The Childhood of a Leader

Critics 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.



Reviews Counted: 62

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,492


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.2/5

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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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News & Interviews for The Childhood of a Leader

Critic Reviews for The Childhood of a Leader

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (12)

It might be considered arch for a young first-timer to release a movie with this title, but Corbet has earned the right to be precocious. What an exciting debut.

Aug 18, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

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

Aug 15, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Jul 28, 2016 | Full Review…

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

Jul 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.

Jul 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.

Jul 22, 2016 | Full Review…

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