any sort.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • John Anderson

    The taste with which one is left is not savory, exactly, but it certainly lingers.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    The Notebook is a skillfully made movie, with sequences that may haunt you after you leave the theater. But it lacks the power to turn its virtuosity, or the emotional discipline of its remarkable young leads, into a source of insight.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Nick Schager

    Szász's harrowing film roots that coming-of-age process in suffering, depicting it with a grim solemnity that, by never wavering, ultimately leads to a tempered measure of unexpected hopefulness.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    The movie is well-crafted and finely acted (including by the non-actors László and András Gyémánt as the creepy, affectless twins), but it never comes up with a new way to communicate its sadly familiar themes.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    In the name of unblinking realism, Szász overdoes the allegory. There are no sacrificial gestures here, no heroism, no tears. He comes on as truth-teller, but he’s only telling half the truth.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    An elegantly made, almost unbearably depressing tale of WWII-era deprivation and survival.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    The Notebook makes for a grim but utterly fascinating parable.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    There's something haunting going on in The Notebook -- in the story, in the performances, in the overall atmosphere -- that makes it hard to look away from, and equally hard to forget.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    This adaptation of Agota Kristof’s 1986 novel is impossible to take literally, yet too obscure to read between the lines.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Boyd van Hoeij

    The frequent voice-overs, in which the boys read what they wrote (heard over shots of them writing), add distance rather than insight because it is not the action of writing that's revealing but the events and thought processes that led them to write what they did.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Alissa Simon

    Unfortunately, the glowering, non-pro Gyemant twins, who seem to have only one facial expression (and oddly anachronistic haircuts), continually break the spell woven by the other performers.

    Variety Full Review
  • Martin Tsai

    This cautionary tale certainly has a chilling and timely message of how wars make monsters out of innocent people. But using reductive caricatures — complete with phlegmatic performances — to send that message is perhaps not the best way, because it turns something with modern-day implications into distant allegory.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    Only those looking to have their bleak worldview painfully confirmed will find this exercise in masochism fulfilling.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Benjamin Mercer

    Not a shred of human decency is on display in The Notebook, a handsomely made, hard-to-endure World War II parable set in an unnamed Hungarian backwater during the Nazi occupation of 1944.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Despite the human drama here, we’re kept at a remove by stolid direction and by-the-numbers storytelling.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Godfrey Cheshire

    A well-crafted but otherwise undistinguished and tedious entry in a long line of European films that make a grotesque show of war’s horrors, often viewed through the lens of childhood’s disabused innocence. Full Review
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