Weekend B Office DVD and Video Movie Navigator  2000 R Schedule Oscars 2000
Jakob The Liar: Friday, September 24, 1999

In Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II, poor Jewish café owner Jakob Heym (Oscar® winner Robin Williams) 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 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, however, and begin a search for the resistance hero who dares operate it... -- © 1999 Sony

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42.25 - Go See At Matinee


Rating System:

0 - 40 points

Not Worth Seeing

40 - 65 points 

Go See At Matinee

65- 85 points

Worth Seeing

85-100 points

Definitely worth seeing. "A must see!"


Peter Kassovitz


Peter Kassovitz
Didier Decoin
Ron Hutchinson




Robin Williams as Jakob Heym
Alan Arkin as Frankfurter
Bob Balaban as Kowalsky  

Running Time

1 hr. 41 min


PG-13 for violence, language and sexuality 


Paramount Pictures




Official Site


Jakob The Liar Book from

 The People's Review of Jakob The Liar

Aaron Sha
score = 80
Jakob the liar was a great film. Although that the custumes and scenes aren't really fancy the plot had developed ver clearly. Sadly the film wasn't a big hit because it came right after the holocaust movie Life is beautiful. Another reason is that the film has almost no actions which would affect the viewer's point! It was mostly about Jakob Heym's life with his friends in the Polish ghetto. It also show that hope is the key towards survival. This film is not a must see one but it is definetly good when you have a lot of time on your hands. And that you want to see a tragic film.

score = 100
This movie has an incredible and heart warming performance by Williams.  Great movie all together

score = 70
Most characters in this film remain undeveloped and even unknown. Robin Williams however can act better with only his eyes than most performers with their entire being. This is not a spine tingling suspense film and it is not really about the holocaust.  It is a quiet film about the power of hope, and the need that people have for it.  If you stick to that as the purpose of the film, it is outstanding.  We have come to expect all films in this setting to be primarily about racism and tyranny.  I have read others reviews, all basically saying that it just isn't as good as Schindler's List. The truth is that it is not even about the same thing.

G. lerner
score = 90
Don't believe the cynical, Robin williams-baiting reviews of the mainstream press. JAKOB is among the best movies of the year, easily taking its place alongside SHINDLER'S LIST and LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL as a brilliant cinematic evocation of how people survived the holocauts. Its themes are broader, more universal than either of the other films. See it before it leaves the theaters!!!

score = 100
This is the wickedesr movie i ever swa since 1936

Craig Humphrey
score = 80
I think that this is a good film and Robin Williams plays his charcter well. It's a moving film and is well worth seeing

score = 80 
As someone who has studied representations of the holocaust in cinema, the critic in me would have said that this is a fairly standard holocaust film, employing most of the usual tropes and covering messages that have been explored before.  However, This analytical appraisal just doesn't account for how sensitively handled and moving the picture actually was.  Being made to wittness atrocities and suffering in a medium meant for entertainment does give the audience a difficult task, but Williams' leading performance was engaging and sensitive, creating an ultimately bittersweet figure but without devolving into kitsch.  I believe that  the slightly surreal ending in particular was a strong point which in some ways surpasses that of Begnini's La vita e Bella (comparisons can't really be avoided.)  There cannot, in all honesty, be a happy ending to a Holocaust story, and it is to this film's credit that it does not try to pass one off, at least as the "real" ending.  As to whether this undermines the theme of hope-as-a-countermeasure-to-death that the film works to build, as I'm sure some critics may comment, I don't believe it is detrimental at all.  The film is as much about the power of suggestion of hope, as it is of hope itself, and in this sense, the suggestion of a happy ending alongside the implied tragic reality is perfectly appropriate.