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London River (2011)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 31
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 3

London River is a showcase of dynamite acting that more than overcomes its politically blunt story.


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 1

London River is a showcase of dynamite acting that more than overcomes its politically blunt story.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 10,127

My Rating

Movie Info

London 2005--It's the story of Ousmane and Mrs Sommers, both humble people living ordinary lives, he in France, she in the Channel Islands. He has a son - she has a daughter - they both are students in London. On July 7th 2005, without any news of their dear children, they decide to start a journey together in search of the two teenagers. And although they come from different religious backgrounds - Ousmane is Muslim and Mrs Sommers' Christian - they will share the same hope in finding their

Mar 5, 2012


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December 8, 2011:
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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (3) | DVD (2)

The film is a matter of Brenda Blethyn's performance vs. Sotigui Kouyate's presence.

February 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It would be nice to say that Bouchareb, who also wrote and directed "Days of Glory" and "Outside the Law," succeeds. He does not entirely. But he doesn't fail, either.

January 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Blethyn and Kouyaté inhabit and expand the film's earnestly instructive intentions, leaving us with a deeply-felt experience rather than a naively-sketched lesson.

December 8, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"London River'' features on-target acting by its two leads, but they receive scant support from the wobbly plot.

December 8, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Demonstrates how great acting can infuse a banal, politically correct drama with dollops of emotional truth.

December 6, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's such a graceful sense of restraint in how this real-life tragedy is treated, one that filters any potential for ripped-from-yesterday's-headlines sensationalism through a respectful requiem of loss and grief.

December 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though the arc of the story is fairly predictable, Brenda Blethyn and Sotigui Kouyate bring humanity to their roles.

March 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Mark Leeper's Reviews
Mark Leeper's Reviews

There isn't a whole lot of nuance in writer-director Rachid Bouchareb's unapologetically political story. But Blethyn's performance ultimately draws viewers in.

January 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

Powerful. Director Rachid Bouchareb draws excellent, haunting performances from Blethyn and Kouyate. Ultimately moving and cautionary, "London River" shouldn't be missed.

December 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Dearest
Movie Dearest

Not surprisingly, the choice of the actress who played lead female character in Mike Leigh's "Secrets and Lies" betrays an affinity for Leigh in more than just the casting--and there's nothing wrong with that.

December 9, 2011 Full Review Source:

[T]wo strangers surprisingly find that horror makes the globalization of terror very personal [with] Blethyn's convincing performance [as] a desperate mother.

December 9, 2011 Full Review Source:

An engaging morality play about the quest of an English woman and an African Muslim to find their children after the 2005 terrorist attack in London.

December 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Bouchareb's greatest accomplishment is successfully tackling class, grief and Islamophobia.

December 7, 2011 Full Review Source:

Although the film occasionally cuts away to contextualized clips from news reports, it keeps its focus small-scale, filtering the world historical through the intimately personal.

December 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

The film's message about these worried individuals and the larger family of all humanity is a bit obvious at times, but the performances keep you watching.

January 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Un retrato humano, sobrio y sensible, que reflexiona sobre los prejuicios y la tolerancia racial, cultural y religiosa en el contexto de los atentados terroristas de Londres. Estupenda labor de sus dos protagonistas.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

This gentle melodrama uses the July 2005 terrorist bombings in London as a jumping off point for a tender tale of clashing cultures united in grief.

July 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Scotsman

A low key drama about parental instincts crossing international/cultural/religious boundaries as well as a haunting reminder about how little we know our children once they've fled the nest, London River feels unexpectedly one-dimensional.

July 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post

Audience Reviews for London River

Very touching film. Well made. I have always thought that Brenda Blethyn was an exceptional actress...I still think so. She carried most of the movie herself, and she did it very well.
June 14, 2012

Super Reviewer

On July 7, 2005, Elisabeth(Brenda Blethyn) is watching the news when reports start to come in of the terrorist bombings in London and tries calling her daughter there. After a couple of days and no response, she leaves her home in Guernsey and travels to London. When her daughter is not in at her apartment, her landlord(Roschdy Zem) kindly lets Elisabeth in to wait for her. Meanwhile, Ousmane(Sotigui Kouyate) has arrived from France to look for his son who he has not seen since he was six and asks a local imam(Sami Bouajila) for help.

"London River" is a poignant, evocative and devastating movie that shows that sometimes simple is the best way to go, headlined as it is by a couple of superb performances. The movie also works well in bringing a huge tragedy down to a deeply personal level. And making it more interesting is the subject of Elisabeth's ignorance of not only her daughter's life in London but also of multicultural London in general, far away from her isolated farm, just as Ousmane also has little idea of what his son is like now grown up. But like any parent, Elisabeth and Ousmane worry about their children, even now that they are adults.
July 14, 2013
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

A beautiful story of two souls whose loved ones are overtaken by grander tragic events and how they find a connection that goes beyond language, prejudice, culture and life background.
January 16, 2012
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

London River the story about a mother whose daughter went missing after the London attacks in 2005. The movie followed her efforts to find out what happened to her and her struggle to accept reality. She met an old man who same as her were looking for his son. The story started very talkative in the beginning but then it turned into a heart breaking story as you felt sorry for these parents what they went through.She was a British, living on the island Guernsey, widow, and he was black, came from Africa, a Muslim and worked in France. Everything separated them,religion, language, race and appearance. But they team up together because of fate of their children, and they went together through the painful stages of fear, hope, and desperation.
April 27, 2010
Daisy Maduro

Super Reviewer

    1. Elisabeth Sommers: Where's my daughter?
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. Elisabeth Sommers: She has been converted!
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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