(Photo by Fox Searchlight / courtesy Everett Collection)

20 Movies To Watch If You Loved Jojo Rabbit

When director Taika Waititi isn’t busy making Thor the funniest character in the MCU, he takes the time to stay true to his quirky indie roots, releasing movies like Jojo Rabbit. It’s about a young Nazi boy with an imaginary Hitler friend, whose mother is hiding a Jewish teenaged girl in their home. It’s also up for Best Picture in this year’s Oscars race.

It’s a high-wire act mining jokes out of World War II, and when the film came out there were immediate and mostly favorable comparisons to Jojo‘s forebears like Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, To Be or Not to Be, Life Is Beautiful, and the original The Producers. And speaking of Mel Brooks, he lends his wisdom for documentary The Last Laugh, which explores the boundaries of humor in the face of human horror and catastrophe. Meanwhile, Train of Life is just as funny as any of the movies mentioned so far, and remains criminally underseen.

Using a child’s perspective to explore the origins and horrors of World War II is an evocative yet risky technique. If successful, it creates empathy in the viewer. When it fails, critics and audiences will deem it exploitative. Come and See is arguably the most memorable of this type of film, but be warned it is not a comedy and will mess you up. It’s also a masterpiece. Forbidden Games and Au Revoir Les Enfants are gentler classics, and just about as affecting and powerful. If you’re not a blubbering mess by the end of those and want even more World War II movies from kids’ point of views, try The Tin Drum, The Diary of Anne Frank, or The Boy In the Striped Pajamas.

Beyond World War II, there have been a lot of great films as seen through the eyes of youth that unearth truths for people across all ages. Peter Brook’s adaptation of The Lord of the Flies explores how authoritarian tendencies develop organically when left unchecked. Pan’s Labyrinth uses fantasy to help a young girl engage with and escape the darkness of reality. Beasts of the Southern Wild, Where the Wild Things Are, and The Florida Project all use the power of imagination to create better worlds for their young heroes.

And if you’re just looking for a rousing adventure of young lovers on the run (and also in scouting uniforms), see Moonrise Kingdom by Wes Anderson. Waititi shares the same comedic sensibility and timing as Anderson, as seen in Jojo Rabbit and his earlier efforts, Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

#20
Adjusted Score: 69473%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During World War II, 8-year-old Bruno (Asa Butterfield) and his family leave Berlin to take up residence near the concentration... [More]
Directed By: Mark Herman

#19

Train of Life (1998)
64%

#19
Adjusted Score: 63266%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After hearing accounts of Nazis herding Jews onto trains, an isolated shtetl deports itself, by rail, to safety.... [More]
Directed By: Radu Mihaileanu

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 83226%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Feeling misunderstood at home and at school, mischievous Max (Max Records) escapes to the land of the Wild Things, majestic... [More]
Directed By: Spike Jonze

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 79114%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In Nazi-occupied Holland in World War II, shopkeeper Kraler hides two Jewish families in his attic. Young Anne Frank (Millie... [More]
Directed By: George Stevens

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 86116%
Critics Consensus: Benigni's earnest charm, when not overstepping its bounds into the unnecessarily treacly, offers the possibility of hope in the face of unflinching horror.
Synopsis: A gentle Jewish-Italian waiter, Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni), meets Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), a pretty schoolteacher, and wins her over with... [More]
Directed By: Roberto Benigni

#15

The Tin Drum (1979)
83%

#15
Adjusted Score: 84568%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Oskar Matzerath (David Bennent) is a very unusual boy. Refusing to leave the womb until promised a tin drum by... [More]
Directed By: Volker Schlöndorff

#14
Adjusted Score: 93744%
Critics Consensus: Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fantastical, emotionally powerful journey and a strong case of filmmaking that values imagination over money.
Synopsis: Six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) lives with her father, Wink (Dwight Henry), in a remote Delta community. Wink is a stern... [More]
Directed By: Benh Zeitlin

#13

Boy (2010)
88%

#13
Adjusted Score: 89255%
Critics Consensus: Boy possesses the offbeat charm associated with New Zealand film but is also fully capable of drawing the viewer in emotionally.
Synopsis: A New Zealand youth (James Rolleston) finds that his father (Taika Waititi) is a far cry from the heroic adventurer... [More]
Directed By: Taika Waititi

#12

The Producers (1968)
90%

#12
Adjusted Score: 98706%
Critics Consensus: A hilarious satire of the business side of Hollywood, The Producers is one of Mel Brooks' finest, as well as funniest films, featuring standout performances by Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel.
Synopsis: Down and out producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel), who was once the toast of Broadway, trades sexual favors with old... [More]
Directed By: Mel Brooks

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 92279%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Amidst a nuclear war, a plane carrying a group of schoolboys crash lands on a deserted island. With no adult... [More]
Directed By: Peter Brook

