Child 44

Critics Consensus

There's a gripping story at the heart of Child 44 and a solid performance from Tom Hardy in the lead, but it all still adds up to a would-be thriller that lacks sufficient thrills.



Total Count: 82


Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,959
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Movie Info

A politically-charged serial killer thriller set in 1953 Soviet Russia, CHILD 44 chronicles the crisis of conscience for secret police agent Leo Demidov [Tom Hardy], who loses status, power and home when he refuses to denounce his own wife, Raisa [Noomi Rapace], as a traitor. Exiled from Moscow to a grim provincial outpost, Leo and Raisa join forces with General Mikhail Nesterov [Gary Oldman] to track down a serial killer who preys on young boys. Their quest for justice threatens a system-wide cover-up enforced by Leo's psychopathic rival Vasili [Joel Kinnaman], who insists "There is no crime in Paradise." (C) Lionsgate

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Tom Hardy
as Leo Demidov
Noomi Rapace
as Raisa Demidov
Gary Oldman
as General Mikhail Nesterov
Vincent Cassel
as Major Kuzmin
Jason Clarke
as Anatoly Tarasovich Brodsky
Paddy Considine
as Vladimir Malevich
Michael Nardone
as Semyon Okun
Ivan G'Vera
as Budenny
Charles Dance
as Major Grachev
Tara Fitzgerald
as Inessa Nesterov
Nikolaj Lie Kaas
as Ivan Sukov
Ned Dennehy
as Coroner
Sam Spruell
as Doctor Tyapkin
Josef Atlin
as Alexander
Petr Vanek
as Fyodor
Fares Fares
as Alexei Andreyev
Agnieszka Grochowska
as Nina Andreyeva
Xavier Atkins
as Young Leo Demidov
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News & Interviews for Child 44

Critic Reviews for Child 44

All Critics (82) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (60)

  • The movie hints at a riveting story but is incapable of delivering it.

    Apr 19, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Given these actors and the ravishing decrepitude of the locations and costumes and the lustrous cinematography of Oliver Wood, I found it more than watchable the whole way through.

    Apr 18, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Equally bloated and scatterbrained.

    Apr 17, 2015 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • "Child 44" is involving despite itself.

    Apr 16, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Tom Hardy rolls his Russian accent around his mouth like its a shot of vodka to be savoured. With his Soviet-issue brutalist haircut and shambling bear's gait, plus the accent as thick as borscht, he inhabits completely the part of Leo Demidov.

    Apr 16, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • [An] unrelentingly grim, plodding, and close-to-incoherent adaptation of Tom Rob Smith's best-selling mystery.

    Apr 16, 2015 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Child 44

  • Dec 26, 2018
    Tom Hardy is in fine form and the film has atmosphere, but the pacing is slow and the subplots outshine the central story. The villains are plentiful and they take away from the central villain who is murdering all the children. The filmmakers should have focused on the core story and abandoned some of the subplots that consume the running time. There was a better film here and if you believe the backstory of the extra long running time, you might assume a directors version could be out there. The film that was released was quite flawed and never attempts to answer the questions we have. I liked the acting and the overall story, but as a serial killer movie, this fails miserably. 26/12/2018.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Apr 24, 2016
    Such a prolific tale and one of my favorite books, but in this case it didn't transfer to film well. I think there was good performances by the actors and it had good cinematography, it lacks in the screenplay story. I think a lot more could have been done to have this be an eye opening top notch thriller, as it stands it is a long drawn out cat and mouse tale.
    Jarrin R Super Reviewer
  • Apr 08, 2016
    Great cast and idea ruined by an overblown screenplay and terrible lighting.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 29, 2016
    Ambitious, but utterly effective and insightful, Child 44 is a slow-burn thriller that serves as an equally effective historical piece. Set in post-world War II Soviet Russia and based on the novel of the same name, Child 44 follows the exploits of a mid-level Soviet secret police agent, Leo Demidov, who finds himself mired in two controversies-one involving the suspected treason by his wife, and the other regarding a string of child murders the State refuses to acknowledge for, as Stalin would say, "There are no murders in paradise". Of all the things Child 44 does right, I found the greatest to be the accurate and devastating picture it painted of Stalin-era Soviet Russia. It was a brutal time, a time of poverty, paranoia, secrecy, and self-delusion. Stalin was a monster, and his regime monstrous. For what are likely a number of reasons, Hollywood has shied away from depicting its injustices. Child 44, however, captured all of this, and did so with skillful nuance and through the eyes of one of the regime's brighter men-who must contend with his own better judgement every day. This historical backdrop amplified the other plots at hand, and makes for enthralling viewing. The direction is methodical and does a strong job with pacing what is otherwise a very large plot, a plot that encompasses a litany of subplots and inter-character dynamics. What perhaps anchor this the most are the performances, with a masterful cast. For his part, Tom Hardy stole the show, inhibiting every scene with an undeniable presence. This, combined with sharp cinematography, make for a film that is compelling from start to finish. Is the film perfect? No, it can rightfully be described as "overstuffed" and a bit bloated with its running time. There are moments, to be sure, when one thinks-I bet this worked better as a novel. There were a couple of points where the film could've ended, but didn't-and that is to its detriment. With that granted, I still felt it did quite a strong job staying coherent and indeed, poignant, despite a hefty script. Excellent. 4/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer

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