(2019) (Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Black Comedy: A 10-year-old Nazi boy's life is turned upside down when he discovers that his mom has been harboring a Jewish teenager in the walls of their Berlin home during the waning days of WWII.
- It's 1945 and Jojo Betzler (ROMAN GRIFFIN DAVIS) is a 10-year-old boy who's completely enthralled with all things Nazi-related, including his hatred of Jewish people, something he shares with his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (TAIKA WAITITI), who he hopes to meet for real someday.
Along with his friend Yorki (ARCHIE YATES), Jojo is looking forward to being indoctrinated into the Hitler Youth by Captain Klenzendorf (SAM ROCKWELL). But when he can't kill a bunny given to him by young adult Nazis -- earning him the nickname Jojo Rabbit -- he tries to make up for that with an act of derring-do.
But that results in him being injured, Captain Klenzendorf being removed from his duty, and both of them relegated to office work alongside the likes of Fraulein Rahm (REBEL WILSON). That's a relief to Jojo's mother, Rosie (SCARLET JOHANSSON), who's holding down the fort by herself while her husband is off in Italy fighting the war.
What Jojo doesn't realize, however, is that his mom has been hiding 17-year-old Elsa Korr (THOMASIN McKENZIE) -- a Jew -- in a secret room behind the wall of their house. When he discovers her, he threatens to turn her in, but she says that if he does they'll take away his mother for harboring her. Thus, the two kids enter into an odd sort of truce of not letting anyone know what's going on.
But even as exposure to Elsa starts to soften Jojo's brainwashed stance, dangers still lurk about, such as that presented by Gestapo official Captain Deertz (STEPHEN MERCHANT) who shows up sniffing around for conspiratorial material.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Despite featuring a 10-year-old protagonist, the most likely audience among kids is probably older teens who might be drawn to the satire.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For mature thematic content, some disturbing images, violence, and language.
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