The Child in Time


The Child in Time

Critics Consensus

The Child in Time skillfully resists melodrama, trusting the finer details of its story -- and the actors bringing them to life -- to land with a slow-building, devastating impact.



Total Count: 23


Audience Score

User Ratings: 113
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Movie Info

Stephen Lewis, a successful writer of children's books, is confronted with the unthinkable: he loses his only child, four-year-old Kate, in a supermarket. In one horrifying moment that replays itself over the years that follow, Stephen realises his daughter is gone. With tenderness and insight, the film explores a marriage devastated by the loss of a child. Kate's absence sets Stephen and his wife, Julie, on diverging paths as both struggle with an all-consuming grief. With the passage of time, a balance of sorts returns, until hope surfaces and triumphs unexpectedly.


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Critic Reviews for The Child in Time

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (4)

  • The ending, which might have made a serviceable starting point for a second half, feels trite and unsatisfying. That said, the pairing of Cumberbatch and Macdonald is terrific.

    Jul 11, 2018 | Full Review…
  • There is hope, there is another side for those left behind, and for The Child in Time it is hard won, but builds to this conclusion deliberately and beautifully.

    Apr 2, 2018 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

    Hanh Nguyen

    Top Critic
  • This is adult drama unsullied by melodrama, about anguish and ultimately about the small hopes that keep the bereaved alive and barely alert.

    Apr 2, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The actors are convincing, honest and heartbreaking. It's the hardest kind of thing to do. They do it splendidly.

    Mar 30, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The movie is nevertheless compelling, thanks largely to the interplay between [Benedict] Cumberbatch and [Kelly] Macdonald, in what amounts to a peculiar twist on a love story within the up-close-and-personal contours of a stage play.

    Mar 30, 2018 | Full Review…

    Brian Lowry
    Top Critic
  • Macdonald gives a lovely performance, the scenery is gorgeous, and the finale supplies an unforgettable twist.

    Mar 30, 2018 | Full Review…

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