Birth

User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 71
  2. Negative: 22 out of 71
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  1. BobA.
    Jan 17, 2006
    5
    Wonderfully directed and beatifully acted, (especially by Kidman), the plot, which wants to be a sort of understated thriller, never quite hits the right notes.
  2. Peg~
    May 28, 2005
    6
    I thought both Nicole Kidman, and the child actor, were brilliant. Their acting was outstanding. But I think that the story was horrible, in the sense that it was clear Nicole's fiance was a creep, and if anything, I would have been happy if the kid just became temporarily possessed with the soul of the dead husband for one purpose: preventing Nicole from marrying the creep. Or, if I thought both Nicole Kidman, and the child actor, were brilliant. Their acting was outstanding. But I think that the story was horrible, in the sense that it was clear Nicole's fiance was a creep, and if anything, I would have been happy if the kid just became temporarily possessed with the soul of the dead husband for one purpose: preventing Nicole from marrying the creep. Or, if at the end, the kid made Nicole's character become disenchanted with him to spare her from ruining her life, or from causing her anymore suffering. Whether or not this was a factor, was not clear. But my question, was the kid just obsessed and deranged (causing Nicole's character to become unstable), or was he the dead husband born again? Lastly, I did not see this movie as a child molestation. Nicole's character did not seek out this child to molest. The child pursued her, claiming to be her dead husband, and as time went on, she became worn down (hence her idea to run away with him and marry him when he became an adult). But this is not the same thing as the sick compulsion that causes predatory adults to prey upon innocent children to gratify their sexual needs. In fact, I don't think sex had anything to do with this movie. Basically, it was about love-- Expand
  3. AlexJ.
    Jun 16, 2006
    6
    The film raises interesting questions about the nature of romantic love--
    [***SPOILERS***] why is it that that Nicole Kidman's character seems so easily to succumb to the rather incredible notion that a 10 year old boy could be her dead husband? The movie seems to answer this by showing that her emotions could be explained psychologically-- she isn't in love with her new
    The film raises interesting questions about the nature of romantic love--
    [***SPOILERS***] why is it that that Nicole Kidman's character seems so easily to succumb to the rather incredible notion that a 10 year old boy could be her dead husband? The movie seems to answer this by showing that her emotions could be explained psychologically-- she isn't in love with her new fiance, she has not moved past her grief and love for her dead husband. Yet the film also seems to want to leave these questions murky and un-resolved, in order to heighten the mystery-- maybe the boy really is her dead husband, after all? The film has a certain gravity, is visually memorable and Kidman is luminous and beautiful, really giving herself over to the role. But the lack of resolution of the story, characters that act quite absurdly and the portrayal by the young actor as the "dead husband" leave one feeling unsatisfied. The boy says nothing that would make him to appear to be really the dead husband. So I prefer the pyschological explanation, and think that the film would have been much more effective if it had gone all the way with showing what motivated both the boy and Nicole Kidman's character.
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  4. kevin
    Jul 24, 2005
    4
    I was expecting a lot from this movie. great performances and some good moments, but in the end nothing was really answered. i thought it came off trying to hard to be artsy. the bathtub scenes made me cringe.
  5. DonaldR.
    Aug 16, 2005
    4
    Basically this film tries to be challenging and artistic but the plot is too crude and full of apparent holes, so it comes off as highly pretentious. This is high brow for low brows. It is slightly offensive that it seems to play with the possibility of paedophilia in a way that is unecessary to the plot. The basic concept is inherently anti-climactic. So the end of the film seems Basically this film tries to be challenging and artistic but the plot is too crude and full of apparent holes, so it comes off as highly pretentious. This is high brow for low brows. It is slightly offensive that it seems to play with the possibility of paedophilia in a way that is unecessary to the plot. The basic concept is inherently anti-climactic. So the end of the film seems incoherent and disappointing. Expand
  6. DavidG
    Nov 12, 2004
    6
    A clever fragment, with good performances, and a brooding sadness to it, permeating every character.
  7. DonH
    May 17, 2005
    5
    Wow, this movie could have been great. The acting was A+. Nicole Kidman and Cameron Bright really gave great performances. That's why I gave it a 5 instead of a 0, because the script wasn't well thought out and the ending was just horrid. 5 for the great acting 0 for the lousy script.
  8. May 22, 2012
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I loved Sexy Beast, Jonathan Glazer's first movie, and really wanted to like this, but was unable to. It has absolutely no sense of narrative drive. The story lies there like a stillborn baby. The main problem is that you have an overly tame performance from child actor Cameron Bright in a role that requires a lot of strength of will and charm. If we are going to root for this young child as the reincarnation of Nicole Kidman's dead husband, he has to come with more than facts about the guy's life. He has to, in some way, be the guy, or there is no romance. Bright manages to not crack a smile or have any discernible emotion for the entire movie. And if we were not supposed to root for this child, then who should we root for? Certainly not Kidman's husband played by Danny Huston with cold, upper class detachment. We are really just left to wish that her husband, who we've never seen, had never died. Until we discover he was cheating on her, which leaves us thinking that Kidman should stay away from men for a while. This could have been a very fun and daring movie had they somehow gotten Bright to resemble a savvy adult who could charm Nicole Kidman's pants off. That's a tall order, but this premise really calls for it. Or else we are left with just feeling a constant sense of dread. Kidman will either wind up with a young boy who seems to have no feelings or a rich man angling for a trophy wife. In the end we are left feeling she would be better off without either of them. We are also left without any real explanation as to how and why this young child knew all these facts about Kidman's deceased husband. I may be missing some subtle hint here, apologies if I am, but the details around the child's knowledge of Dead Sean's life seem purposefully ambiguous to the point of laziness. The movie feels lazy in other ways too. The laziest moment takes place in and around a bathtub. Kidman has been convinced by Young Sean's very detailed list of facts about her husband's life, personal and otherwise, and she finally asks the boy to run away with her. The young boy, who is taking a bath, says 'I'm not Sean' and instantly Kidman believes him. No questions as to how he knew everything he knew. No questions as to his motivation. No clinging to the belief that this must still be her dead husband. Instead she declares 'you're a little liar' and 'you certainly had me fooled, I thought you were my dead husband'. That's a pretty sharp turn to take off 'I'm not Sean'. What if he was just kidding? Forgetting the unfulfilled and implausible story, Nicole Kidman does a bang up job. It's easy to forget for a moment that you're watching a movie that makes no sense, and get caught up in her committed and heartfelt performance. If this story had given her character an even moderately fulfilling arc or sense of growth, she would have been able to carry this movie on her back and run it into the end zone. But as it stands her character goes from missing her husband and not liking the guy she's marrying to missing her husband and not liking the guy she's marrying.

    In the end, this makes me appreciate that Sexy Beast was a collaborative effort, and that its screenwriters knew what they were doing. Here Glazer just doesn't have a good enough story to dazzle us again.
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Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 38
  2. Negative: 11 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Ray Bennett
    30
    A paranormal mystery without a spine. It has no suspense because it has no belief in itself.
  2. 60
    If Birth succeeds more as a source of visual and aural enthrallment than as supernatural narrative, it's largely because the final third hovers uncomfortably between the mystical and the earthbound.
  3. 40
    The ick-factor deepens as the story progresses, but the mystery never does.