#10

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
93%

#10
Adjusted Score: 104521%
Critics Consensus: Warm, whimsical, and poignant, the immaculately framed and beautifully acted Moonrise Kingdom presents writer/director Wes Anderson at his idiosyncratic best.
Synopsis: The year is 1965, and the residents of New Penzance, an island off the coast of New England, inhabit a... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 97742%
Critics Consensus: Charlie Chaplin demonstrates that his comedic voice is undiminished by dialogue in this rousing satire of tyranny, which may be more distinguished by its uplifting humanism than its gags.
Synopsis: After dedicated service in the Great War, a Jewish barber (Charles Chaplin) spends years in an army hospital recovering from... [More]
Directed By: Charles Chaplin

#8

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
95%

#8
Adjusted Score: 104373%
Critics Consensus: Pan's Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable.
Synopsis: In 1944 Spain young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her ailing mother (Ariadna Gil) arrive at the post of her mother's... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#7

Come and See (1985)
97%

#7
Adjusted Score: 99549%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The invasion of a village in Byelorussia by German forces sends young Florya (Aleksey Kravchenko) into the forest to join... [More]
Directed By: Elem Klimov

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 118397%
Critics Consensus: The Florida Project offers a colorfully empathetic look at an underrepresented part of the population that proves absorbing even as it raises sobering questions about modern America.
Synopsis: Set in the shadow of the most magical place on Earth, 6-year-old Moonee and her two best friends forge their... [More]
Directed By: Sean Baker

#5
Adjusted Score: 108508%
Critics Consensus: The charmingly offbeat Hunt for the Wilderpeople unites a solid cast, a talented filmmaker, and a poignant, funny, deeply affecting message.
Synopsis: A boy (Julian Dennison) and his foster father (Sam Neill) become the subjects of a manhunt after they get stranded... [More]
Directed By: Taika Waititi

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 99289%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1943, Julien (Gaspard Manesse) is a student at a French boarding school. When three new students arrive, including Jean... [More]
Directed By: Louis Malle

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 100461%
Critics Consensus: A complex and timely satire with as much darkness as slapstick, Ernst Lubitsch's To Be or Not To Be delicately balances humor and ethics.
Synopsis: Acting couple Joseph (Jack Benny) and Maria Tura (Carole Lombard) are managing a theatrical troupe when the Nazis invade Poland.... [More]
Directed By: Ernst Lubitsch

#2

The Last Laugh (2016)
98%

#2
Adjusted Score: 99563%
Critics Consensus: The Last Laugh takes a fresh -- and unexpectedly funny -- approach to sensitive subject matter, uncovering affecting insights about the nature of comedy along the way.
Synopsis: Comics, actors, filmmakers and concentration camp survivors discuss the ramifications and ethical dilemmas of using the Holocaust as a topic... [More]
Directed By: Ferne Pearlstein

#1

Forbidden Games (1952)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 101709%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Orphaned after a Nazi air raid, Paulette (Brigitte Fossey), a young Parisian girl, runs into Michel (Georges Poujouly), an older... [More]
Directed By: René Clément

