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Little Children (2006)

tomatometer

80

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 158
Fresh: 126 | Rotten: 32

Little Children takes a penetrating look at suburbia and its flawed individuals with an unflinching yet humane eye.

84

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 38 | Rotten: 7

Little Children takes a penetrating look at suburbia and its flawed individuals with an unflinching yet humane eye.

audience

82

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 94,535

My Rating

Movie Info

In a suburban town full of perfect parents devoted to rearing their children for Harvard futures, a stay-at-home mom has an affair with an ex-jock, stay-at-home dad who rebels against his wife's wishes that he become a big-bucks lawyer.

R,

Drama, Comedy

May 1, 2007

$5.3M

New Line Cinema - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Little Children

July 23, 2007:
Jackie Earle Haley, More Confirmed for Watchmen Cast
Expect to see a whole lot of "Watchmen" updates over the next several months. And here's one: Jackie...
June 18, 2007:
Patrick Wilson (Pretty Much) Confirmed for "Watchmen"
He did great work in both "Hard Candy" and "Little Children," so now it might be...

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All Critics (158) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (126) | Rotten (32) | DVD (18)

Little Children is disturbing and smart and the best satire of modern American suburbia since American Beauty.

January 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Well-acted and meticulously crafted, Little Children can feel less like a full-blooded representation of life than a disquieting literary exercise.

January 5, 2007
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I didn't like any of these characters, but I kept pulling for them anyway -- right up to the shock-o-riffic ending, when I felt I'd been sucker-punched.

January 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As in Field's first film, the characters are drawn with such compassion their follies become our own and their desires seem as vast as the night sky.

January 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Little Children includes all the clichéd scenarios of a midday TV sudser, but they're ratcheted up several seedy degrees.

January 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A beautifully observed, profoundly moving tale of suburban malaise.

January 4, 2007
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Playing up her sturdiness, her furry dark brows and the wiry unruliness of her old-gold hair, Winslet is the best Emma Bovary I've seen-even if she's named Sarah, not Emma.

September 2, 2014 Full Review Source: MetroActive
MetroActive

More than just another dissection of suburban sexual frustration, its concern with children, parents and those of us who lie somewhere in-between make Little Children a minor masterpiece.

April 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

It's not necessarily a cautionary tale, but more a look within a surface utopia that doesn't really exist.

February 9, 2011 Full Review Source: ReelzChannel.com

As commentary on our time, it may be accurate. As movie drama, it isn't so much overheated as reheated in the microwave on high.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Its antiseptic textures merely whimper 'Oscar clip'

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Bereft of a protagonist, the movie breaks down under the weight of absurd voice-over narration and an exploitative ending that is as indefensibly wrongheaded as it is cheap.

April 24, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com | Comments (2)
ColeSmithey.com

Blame Field (remember, Perrotta also wrote the knifelike Election), for facing the material too squarely.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

A risky and rewarding art film, but definitely for grown-ups.

June 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Metromix.com
Metromix.com

Little Children is about as close as a movie can get to literature %u2014 rich, nuanced, erudite and multi-layered.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: BrandonFibbs.com
BrandonFibbs.com

The leads are self-delusional, secretive, dependent, nakedly desperate at times, and all fascinating.

December 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinerina

The film is populated with such self-obsessed, distasteful characters, it's hard to care how or why any of them finds happiness.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

Provides a taut commentary on hypocrisy, human interaction, and the lies we tell ourselves...

July 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

predstavlja upravo ono %u0161to bi "ozbiljni" holivudski film trebao biti

June 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Index.hr

Peyton Place with a perv!

May 2, 2007 Full Review Source: EURWeb | Comments (2)
EURWeb

...a flawed work that sparkles only sporadically.

April 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

The success Fields has with this film comes through the uncomfortable intersection between comedy, melodrama and tragedy. Oh, and romance.

April 3, 2007 Full Review Source: culturevulture.net
culturevulture.net

Little Children's stone-cold suburbia reaches for Kubrick, but is also half Spielberg.

March 15, 2007 Full Review | Comment (1)

Un drama inteligente, tenso y reflexivo sobre la insatisfacción, el deseo, la infidelidad y las perversiones de un puñado de habitantes suburbanos. Excelente dirección y elenco.

March 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

Field directs all this with a restraint that sometimes verges on the dry, but there's little doubt the film builds to a shattering climax.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

While Little Children is replete with powerful moments and strong performances (particularly by erstwhile Bad News Bear Jackie Earle Hayley), it never quite adds up.

February 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Audience Reviews for Little Children

This was well on it's way to being an excellent movie - and then it just lost it's own thread.
August 11, 2007
brooklynspo

Super Reviewer

Author Tom Perrotta joined up with director/sometimes actor Todd Field to make an adaptation of his novel about the woes of living in suburbia, especially where the effects of adultery and having a registered sex offender living nearby are concerned. Incidentally, this is a lot like Revolutionary Road (and both star Kate Winslet), but this one is far less depressing, and has more obvious notes of sardonic satire.

The film starts off really cooking with some sharp and rather witty satire, but then eventually devolves into overwrought melodrama that runs overlong and doesn't really tell me me anything I didn't really already know. Plus, the movie makes it seem like all suburbanites suffer like these characters do, and that's just not the case at all.

I did enjoy the film a fair amount though, that much is certain. I'm mixed about the use of narration, especially since it mostly tells instead of showing, which gets to me. Also, I think the subplot about the sex offender could have been better incorporated into the story, especially since it is some of the best material here, with Jackie Earle Haley giving a brilliant performance in a really tough and unenviable role.

The stuff concerning adultery and midlife crisis is somewhat on the nose and reeks of rehahing of better movies, but it is still decently well played, and no one here really gives a bad performance, although Connelly could have been used more, and it did sorta seem like the actors were fishing for Oscars at times.

Still, the film looks great, the music's not bad, and I wasn't really as bored as I could have been.
June 10, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Freaking great! Its a real nice way of showing how intense suburban life can be. Though the ending is a bit of a fantasy, the rest is raw and powerful.
January 28, 2012
paul o.
paul oh

Super Reviewer

    1. Mary Ann: Oh that's nice. So now cheating on your husband makes you a feminist?
    2. Sarah Pierce: No, no, no. It's not the cheating. It's the hunger - the hunger for an alternative and the refusal to accept a life of unhappiness.
    – Submitted by Samira O (2 years ago)
    1. Sarah Pierce: My professors would kill me for even thinking this, but, in her own strange way Emma Bovary is a feminist.
    2. Mary Ann: Oh, that's nice. So now, cheating on your husband makes you a feminist.
    3. Sarah Pierce: No, no, no. It's not the cheating. It's the hunger. The hunger for an alternative and the refusal to accept a life of unhappiness.
    – Submitted by Raj G (2 years ago)
    1. May McGorvey: There. You look handsome. She won't be dissapointed
    2. Ronnie J. McGorvey: Wait'll she hears about my criminal record
    3. May McGorvey: I don't think you need to get into that just yet. Why don't you stick to small talk?
    – Submitted by Juan F (2 years ago)
    1. Sarah Pierce: How pretty is she?
    2. Brad Adamson: A knockout...
    3. Brad Adamson: Beauty is overratted, Sarah.
    – Submitted by Juan F (2 years ago)
    1. Ronnie J. McGorvey: I'm Good Now...
    – Submitted by Kylie H (3 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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