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Children of a Lesser God

Children of a Lesser God (1986)



Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 8,317

My Rating

Movie Info

Children of a Lesser God is a love story about a speech teacher who falls for a beautiful yet distant deaf girl in a small New England school for the deaf, and the obstacles that they face due to their differences. William Hurt plays James Leeds, a renegade teacher with an unconventional approach to education and a resume that includes stints as a bartender and a disk jockey. Upon his arrival, he is warned by school administrator Dr. Franklin (Philip Bosco) not to get creative with his

Nov 15, 2005

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (6) | DVD (5)

Children of a Lesser God, though given a handsome openness in Director Haines' production, cannot transcend the banalities of the play. But Matlin does. She is, one might say, a miracle worker.

March 16, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hurt seems to be bucking for at least two Oscar nominations here: one for his performance, the other for best echo effects by an interpreter of signed speech.

March 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A touching and universal love story.

July 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A genuinely touching love story and a clever gloss on the barriers and extensions of language.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's scarcely a single moment in it that seems to be spontaneous.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is romance the way Hollywood used to make it, with both conflict and tenderness, at times capturing the texture of the day-to-day, at times finding the lyrical moments when two lovers find that time stops.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A sappy but often genuinely moving and angry film about love, life and deafness.

March 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4

Not unlike The Miracle Worker, this teacher-student-breakthrough movie updates the genre with several changes: the teacher (William Hurt) is an unconventional male, the student (Marlee Matlin) is an attractive female, and their relationship involves sex.

May 31, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Unfortunately, launched Matlin on us.

July 29, 2004 | Comment (1)

Never develops beyond a Hollywood public service picture.

July 8, 2004

An amphibian movie which introduces us to the world of the deaf and then moves gracefully into universality as it explores the difficulties we all face in love relationships.

March 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

As atuações de William Hurt e Marlee Matlin são simplesmente inesquecíveis.

November 17, 2003
Cinema em Cena

Just flat out amazing.

September 23, 2003

The film often makes for crackling good drama with plenty of leavening humor and magnificent performances by Hurt and newcomer Matlin.

July 30, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Chemistry between Hurt and Matlin is what makes this one better than most romantic dramas.

July 26, 2002

The film is highlighted by a tremendous debut performance (Academy Award winning, in fact) by Marlee Matlin.

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

below the surface level of a movie for the deaf lies a movie for the intelligent

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Children of a Lesser God

A commentary on the state of the deaf community after so many years of innovation in teaching techniques, medicine, and biology, was missing from this romantic drama. Marlee Matlin was a great choice in casting, and her emotional portrayal of a deaf custodian was surely realistic and award show worthy, but many theater goers were probably filled with unanswered questions concerning what it is to be taken advantage of. The relationship between herself and Hurt's character is not only rooted in traditional truth but has a deeper chemistry that resonates. It was very enjoyable to watch Hurt teach children through relatibility, which is a tried and true formula, but he never gets Matlin out of her shell to a point where one can be satisifed. Slightly underwhelming.
February 28, 2011

Super Reviewer

Slow and boring. The "love" seemed rushed and shallow for the depths of such drama! Performances for this movie have been overrated!
February 27, 2011

Super Reviewer

Marlee Matlin is mysterious, beautiful, angry, and I've fallen into the pool with her. Film itself is a little patchy and some directorial choices aren't strong enough but the story is poignant and sweetly erotic.

**I know I keep changing this rating. It's probably just proximity afterglow from Marlee Matlin being so rock-awesome on Dancing With the Stars.
April 3, 2008

Super Reviewer

    1. Sarah Norman: Could you please speak up!
    – Submitted by Jesse K (11 months ago)
    1. Sarah Norman: Until you let me be an I the way you are an I, you can never come into my silence and know me.
    – Submitted by Richard B (16 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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