As an experienced film critic with a deep understanding of the complexities of Holocaust cinema, I've compiled a list of 10 essential movies that portray the horrors of this historical period while offering diverse perspectives and lingering emotional impact. This list is ranked from 10 to 1, with each entry providing a concise summary, rating out of 5 stars, and a reason to watch explanation. 

Au Revoir Les Enfants (Goodbye, Children) (1987) 


Set in a French boarding school during World War II, the film portrays the friendship between two boys, one of whom is Jewish and hiding his identity. 

Sophie's Choice (1982) 


Adapted from the novel, the film follows Sophie, a Polish Catholic woman faced with a devastating choice at a Nazi concentration camp. 

The Pianist (2002) 


Based on a memoir, the film tells the story of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish-Jewish pianist who survives the Holocaust in Warsaw. 

Schindler's List (1993) 


This iconic film depicts the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saves over a thousand Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. 

Night and Fog (1955) 


A haunting documentary that uses archival footage and poetic narration to reflect on the atrocities of the Holocaust. 

Son of Saul (2015) 


Set in Auschwitz, the film follows Saul Ausländer, a Jewish Sonderkommando, as he grapples with the horrors of the concentration camp and searches for a proper burial for a young boy he believes to be his son.