Our Children - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Our Children Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 11, 2012
Even though the first scene eliminates some of the impact that the end should cause, one cannot deny how powerful and moving this film is - and Émilie Dequenne is fantastic, conveying with such agonizing intensity the whole suffering of a depressed woman.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ July 24, 2015
There is an old saying that as embracing as family can be, it can also be a trap. With the sobering movie "Our Children," we are given the most extreme example of that possible, beginning with hints of an unspeakable crime that is eventually revealed.

For Murielle(Emilie Dequenne), her own family history has been tumultuous before meeting Mounir(Tahar Rahim), as exemplified by her difficult older sister Francoise(Stephane Bissot). Even at the young age of 20, Murielle is ready to settle down with Mounir, even as she is cautioned by Mounir's stepfather Andre(Niels Arestrup) to take her time. She doesn't.

Still, this is a family with its warning signs if one is looking for them. Andre is only married to Fatima(Mounia Raoui) so she could get her papers. But otherwise he has no apparent outside social life, as he is invited along to Mounir and Murielle's honeymoon. Mounir has failed his exams, so he has settled down to work in Andre's office.
Super Reviewer
May 12, 2013
Devastating and hard to watch in places, this is an important film that will linger in the memory.
½ September 30, 2013
I was very spectacle within the first half hour, watching life through different speeds and the start of a family, clearly leading to a tragedy. The the first hour is absent of any real lessons or deep morals and only demonstrates the struggles of having young children. Arestrup and Rahim work magic together again, and obviously have learned to have some of the greatest on screen chemistry between an elder and a young man in the last decade, thanks to the writing of Thomas Bidegain. Within the second half of the film you really get to see the tension, the somewhat psychotic lifestyle that is taking place. The normal struggles of a family become terrifying realizations of hostile behavior, anxiety and depression. Without real patience and any interest in dysfunctional situations, someone might find this film 'boring' and possibly even decide not to finish, but I would see that as a regretful decision.
July 31, 2013
It's an all too common trope for a movie to begin with its end before flashing back and building from the story's initial outset of events. But in director Joachim Lafosse's stunning domestic drama "Our Children" it's to remind us of the irreversible. In 2007, a Belgian woman named Genevieve Lhermitte (dubbed Murielle here and played with the utmost conviction by Émilie Dequenne) slit each of her five children's throats with a knife stolen from a grocery store while her husband was visiting family in Morocco. (She was subsequently charged with first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.)

"Our Children" opens with Murielle in a hospital ward weeping burial plans. What happens next describes the prior buoyant relationship between her and Mounir ("A Prophet" and "The Past's" Tahar Rahim) and his surrogate father André (Niels Arestrup, also of "A Prophet"), a physician who lives with and financially provides for the quickly married couple. Though Lafosse isn't so much interested in the HOW of the events as he is the WHY, and even then the reasons are more ruminative than explanatory or demystifying, and despite that Lafosse -- who wrote the loosely-based script with Thomas Bidegain and Matthieu Reynaert -- largely sticks to the facts of the matter, though issuing Murielle and Mounir four kids instead of five.

I wouldn't have it any other way. So much as I am someone who can easily stomach anything in the gore range of "Antichrist" and "Salo" to the relatively obscure gross-out masterpiece "Melancholie der Engel", the "Blue Valentine"/"-Is the Warmest Color"-type emotional devastation of "Our Children" -- and this just might have been kicking in the caffeine I'd ingested both beforehand and throughout my specific viewing -- I found to be particularly draining. For that I want to champion especially Dequenne as the grieving first bride and then mother. It takes a certain dens- and virtuosity to play seduced and abandoned with as much fragile sympathy as she does. (One scene in particular that has Murielle breaking into tears during a love song she hears driving on the radio, guided in one motionless take, though the film as a whole missed the Oscar shortlist, should have nonetheless been submitted as the pièce de résistance of a separate highlight reel.)

Given the present themes of patriarchy and family life I can only imagine how Danish director Susanne Bier would have handled similar material, or, given "Our Children's" tricky grisly subject matter, the Parisian auteur Jacques Audiard of "Prophet" and "Rust & Bone" fame. But Lafosse chose to turn this into a movie, and it's the feature that should unofficially announce him as a filmmaker to be put on the map. This is a masterful rendition of real-life happenstance, told visually with the always peeking eye of a liable onlooker. We along with the film wonder, from the male-dominated perspective of our cultural delusion, if the postpartum depression of Genevieve Lhermitte could have been helped, and if five lives could have been saved. (83/100)
Super Reviewer
May 12, 2013
Devastating and hard to watch in places, this is an important film that will linger in the memory.
January 25, 2016
Hard story....harrowing to watch....but exceptionally well conveyed....
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ July 24, 2015
There is an old saying that as embracing as family can be, it can also be a trap. With the sobering movie "Our Children," we are given the most extreme example of that possible, beginning with hints of an unspeakable crime that is eventually revealed.

For Murielle(Emilie Dequenne), her own family history has been tumultuous before meeting Mounir(Tahar Rahim), as exemplified by her difficult older sister Francoise(Stephane Bissot). Even at the young age of 20, Murielle is ready to settle down with Mounir, even as she is cautioned by Mounir's stepfather Andre(Niels Arestrup) to take her time. She doesn't.

