This movie is based on a novel of the same name and narrates the story of a young German boy, son of an Officer, in Nazi Germany.
Strong opinions that most people have, in relation to the events of this period, generally ensures that such creations have their share of admirers and critics. This movie is no exception. It is criticized, among other things, as being inconsistent with facts in its depiction of Nazi Germany, about depiction of a son of a Nazi Officer not knowing who or what a Jew is.
Watching the movie as a creative piece of work, which is what it is, you would find that most of the film is predictable. It will not surprise you. Stereotyped characters and similar settings would add to your feeling that you have seen all of this before. And while one is waiting for the movie to continue and complete its predictable journey, the disturbing end comes as most unanticipated.
Generally, movies based on the holocaust attempt to make a statement through a character or an event in the movie. This movie, however, does not make any such attempt explicitly. There are no heroic characters, only ordinary human beings, leading what would be ordinary lives in Nazi Germany. The predictable screenplay and ordinary characters are more than made up for by the tragic twist to the story towards the end of the movie.
This movie will not feature in any list of great movies ever produced but it is worth watching once.