Critics Consensus

A well-mounted production is undermined by a muddled, absurd storyline of questionable taste.



Total Count: 146


Audience Score

User Ratings: 28,228
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Movie Info

Anna is a young widow who is finally getting on with her life after the death of her husband, Sean. Now engaged to be married, Anna meets a ten-year-old boy who tells her he is Sean reincarnated. Though his story is both unsettling and absurd, Anna can't get the boy out of her mind. And much to the concern of her fiancée, her increased contact with him leads her to question the choices she has made in her life.

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Critic Reviews for Birth

All Critics (146) | Top Critics (43)

Audience Reviews for Birth

  • Nov 03, 2011
    The very first scene (A flashback) shows a a man running through Central Park, New York who dies of a heartattack. Who is this person? Jump to the present and a woman is seen standing at a gravesite in mourning. The woman's name is Anna played by Nicole Kidman. Her husband, the one who died at Central Park, is Sean. Anna is going to be married to another man and yet there is a third character, a child actually who claims he is Anna's first husband Sean. The child is also named Sean (Cameron Bright) shows up at Anna's house unexpectedly and breaks out the news. Anna at first doesn't believe him but later does when the young Sean collapses. "Birth" is an intelligent and intriguing picture. I am not sure if the film wants the audience to believe in reincarnations and such but does so with maturity. The performances is all first rate from Nicole Kidman (her best since Eyes Wide Shut), Danny Houston, Lauren Becall, and Cameron Bright. The director Jonathan Glazer uses tight close-ups and slow dolly shots for the audience to get into the minds of Anna and the young Sean. The look of the film is done beautifully and yet quietly creepy by Harris Savides. The interiors is posh and wealthy (something i'm not even accustomed too) but with every wealthy interior lies dread or gloom. Im puzzled why a lot of people didn't like this? Maybe they just don't like dark pictures that carry some sort of spiritual texture?
    Brian R Super Reviewer
  • Sep 04, 2011
    Birth is a beautiful and provocative story of love, death and irrationality. Haunting and lingering performances from Nicole Kidman and young Cameron Bright. Birth is the story of a young boy who claims to be the re-incarnation of the husband of a woman about to remarry after 10 years. Itâ(TM)s an eerie and elegant psychological film brilliantly crafted and paced by director Jonathan Glazer. I tend to think, if you ever been truly in love youâ(TM)ll find Birth less offensive and more emotionally riveting.
    Jasen L Super Reviewer
  • Jun 02, 2011
    I feel like there's something missing here....anyway, I fucking love Desplat's amazing scores.
    Cita W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 01, 2009
    I initially dismissed this as pretentious tripe, watching "Birth" again softened my view considerably and I rather like it. Still pretentious, but I have a better sense of what Glazer is trying to say about the American aristocracy (that they are shallow, empty morons) and that the film is less of a mystery centered on the possibility that this boy is the reincarnated soul of the dead husband, and more about how we assign identity . . . both to ourselves and to others. This might also be Kidman's best performance.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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