Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    100
    Superbly crafted psychological thriller.
  2. 83
    There's drama here, and moments of genuine tension, but there's fun, too, which is the point of a movie like this. To Ratliff's credit, he never lets the considerable craft get in the way.
  3. Joshua does grow a bit repetitious (it lacks the cathartic climaxes of a horror film), yet it has cool and savvy fun with your fears.
  4. Reviewed by: Gianni Truzzi
    83
    Director George Ratliff plays pitch-perfect on the tautly wound strings of our innermost fears that nothing -- not love, wealth or intelligence -- can protect us from the monsters we harbor.
  5. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    A creepy-little-kid suspenser decked out with sufficient class to lend it a certain distinction.
  6. 80
    Only viewers with some appreciation for the odd, bloodless character of moneyed family life in New York will really understand how hilarious and deadly accurate this movie is. But then again, New York parents are the last people who will want to see it.
  7. Poised self-consciously between art and entertainment, Joshua offers imaginative staging and some superb performances.
  8. 78
    It should be mandatory viewing for right-to-lifers and prospective parents as well as fans of creepy, crawly filmmaking.
  9. 75
    To lump in this smart, subtle, deviously effective thriller with "The Omen" or "The Good Son" is neither fair nor entirely accurate.
  10. Terrifically sneaky psychological thriller, which takes great pleasure in watching carefully constructed family values come tumbling down.
  11. 75
    Joshua falls a bit flat at the end, but overall it delivers some genuine old-school chills - something that was missing when Macaulay Culkin played a similar role in "The Good Son."
  12. First-time director and co-writer George Ratliff skirts, but never quite crosses, the line into absurdity.
  13. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    75
    One of the most diabolical things about this psychological thriller is just how open to interpretation it is.
  14. 70
    A nifty psychological thriller--part "Bad Seed," part "Rosemary's Baby"--that deals in a manner both comic and creepy with the parental anxieties of a Manhattan haute yuppie family.
  15. 70
    Part of the fun of Joshua is the skill with which Ratliff juggles horror and realism, feeding one into the other until we become part of the unraveling of the Cairns' perfect life.
  16. Reviewed by: Jamie Tipps
    70
    Even though the story covers familiar ground, it provides enough tension and humor in the presentation to make it worth watching
  17. Seductive and creepy, perfect for a hot summer night when nobody has the energy to pose a lot of questions.
  18. 70
    Harrowing, controlled and diabolically self-assured, Joshua leaves filmgoers teetering on their own emotional precipice, wondering just where pathos ends and pathology begins.
  19. 70
    Ratliff fails to deliver on any of these ideas and the ending falters badly, but as horror flicks go this is both smart and suspenseful.
  20. 63
    A painfully slow psychological thriller.
  21. Creepy, cool and loaded with style.
  22. 58
    It's regrettable that Joshua veers into outlandish "Omen/Bad Seed/Good Son" territory when the real terror lies much closer to home.
  23. So what's wrong with Joshua? Two things: The audience is ahead of the movie, and the movie never catches up.
  24. The line between eeriness and tedium is fatally fluid.
  25. 50
    Joshua is the sort of movie in which nobody does what you would do: like spank or demand an extra-strength time out.
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 5 out of 13
  1. Apr 14, 2014
    10
    Joshua is a perfect and smart psychological thriller with kids as the leading role. Not horror, but the tension in this film so dark andJoshua is a perfect and smart psychological thriller with kids as the leading role. Not horror, but the tension in this film so dark and thrilled. Slow in story-telling but geniusly sure. Full Review »
  2. Jason
    Dec 31, 2008
    10
    After a single viewing, 8 out of 10. given my perspective after a second look, and thought about this film, l consider it an unmitigated After a single viewing, 8 out of 10. given my perspective after a second look, and thought about this film, l consider it an unmitigated masterpiece. while the title character seems at first like a demon, it is soon clear that demons surround him. I am grateful to the filmmakers for the introspection this film gave me. Full Review »
  3. MichaelL.
    Mar 12, 2008
    9
    Maybe you need to be a New Yorker to appreciate this subversive, creepy homage to Hitchcockian subtlety. An indictment of self-involved Maybe you need to be a New Yorker to appreciate this subversive, creepy homage to Hitchcockian subtlety. An indictment of self-involved yuppie parents, the film examines a typical, dysfunctional monied Manhattan family and creates an ambiguous game of "who's the real psychotic?" that plays brilliantly to city dwellers whose line between sanity and paranoia is crossed daily. More of a morality tale about the results of Narcissistic parenting than a "Bad Seed" rip-off (thank God), this is a smart, scary, disturbing little gem filled with terrific performances (Vera Farmiga is brilliant as the medicated mommy, Sam Rockwell is the perfect parody of self-satisfied smarminess) is only for the thinking-person. All others should watch "The Good Son" on DVD... Full Review »