Little Men (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

Little Men (2016)



Critic Consensus: Little Men takes a compassionate look at the ways in which adult problems impact childhood friendships -- and offers another affecting New York drama from director Ira Sachs.

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When 13-year-old Jake's (Theo Taplitz) grandfather dies, his family moves from Manhattan back into his father's old Brooklyn home. There, Jake befriends the charismatic Tony (Michael Barbieri), whose single mother Leonor (Paulina Garcia), a dressmaker from Chile, runs the shop downstairs. Soon, Jake's parents Brian (Greg Kinnear) and Kathy (Jennifer Ehle) -- one, a struggling actor, the other, a psychotherapist -- ask Leonor to sign a new, steeper lease on her store. For Leonor, the proposed new rent is untenable, and a feud ignites between the adults. At first, Jake and Tony don't seem to notice; the two boys, so different on the surface, begin to develop a formative kinship as they discover the pleasures of being young in Brooklyn. Jake aspires to be an artist, while Tony wants to be an actor, and they have dreams of going to the same prestigious arts high school together. But the children can't avoid the problems of their parents forever, and soon enough, the adult conflict intrudes upon the borders of their friendship.

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Theo Taplitz
as Jake Jardine
Michael Barbieri (II)
as Tony Calvelli
Paulina García
as Leonor Calvelli
Greg Kinnear
as Brian Jardine
Jennifer Ehle
as Kathy Jardine
Kellan McCann
as Tony's Teammate
Mauricio Bustamante
as Acting Teacher
Johnny Serret
as Museum Visitor
Stan Carp
as Sal Bartolini
John Procaccino
as Mr. Plummer
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Critic Reviews for Little Men

All Critics (137) | Top Critics (33)

As a referendum on gentrification in Brooklyn, the movie can occasionally be a bit tedious. But the entire cast is strong, especially Michael Barbieri.

March 16, 2017 | Full Review…

Its smallness makes it grand and moving. These are the things, these little moments, decisions and consequences that most human lives are made of, after all.

December 30, 2016 | Full Review…

Quiet but engrossing.

September 15, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Shoring together small moments from the lives of believable characters, in a manner free of special effects and fluky plotting, and with the same dramatic and visual gusto one would apply to an epic is what independent filmmaking should be all about.

September 9, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

As in the films of the French New Wave's Eric Rohmer, nothing cloying happens here, nothing plainly engineered to elicit emotions. But emotions are elicited - moral and ethical concerns are addressed, examined, defined.

September 2, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Sachs is a wonderfully humane filmmaker. There are never out and out saints or demons in his films, but richly detailed, relatable lives offered for us to understand.

September 1, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Little Men


Little indie film that has strong young characters. The film is a drama and doesn't get lost in the Hollywood melodrama world. The acting is top notch, just the pacing is a little off, never giving us the character drama that it promises. Seeing the 98 percent from critics is disappointing, this film while being good is not at a prestige rating. The divide between audience and critics is clearly starting to grow, why need critics anymore? 27/04/2017.

Brendan Nicholls
Brendan Nicholls

Super Reviewer

Just fucking perfect. What astonishing performances, what remarkable writing, what specific vision. Beautiful.

Daniel Parsons
Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer


My last MIFF session had me a title I hoped would raise expectations, However there's not much to say about the overall encompassing themes and moral message 'Little Men' may set itself up to be (well... for me I guess). I will say however, there is definitely a lot this film does terrifically well, the performances from a talented cast as well as well written characters are excellent. The two young boys being the main standouts as the main characters, There's definitely a great degree of friendship to be had with these characters. The more overarching conflict concerns involves both boy's families in which adult problems can impact young lives. While the coming-of-age aspect could of been played upon more as well as developing some of the characters more. The big entertainment factor of this film lies within the subplots and doesn't directly involve the film's main subject matter all that much. So it's a little disappointing that given the fine writing and direction, I guess I would have wanted some more focus on the character development than the conflicting interest between one another. It's recommended though, if you're familiar with the director's catalog (I might not be that familiar).

Luke Eberhardt
Luke Eberhardt

Super Reviewer

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