When his Nazi father is re-stationed to a post in the German countryside, eight-year-old Bruno (Asa Butterfield) finds it difficult to adjust. There aren't any other kids to play with, and there's this weird "farm" nearby where everyone looks pale and wears striped pajamas. (Since the movie is set during World War II, I don't think I need to say "spoiler alert" to inform you that it's not really a "farm" and the pale people inside aren't really wearing "pajamas.") Bruno's parents—a decent Vera Farmiga and a wasted David Thewlis—forbid the kid to play anywhere off the property, but plucky little Bruno finds his way to the "farm" anyway—where, through electrified barbed wire, he makes friends with another little boy his age.
I don't want to give too much away, but seriously: It's a story about a Nazi boy befriending a boy in a concentration camp. You know shit's not gonna end well. Let's just say the sweet, gap-toothed Jewish kid isn't the only adorable little casualty. In fact, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is so transparently intent on ripping your heart to shreds that you can't help but feel manipulated. If The Diary of Anne Frank left you hungry for more, this is the movie for you.