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London River is a showcase of dynamite acting that more than overcomes its politically blunt story. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

The tragic London bombings of July 7, 2005, bring together the unlikeliest of pairs when Elisabeth Sommers (Brenda Blethyn), a prejudiced British Christian, and Ousmane (Sotigui Kouyaté), a solemn French Muslim, cross paths. Sommers is searching for her daughter, and Ousmane for his son. Eventually discovering their children were involved in a romantic relationship, Sommers and Ousmane must overcome their differences to achieve their now shared objective -- finding their missing kids.

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Critic Reviews for London River

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (3)

  • It's astonishingly moving, in its quiet, harrowing, weary way, although you may rightly ask: if it's so painful, why would I want to sit though it? Because, my dears, that is life.

    August 30, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The film is a matter of Brenda Blethyn's performance vs. Sotigui Kouyate's presence.

    February 16, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • It would be nice to say that Bouchareb, who also wrote and directed "Days of Glory" and "Outside the Law," succeeds. He does not entirely. But he doesn't fail, either.

    January 12, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Blethyn and Kouyat inhabit and expand the film's earnestly instructive intentions, leaving us with a deeply-felt experience rather than a naively-sketched lesson.

    December 8, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • "London River'' features on-target acting by its two leads, but they receive scant support from the wobbly plot.

    December 8, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Demonstrates how great acting can infuse a banal, politically correct drama with dollops of emotional truth.

    December 6, 2011 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for London River

  • Jul 14, 2013
    On July 7, 2005, Elisabeth(Brenda Blethyn) is watching the news when reports start to come in of the terrorist bombings in London and tries calling her daughter there. After a couple of days and no response, she leaves her home in Guernsey and travels to London. When her daughter is not in at her apartment, her landlord(Roschdy Zem) kindly lets Elisabeth in to wait for her. Meanwhile, Ousmane(Sotigui Kouyate) has arrived from France to look for his son who he has not seen since he was six and asks a local imam(Sami Bouajila) for help. "London River" is a poignant, evocative and devastating movie that shows that sometimes simple is the best way to go, headlined as it is by a couple of superb performances. The movie also works well in bringing a huge tragedy down to a deeply personal level. And making it more interesting is the subject of Elisabeth's ignorance of not only her daughter's life in London but also of multicultural London in general, far away from her isolated farm, just as Ousmane also has little idea of what his son is like now grown up. But like any parent, Elisabeth and Ousmane worry about their children, even now that they are adults.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 24, 2011
    Very touching film. Well made. I have always thought that Brenda Blethyn was an exceptional actress...I still think so. She carried most of the movie herself, and she did it very well.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2011
    Using the july 2005 london bus bomb as a story device, a mother brilliantly played by brenda blethyn, travels to london from her home in france when she sees shocking events on tv, and unable to make contact with daughter. once there she is determined to find her whereabouts and in to story comes the father of the boyfriend shes seeing. together and on her behalf reluctantly team to find them both. a film with a emotion running through it, and a interesting charactor for blethyn, part of her story being not being able to understand the relationship her daughter had started while in london, a big fact being his muslim heritage. the film plays well, and using current events to move story along a interesting and relevent watch.
    scott g Super Reviewer
  • Jan 13, 2011
    A beautiful story of two souls whose loved ones are overtaken by grander tragic events and how they find a connection that goes beyond language, prejudice, culture and life background.
    John B Super Reviewer

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