The Other Son

2012

The Other Son

Critics Consensus

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79%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 52

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,314
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Movie Info

"The Other Son" is the moving and provocative tale of two young men -- one Israeli, the other Palestinian -- who discover they were accidentally switched at birth, and the complex repercussions facing them and their respective families. (c) Cohen Media

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Critic Reviews for The Other Son

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (11)

  • It is easy to imagine other, darker, results after the opening accident, but Levy's film, pitched firmly as if it were the only possibility, makes it seem so.

    Jun 17, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Lévy generally succeeds in creating a compelling, humanistic family drama, even if some viewers may reject the movie's final note of optimism.

    Nov 2, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • In the end, it seems, this is not a story about two families, and two lands. It's a story about one family, and one world.

    Oct 26, 2012 | Rating: 3/4
  • Levy handles with aplomb what could easily have been a messy mix of emotions and politics.

    Oct 26, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    John Anderson

    Newsday
    Top Critic
  • The intention here is plain - we are all human, we can all be family - but Levy weaves the mix of identity crises, cultural mingling and common ground slyly.

    Oct 26, 2012 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • "The Other Son'' is played with warmth and conviction by its cast. But it's also a little pat and toothless, set in an Israel where not even the notorious border crossings seem that difficult.

    Oct 26, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Other Son

  • Jan 20, 2014
    An intriguing, well acted story about two boys accidentally switched at birth, and how they and their families discover the truth after one of them applies to be in the military. This is a fascinating coming of age movie concerning identity, religion, politics, and allegiance to one's country, and how to deal with an impossible situation with no simple solution. As said, the acting is really solid, and the handle director Lorraine Levy has on his material is evident. The story hits a few lulls once in a while, but for most of its running time it is arresting, original, and ultimately pretty heart-breaking, even though it ends as positively as it possibly can given the circumstances of the boys and their families.
    Dan S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 22, 2013
    Nice movie. Very touching. Good lessons for everyone...rather quickly done ending, though. Hate when they do that.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 16, 2012
    Obviously the predicament that one's child is not your own would be traumatic news in and of itself. But placing the babies on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and you have a most interesting twist to further complicate matters. French director Lorraine Levy sidesteps a deep discussion of the heated beliefs that underlie the political situation there. Instead the setting allows her to address various topics from a very intimate, personal perspective. In this way, the script suggests political disagreements between countries are more the result of governments fighting and less a cause célèbre of the actual citizens. This is a story about people. It asserts the idea that one's entire identity can be arbitrarily defined simply by geography. How that personality can change over time is also explored. If there is a failing, it's that the saga never fully resonates with the understanding needed to completely empathize with their plight. Despite the best of intentions, the setup feels slightly contrived. Although I was invested in their lives, I didn't experience the clarifying breakthrough that I felt the narrative required. Yet the performances still ring true. The sincerity of the actors elevate the plot past a mere concept created by a writer into a fascinating picture worth watching.
    Mark H Super Reviewer
  • Nov 11, 2012
    "The Other Son" starts with Joseph Silberg(Jules Sitruk) finding his being inducted into the Israel Defense Forces getting a little complicated. This has less to do with his occasional hashish use than with his blood type which is incompatible to his parents, Orith(Emmanuelle Devos), a doctor, and Alon(Pascal Elbe), a colonel. Playing a hunch, a colleague of hers traces the conundrum back to the night Joseph was born in a hospital in Haifa. During an air raid, he was accidentally switched with the baby of Leila(Areen Omari) and Said Al Bezaaz(Khalifa Natour) of the West Bank. At least it looks like Joseph may get out of military service while his opposite number, Yacine(Mehdi Dehbi), returns from school in Paris. One may not be exactly wrong in assuming the whole switched at birth motif has been done to death with ABC Family currently gnawing on its bones on a weekly basis. Even lacking much of a story, "The Other Son" finds a new angle by employing it to smartly explore the nature of family and identity in Israel and the West Bank where two peoples are kept separate against each other, as exemplified by a lovely shot of a person walking along the security wall at night. Sure, it may ask a lot to believe that some interests like medicine and music are genetically transmitted but that's just a valuable reminder that we are not so different after all.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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