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

screen actors guild Mary poppins award winner Fantasy Showtime dceu target composers Nickelodeon halloween tv BET Awards PBS universal monsters Thanksgiving Avengers YA Brie Larson DGA prank 20th Century Fox Action cancelled TV series Freeform OneApp new star wars movies police drama Set visit Amazon Endgame canceled TV shows 4/20 2019 Character Guide discovery TNT Video Games TV Land critic resources Esquire Opinion 90s rom-coms Peacock movies Epix book Election Fox Searchlight The Walking Dead spanish Musicals First Look video on demand NBC free movies golden globes Emmys Lucasfilm Netflix Christmas movies PaleyFest Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt news venice Writers Guild of America spider-verse richard e. Grant Holiday historical drama rt labs critics edition stop motion breaking bad 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards jamie lee curtis anime romantic comedy nature dc Premiere Dates Animation hist movie GLAAD USA Network BET Britbox BBC America dexter Tomatazos twilight Best and Worst Marvel Television AMC crime thriller boxing marvel cinematic universe Drama FX on Hulu emmy awards talk show LGBT slashers Apple TV Plus slasher italian Bravo cancelled HBO Go art house Summer docudrama cats 72 Emmy Awards japanese animated asian-american fast and furious 2017 debate comic book movie San Diego Comic-Con 21st Century Fox comic book movies game of thrones sopranos scorecard 1990s Comics on TV theme song dragons Neflix cinemax Country Film popular ID Lifetime The Purge suspense Calendar E3 Trivia comic legend Star Wars Certified Fresh Superheroe Pet Sematary Television Academy Baby Yoda tv talk ESPN ViacomCBS docuseries hispanic heritage month Horror rt labs Fall TV Rom-Com TLC pirates of the caribbean critics Universal a nightmare on elm street miniseries Mudbound Schedule Nat Geo cancelled television Tubi First Reviews Comedy Central Pirates worst movies kids X-Men Oscars YouTube lord of the rings IFC Films Biopics renewed TV shows American Society of Cinematographers crossover what to watch Musical Trophy Talk Mary Tyler Moore psycho foreign USA dogs wonder woman Reality Competition casting toy story monster movies canceled TruTV Black Mirror travel facebook diversity ratings concert Nominations video sports versus MSNBC franchise justice league TCA Lifetime Christmas movies Marvel Trailer golden globe awards The Academy Adult Swim Infographic Shondaland VOD Elton John Columbia Pictures romance Acorn TV Awards Tour cancelled TV shows comics Amazon Prime Video doctor who The Arrangement Chernobyl LGBTQ dreamworks crime drama hidden camera aapi zero dark thirty razzies supernatural boxoffice unscripted laika fresh MTV cooking jurassic park CW Seed Fox News Song of Ice and Fire young adult directors latino Hear Us Out AMC Plus GIFs streaming scary CNN NYCC CMT gangster 24 frames 2016 werewolf WGN Starz Box Office RT History new york live event Walt Disney Pictures CBS Music festivals TV movies book adaptation know your critic Martial Arts black DirecTV reviews mob Masterpiece comedies Interview Pixar biopic batman Pop TV TBS ghosts Pride Month rt archives ITV Comic-Con@Home 2021 halloween nbcuniversal Disney Channel cops Western Disney Ellie Kemper APB Image Comics mutant joker new zealand Disney Plus obituary Hallmark Christmas movies ABC Family Sony Pictures Instagram Live disaster indiana jones Cannes VICE Travel Channel National Geographic Disney+ Disney Plus Year in Review NBA teaser Christmas 2015 transformers james bond TV war IMDb TV Mindy Kaling revenge thriller hispanic Kids & Family Food Network dark adaptation MCU Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Winter TV scene in color finale Superheroes Binge Guide screenings spain royal family BBC One Arrowverse blockbuster witnail die hard The CW godzilla singing competition HBO Max New York Comic Con superhero CBS All Access feel good PlayStation 2018 politics documentary football VH1 Turner SDCC Extras Marvel Studios Watching Series Academy Awards zombie olympics criterion TCM Sneak Peek adventure independent true crime Ghostbusters Star Trek harry potter vs. satire YouTube Premium mission: impossible Rocketman Awards Reality Syfy classics black comedy Holidays rotten movies we love zombies Alien A&E indie Disney streaming service children's TV hollywood scary movies Valentine's Day social media Discovery Channel Mystery stoner rotten Comedy french Tumblr strong female leads Sci-Fi women Tokyo Olympics Women's History Month cartoon Vudu Countdown Warner Bros. saw Apple 71st Emmy Awards Film Festival 73rd Emmy Awards TV renewals Broadway El Rey stand-up comedy trailers posters international Creative Arts Emmys telelvision Universal Pictures biography spider-man Crunchyroll Paramount Network The Witch Television Critics Association BAFTA Paramount Plus Lionsgate period drama mcc Apple TV+ Pop DC Comics worst Turner Classic Movies Cosplay FOX SXSW See It Skip It blockbusters Anna Paquin reboot anthology Mary Poppins Returns Dark Horse Comics Hallmark BBC sitcom festival space 007 Rocky Sundance TV remakes television series E! all-time best japan 2021 psychological thriller Super Bowl Black History Month Marathons Legendary superman toronto natural history king arthur Sundance Now FX Netflix FXX documentaries sag awards Hulu President IFC live action adenture Family mockumentary Toys Spectrum Originals The Walt Disney Company heist movie GoT spinoff TV One based on movie DC streaming service Funimation streaming movies action-comedy RT21 OWN Exclusive Video Polls and Games 99% blaxploitation Amazon Studios archives cars History 2020 comiccon SundanceTV Pacific Islander Wes Anderson cults marvel comics dramedy quibi spanish language Stephen King TCA Awards parents chucky binge Comic Book high school sequels Podcast A24 basketball aliens king kong Winners Captain marvel Cartoon Network TCA Winter 2020 Crackle name the review Classic Film ABC Signature deadpool Teen Emmy Nominations 93rd Oscars vampires Grammys kong spy thriller medical drama Rock robots Quiz child's play TIFF green book technology Sundance Amazon Prime Tarantino HBO Spike Logo Spring TV Photos serial killer WarnerMedia sequel Paramount Shudder genre YouTube Red Red Carpet Ovation game show nfl films south america TCA 2017 Heroines kaiju political drama science fiction crime ABC DC Universe elevated horror christmas movies comic books australia 45