Still, this is a family with its warning signs if one is looking for them. Andre is only married to Fatima(Mounia Raoui) so she could get her papers. But otherwise he has no apparent outside social life, as he is invited along to Mounir and Murielle's honeymoon. Mounir has failed his exams, so he has settled down to work in Andre's office.
½ May 29, 2015
Joachim Lafosse has always had an extraordinary skill at presenting the most devastating stories in deceptively simple style. The viewer frequently has the feeling of being a sort of "fly on the wall" creating an almost voyeuristic tension. It is as if we have snuck into very intimate moments that whether we like it or not, it creates a disquieting tone -- all too realistic in feeling without any escape. In many ways, the camera's viewpoint pulls the audience into a position of not only caring but feeling helpless as we watch these people unravel. He managed a very similar feat in 2007's quietly intense "Private Property" However, in this brilliant film he explores an intelligent young woman's emotional and mental break which lead her to commit filicide. Along the way the film probes into some very difficult human conflicts in an almost casual way. This is a challenging, thought-provocking film that refuses to hold our hand -- and without ever leaning on obvious cinema ploys or techniques -- the film manages a violent shock. We don't have to see what has happened. And Lafosse is not an artist who holds your hand. This tragedy is all the more tragic because it could have been prevented. Absolutely stunning and transformative performance by Emilie Dequenne. It is a rare example of skill both in front and behind the camera.
½ December 19, 2013
Based on a real-life tragedy, Our Children has a quietly crushing effect on the viewer. Emilie Dequenne gives a powerful performance as the depressed mother. Though by flashing the final moments at the very start of the film, the director takes away from the shock that awaits the destiny of the characters, it is still an intense psychologically stirring film.
September 16, 2014
As the story gives away its ending at the beginning it needs to have a strong middle part - sadly it doesn't. It merely plods along with its various interludes of extended family relationships across a fair number of years - from this we are supposed to see our female lead descent into despair and madness, but with the long timeframe of the film it just doesn't work, and we are left to fill in the blanks ourselves at to how this really happens. It's a very uneven story.
September 6, 2014
wow.....sad.....moving.....touching....very very very very sad.....i have just seen this movie 4 the very 1st time n think that this is such a fantastic movie 2 watch......its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie i think that baya belal, mounia raoui, tahar rahim, emilie dequenne, niels arestrup, play good roles/parts throughout this movie.....man this movie is such a really really sad movie 2 watch as it makes you cry....man this is such a really sad movie 2 watch but it is so fantastic movie 2 watch.....i think that the director of this art house/international/drama movie had done a great job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie, it is such a really really sad movie 2 watch.....its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie.....man this is such a powerful drama movie 2 watch, as it is based on a real-life story......




Critical response was generally strong and the film was nominated for seven Magritte Awards, winning four, including Best Film and Best Director for Lafosse. The film was selected as the Belgian entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards, but it did not make the final shortlist.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "In one of her strongest leading roles to date, Dequenne (The Girl on the Train, Rosetta) does a remarkable job depicting Murielle's wavering psychological states as she heads for oblivion, and an extended sequence-shot where she drives home while singing a Julien Clerc song is particularly unforgettable



man this is such a fantastic movie 2 watch, it is such a powerful drama movie 2 watch, it is such a really really sad movie 2 watch but it is so so so fantastic......i think that this is such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch, its got a great cast throughout this movie....man this is such a powerful drama movie 2 watch it is so beautifully directed, man this is such a fantastic movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie......



It is based on a real-life incident involving a woman (Genevieve Lhermitte), who killed her five children. The film competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival under the title Loving Without Reason, where Émilie Dequenne won the Un Certain Regard Award for Best Actress


man this is such a really really sad movie 2 watch but it is 1 of the best movies of 2012/2013, it is such a really really sad movie 2 watch but it is so so fantastic movie 2 watch......
½ June 25, 2014
Marriage is not fun. Most girls fall for love only to get burned. Love is not enough. Cultures do matter. Religion do matter. Beautiful, but sad movie telling the reality surrounding our lives. This is why I love watching European movies. Realism at its best with superior and fat orchestral background music.
June 9, 2014
You learn the tragedy at the start of the movie, but how and why is the movie. It's a "quietly violent psychodrama." Emilie Duquenne won best actress at Cannes for this movie.
June 2, 2014
Aterrador relato sobre una mujer que poco a poco cae en la desesperacion, al tener una depresion post-parto sucesiva (ya que tiene cuatro hijos), a quien no le ayuda tener como marido a un radical marroqui y vivir en casa del jefe de este y proveedor de su familia. Intenso, efectivo y sobre todo, muy bien actuado. Muy recomendable. (Texto intencionalmente sin acentos).
½ April 5, 2014
Que historia!!!!
Super recomendable.
½ March 8, 2014
I've done something really bad...
½ September 30, 2013
I was very spectacle within the first half hour, watching life through different speeds and the start of a family, clearly leading to a tragedy. The the first hour is absent of any real lessons or deep morals and only demonstrates the struggles of having young children. Arestrup and Rahim work magic together again, and obviously have learned to have some of the greatest on screen chemistry between an elder and a young man in the last decade, thanks to the writing of Thomas Bidegain. Within the second half of the film you really get to see the tension, the somewhat psychotic lifestyle that is taking place. The normal struggles of a family become terrifying realizations of hostile behavior, anxiety and depression. Without real patience and any interest in dysfunctional situations, someone might find this film 'boring' and possibly even decide not to finish, but I would see that as a regretful decision.
January 19, 2014
The opening scene removes any real shock from this hideous (based on a) true story It's a complex psychological study of relationships and depression, that's splendidly well made and naturally performed, in which the only remaining element of mystery to the crime is why?
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