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Ratings & Reviews

The Child


Rated R for brief language.

R In Theaters 03/24/2006 , 95min.
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Critic score based on 34 reviews

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Critic Reviews powered by Metacritic ™

Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
Like all the Dardennes' films, L'Enfant is a vivid, Dickensian report from the most dispossessed precincts of society. But the film concludes on an optimistic note, at least for the Dardennes. It's still the worst of times, the filmmakers seem to suggest, but we're still capable of humanity, if not hope. Full Review
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Astonishingly vivid. The illusion of reality is so nearly complete in this magnificent French-language film by the Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne that the screen becomes a perfectly transparent window on lives hanging in the balance. Full Review
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
The Belgian directing brothers deal with themes they have made their own: the difficulty of being moral in an amoral world and the grinding, unforgiving nature of reality for those forced by poverty to live on the margins of society. These are not easy films to experience, but they are uncompromising and unforgettable. Full Review
Manohla Dargis
The New York Times
The Dardennes know how to build a scene for maximum tension: you yearn to find out who bought Jimmy, and whether his fate lies with a childless couple or an organ mill. But because they make moral thrillers, what matters isn't only actions and events but their emotional, spiritual and psychological costs. Full Review
Noel Murray
The Onion (A.V. Club)
L'Enfant is intended as a pointed critique of pop culture's celebration of arrested adolescence. The title could refer to Renier's baby, Renier himself, or even the gang of schoolboy robbers that he's gathered around himself. Full Review

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