The Children Act Reviews

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January 18, 2019
The Children Act succumbs to melodrama and unfocused storytelling, mainly due to the many story threads that never truly develop. Fortunately, the film is enlivened by good performances by Emma Thompson and Fionn Whitehead.
January 3, 2019
Adam Henry initially exudes genuinely a sense of uncertain distance, post-transfusion, as he becomes increasingly fanatic... and as the sentimentality piles on in heavy, predictable slops, the film's sensitivity curdles unpleasantly into scepticism.
October 17, 2018
Thompson goes along with it as best as she can, but it's hard to watch this shift when we haven't been given any believable reason why Maye would fall for Adam's adolescent courtship and love poems.
October 12, 2018
An affecting performances from the always reliable Emma Thompson is the best reason to see this otherwise dry and a bit unwieldy adaptation of the Ian McEwan novel.
September 28, 2018
The Children Act is a thoughtful examination that, unfortunately and distractingly, bites off a little more than is necessary...
September 26, 2018
Although Emma Thompson is a gem, The Children Act minimizes its most interesting courtroom narrative with insignificant storylines during the first half before transforming into an entirely different - and less absorbing - picture in the second.
September 23, 2018
There's an artificiality to it, from the set pieces to the supporting characters... you'll find that there isn't much to latch on to, in spite of Emma Thompson's performance.
September 20, 2018
"The Children Act" isn't all that interesting a movie, despite the many talented people involved and the generally high level of work they do.
September 20, 2018
As the judge, Emma Thompson soars. However, several things about this drama annoyed me enough to take me out of the film, and I always hate it when that happens.
September 18, 2018
If you like your dramas in film form that are of the British variety then this one may be for you. For me though, while it's a well-acted movie, I just couldn't get over how uninteresting the actual story was that was presented.
September 14, 2018
Thompson has incredible chemistry with Tucci and also shares a couple of staggeringly intimate moments with young Whitehead that brought tears to my eyes. She is the reason to watch this movie.
Top Critic
September 13, 2018
Characters move through their posh habitats, explaining what they've done, are about to do, should have done years ago. Their confusion is fine; the fuzziness of the filmmaking less so.
September 13, 2018
The acting is not the problem. It rarely is. And, within parameters, the movie is not dull. Just don't expect to feel much short of guilt in response to your own apathy.
September 13, 2018
The Children Act stages the clumsiness of belated domestic confrontations with the very coldness that's kept its characters from having discussed their emotions for decades and from having had sex for almost a year.
September 13, 2018
A beautifully internalized performance from Ms. Thompson and the various efforts to highlight the cinematic potential in Fiona's anguish... can't override the tidy ironies of Mr. McEwan's design.
September 12, 2018
The Children Act is a messy, ultimately unsuccessful movie made by the best people for the job.
September 9, 2018
The melodrama is piled on during the final act to an unbearable degree with material not even Emma Thompson can save.
August 28, 2018
The film thinks itself very grown-up and, like many films that think themselves that, plays out its confrontations in the style of a middlebrow play.
August 27, 2018
The Children Act can feel sluggish and melodramatic, weighed down with the use of superfluous flashbacks, letter-reading voice-overs, and the repeated use of stodgy Bach passages. Intelligent, but airless.
August 26, 2018
File this under missed opportunity. More often than not, it feels like a pretentious episode of Holby City. Or a shallow take on John Huston's The Dead.
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