The Children Act

Critics Consensus

The Children Act showcases yet another powerful performance from Emma Thompson, who elevates this undeniably flawed picture into an affecting adult drama.



Total Count: 107


Audience Score

User Ratings: 628
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Movie Info

Fiona Maye (Thompson) is an eminent High Court judge in London presiding with wisdom and compassion over ethically complex cases of family law. But she has paid a heavy personal price for her workload, and her marriage to American professor Jack (Tucci) is at a breaking point. In this moment of personal crisis, Fiona is asked to rule on the case of Adam (Whitehead), a brilliant boy who is refusing the blood transfusion that will save his life. Adam is three months from his 18th birthday and still legally a child. Should Fiona force him to live? Fiona visits Adam in the hospital and their meeting has a profound emotional impact on them both, stirring strong new emotions in the boy and long-buried feelings in her.

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Critic Reviews for The Children Act

All Critics (107) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (78) | Rotten (29)

  • [Thompson] is so good that she overwhelms the story's shortcomings.

    Sep 26, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Thompson and Whitehead shine, and director Richard Eyre has crafted a highly textured, respectable film about grown-up issues.

    Sep 21, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The Children Act leaves you not only wanting more, but ready to binge it.

    Sep 21, 2018 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • "The Children Act" isn't all that interesting a movie, despite the many talented people involved and the generally high level of work they do.

    Sep 20, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • "The Children Act" feels utterly of a piece with the original book: urbane, understated, handsomely realized and impeccably interpreted by a cast of superb actors.

    Sep 19, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • This film adaptation never reaches the intimate heights of Ian McEwan's novel, but Emma Thompson's portrait of a family court judge who lets the world in at the cost of losing her own judgment is acting of the highest order.

    Sep 14, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Children Act

  • Oct 01, 2018
    Emma Thompson is extraordinary as she can be, but in a film that is even more uninteresting and confused than McEwan's novel, as this feels like two stories brought clumsily together and suffers from not even being able to visually translate so many described feelings onto the screen.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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