The Childhood of a Leader (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Childhood of a Leader (2016)



Critic Consensus: The Childhood of a Leader mirrors the rise of fascism in post-WWI Europe with a well-acted, confidently crafted look at one young man's unsettling coming of age.

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Movie Info

A child's angelic face conceals a budding sociopath in the audacious, senses-shattering feature debut from actor Brady Corbet. A powerhouse international cast led by Robert Pattinson and Bérénice Bejo (The Artist) headlines this dark domestic nightmare. Set amidst the turmoil of World War I and its aftermath, it follows the young son of an American diplomat living in France as he learns to manipulate the adults around him-a monstrous coming of age that ominously parallels the rising tide of Fascism in Europe. A stylistically fearless tour-de-force, The Childhood of a Leader reaches fever-pitch delirium thanks to ravishing cinematography and a thunderous score by legendary, boundary-pushing musician Scott Walker.

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Bérénice Bejo
as The Mother
Liam Cunningham
as The Father
Stacy Martin
as The Teacher
Jacques Boudet
as The Priest
Robert Pattinson
as Charles/The Leader
Tom Sweet
as Prescott, The Boy
Michael Epp
as Economist
Kata Petõ
as Housemaid
Mark Phelan
as Mr. Advisor
Jeremy Wheeler
as Mr. Deputy
Roderick Hill
as Older American Gentleman
Luca Bercovici
as Older Foreign Gentleman
Máté Haumann
as Second Clerk
Blanka Gyorfy
as Toth-Stage Narrator
Attila Bardóczy
as Parishoner 1
Attila Tóth
as Parishoner 2
Adelaide Fastvold
as Corbet-Baby
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Critic Reviews for The Childhood of a Leader

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (11)

This is not always a subtle film, but its spooky mood leaves a strong impression.

August 15, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

This is a director's showcase and Corbet, with the support of a superb tech team (especially composer Scott Walker) impresses and fascinates.

July 28, 2016 | Full Review…

The Childhood of a Leader is a dark and creepy work, flawed but ambitious and well worth seeing.

July 28, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Studious in its homages to somber masters past and present, The Childhood Of A Leader pulls out intriguing moments whenever it threatens to turn repetitious.

July 22, 2016 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

All dread all the time, and rich enough in mood that you may be inclined to forgive the familiarity of its narrative trajectory and anchoring psychology.

July 22, 2016 | Full Review…

That it has the courage of cryptic-ness, and leaves sympathetic viewers intrigued long after its final images have faded, is enough to mark The Childhood of a Leader as an uncommonly promising debut.

July 22, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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