Jakob the Liar

Jakob the Liar
Jakob the Liar
  • PG-13
  • 1h 40m
  • 1999
Common Sense Media Iconage 13+
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In Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II, poor Jewish cafe owner Jakob Heym (Oscar®-winner Robin Williams Best Supporting Actor, 1997, Good Will Hunting) accidentally overhears a forbidden radio news bulletin signaling Soviet military success against German forces. To combat the overwhelming depression and suicide that pervades the ghetto, Jakob invents 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 optimism is reborn. The Germans learn of the mythical radio and begin a search for the resistance hero who dares operate it.
© 1999 Global Entertainment Productions GmbH & Co. Film KG and SPE German Finance Co. Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Critics Consensus: Any real story is buried by awkward performances and contrived situations.
Globe and Mail

June 17, 2017
Dallas Morning News
Chris Vognar

It's jolting that such a potentially life-affirming movie could be so lifeless.

June 16, 2017
Miami Herald
Curtis Morgan

Jakob the Liar aspires to be a poignant parable about the power of hope but instead uses one of hu...

June 16, 2017
Hollywood Reporter
David Hunter

Robin Williams in his best film since Good Will Hunting!

June 16, 2017
New York Post
Jonathan Foreman

Written with astonishing crudeness!

June 16, 2017
More on Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 13+
Common Sense Says
Watered-down Holocaust tale may stir kids' interest.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Jakob the Liar is a 1999 movie in which Robin Williams plays a Jewish man trying to survive the Warsaw Ghetto of WW II who accidentally becomes a source of hope, courage, and resilience when he's believed to be hiding a radio and must make up good news about the near arrival of Allied troops on the verge of liberating them. There are hung bodies, beatings, shootings, torture, and psychological cruelty under the Nazi regime, as well as Jewish characters driven to suicide by hanging. There's occasional cigarette smoking, and some wine drinking. Profanity includes "s--t" and "bastard."

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Drama
  • Release Date:September 24, 1999
  • Languages:English, Spanish
  • Captions:English, Spanish
  • Audio Format:
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