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The Other Son (2012)

tomatometer

77

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 5

No consensus yet.

audience

78

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 7,128

My Rating

Movie Info

"The Other Son" is the moving and provocative tale of two young men -- one Israeli, the other Palestinian -- who discover they were accidentally switched at birth, and the complex repercussions facing them and their respective families. (c) Cohen Media

PG-13,

Drama

Nathalie Saugeon, Lorraine Levy, Noam Fitoussi

Mar 19, 2013

$1.2M

Cohen Media Group - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (51) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (10)

It is easy to imagine other, darker, results after the opening accident, but Levy's film, pitched firmly as if it were the only possibility, makes it seem so.

June 17, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A humane but emotionally anemic message movie whose dramatic craft doesn't live up to its good intentions.

November 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lévy generally succeeds in creating a compelling, humanistic family drama, even if some viewers may reject the movie's final note of optimism.

November 2, 2012 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the end, it seems, this is not a story about two families, and two lands. It's a story about one family, and one world.

October 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Comment (1)
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Levy handles with aplomb what could easily have been a messy mix of emotions and politics.

October 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The intention here is plain - we are all human, we can all be family - but Levy weaves the mix of identity crises, cultural mingling and common ground slyly.

October 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The ancient question of nature versus nurture is dramatically explored in "The Other Son," a memorable film about the concept of two infants being accidentally switched at birth.

September 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

The Other Son is a hopeful, affective humanistic drama; infused with the incalculable weight of ideology and history.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: 2UE That Movie Show
2UE That Movie Show

This moving, emotionally concise human drama is easily one of the most remarkable films about the unending conflict in the Middle East.

May 4, 2013 Full Review Source: 3AW

Somehow Levy - and her actors - avoid sentimentality and trite homilies. The Other Son explores the age-old nature vs. nurture divide, and ends up as refutation of ignorance and hate.

April 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Some have accused Levy's pic of naïvete, and yet this isn't trying to make bold, heavy political statements, as the director is more interested in the human side of a perhaps unlikely but intriguing plot set-up.

April 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Rip It Up

The Other Son is an interesting, life-affirming story.

April 17, 2013 Full Review Source: ABC Radio Brisbane
ABC Radio Brisbane

The film goes to great lengths to make us believe its premise, and then use it to make a humane and surprisingly hopeful film about Israeli-Palestinian relations.

February 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

The actors are all excellent, the storytelling compassionate, and the overall sense one takes from the film is more humane than political.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

At times, certain supporting characters come off as mouthpieces for political points of view, but Levy isn't making a polemic, and her ultimate message is positive and humane.

November 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly
Las Vegas Weekly

Though lacking subtlety, the story conveys a rare sensitivity and compassion. But what divides humans historically are more complex issues of power and domination. And shouldn't be buried, even in fiction, under sentimental appeals which change nothing.

November 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Long Island Press
Long Island Press

The movie doesn't need to preach a "we're all equal" message. When we watch the boys bond with their new kin over food or music, then see the lines of Palestinians plodding through armed checkpoints to reach jobs or visit Israeli friends, we get the point.

November 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

The concept feels very designed-to-teach-us-lessons, but the execution is surprisingly graceful.

November 15, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

A provocative, moving social drama, superbly thought out and well acted by its cast.

November 13, 2012 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

What makes an Israeli or Palestinian?

November 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Compelling and emotional, exploring many facets of self-identity.

November 6, 2012 Full Review Source: SSG Syndicate
SSG Syndicate

How the sons begin to share each other's lives is sensitively portrayed, and the film's more original than the usual Romeo and Juliet personalization of the regional divide.

November 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

An unbelievable situation becomes remarkably tangible here and oh so pertinent.

October 31, 2012 Full Review Source: GreenCine
GreenCine

Audience Reviews for The Other Son

An intriguing, well acted story about two boys accidentally switched at birth, and how they and their families discover the truth after one of them applies to be in the military. This is a fascinating coming of age movie concerning identity, religion, politics, and allegiance to one's country, and how to deal with an impossible situation with no simple solution. As said, the acting is really solid, and the handle director Lorraine Levy has on his material is evident. The story hits a few lulls once in a while, but for most of its running time it is arresting, original, and ultimately pretty heart-breaking, even though it ends as positively as it possibly can given the circumstances of the boys and their families.
January 20, 2014
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Nice movie. Very touching. Good lessons for everyone...rather quickly done ending, though. Hate when they do that.
October 14, 2013
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

Obviously the predicament that one's child is not your own would be traumatic news in and of itself. But placing the babies on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and you have a most interesting twist to further complicate matters. French director Lorraine Levy sidesteps a deep discussion of the heated beliefs that underlie the political situation there. Instead the setting allows her to address various topics from a very intimate, personal perspective. In this way, the script suggests political disagreements between countries are more the result of governments fighting and less a cause célèbre of the actual citizens. This is a story about people. It asserts the idea that one's entire identity can be arbitrarily defined simply by geography. How that personality can change over time is also explored. If there is a failing, it's that the saga never fully resonates with the understanding needed to completely empathize with their plight. Despite the best of intentions, the setup feels slightly contrived. Although I was invested in their lives, I didn't experience the clarifying breakthrough that I felt the narrative required. Yet the performances still ring true. The sincerity of the actors elevate the plot past a mere concept created by a writer into a fascinating picture worth watching.
November 16, 2012
hobster1

Super Reviewer

A compelling drama that relies on the charisma of its two main characters and the way they deal with a delicate situation. But it leaves some loose ends and tries too obviously to make a statement, ending on a rather frustrating, optimistic note.
September 23, 2012
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

    1. Bilal: Have fun with the occupying forces?
    – Submitted by Frances H (7 months ago)
    1. Orith: It's their life; they have a right to know.
    – Submitted by Frances H (7 months ago)
    1. Joseph: Am I still Jewish?
    – Submitted by Frances H (7 months ago)
    1. Leila: Cars come first, then family.
    – Submitted by Frances H (7 months ago)
View all quotes (4)

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Foreign Titles

  • Le fils de l'autre (DE)
  • The Other Son (UK)
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