Joshua

Joshua Image
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 37 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Joshua is the tale of Brad and Abby Cairn, perfect Manhattan parents in a perfect Manhattan apartment whose perfect life begins to crack after the birth of their second child Lily. Shortly after Lily arrives home, a dark side of prodigy son Joshua slowly begins to reveal itself.
    (Fox
    Joshua is the tale of Brad and Abby Cairn, perfect Manhattan parents in a perfect Manhattan apartment whose perfect life begins to crack after the birth of their second child Lily. Shortly after Lily arrives home, a dark side of prodigy son Joshua slowly begins to reveal itself.
    (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Superbly crafted psychological thriller.
  2. 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.
  3. Poised self-consciously between art and entertainment, Joshua offers imaginative staging and some superb performances.
  4. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    75
    One of the most diabolical things about this psychological thriller is just how open to interpretation it is.
  5. 70
    Even though the story covers familiar ground, it provides enough tension and humor in the presentation to make it worth watching
  6. 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.
  7. 50
    Joshua is the sort of movie in which nobody does what you would do: like spank or demand an extra-strength time out.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 13
  2. Negative: 5 out of 13
  1. helloyou
    Jan 10, 2008
    10
    Give it a 10 only to offset some of these very low scores some of the unintelligent viewers have given. Without those I'd give the film Give it a 10 only to offset some of these very low scores some of the unintelligent viewers have given. Without those I'd give the film about a 7. When you hear a movie about a kid that kills people and outsmarts adults; it's easy to scoff at it due to how ridiculous that sounds. However this movie pulls it off with ease by being ambigious with the character of Joshua. You feel sorry for him yet are also repelled by him through characters like Brad, played excellently by Sam Rockwell. He's a man trying to keep his family together but failing miserably due to a newborn, a looney wife off her meds, and a son that feels neglected. The brother of the wife spends a lot of time with Joshua and the boy ends up seeing this man as a father figure rather than his own dad. Joshua wants his dad to neglect him in a sense; "You don't have to love me". It is never clear whether Joshua is the cause of the death around him, orchestrating the demise of his father and the destruction of his not so happy family. The end scene, after Joshua has pulled off his plan, where he sings to the brother is probably the creepiest scene in ANY movie I have ever watched. It sent chills up my body and that can be greatly attested to the actor's (Joshua)performance. Expand
  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. Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. ChadS.
    Jan 12, 2008
    6
    Ned(Dallas Roberts) knows that mental illness runs in his family, but he stands up for Joshua(Jacob Kogan) after Brad(Sam Rockwell) accuses Ned(Dallas Roberts) knows that mental illness runs in his family, but he stands up for Joshua(Jacob Kogan) after Brad(Sam Rockwell) accuses his son of a vicious attack on a loved one. Abby(Vera Farmiga) has a chemical imbalance, so it would be reasonable to believe that Joshua inherited the family curse. The mother's sociopathical behavior almost steals the spotlight from her son. "Joshua" is like "Carrie" in this respect. To bolster his story, Sam should've impressed upon his brother-in-law the incident at Joshua's school and the fate of the family pet. For much of its running time, "Joshua" is a taut psychological drama that never goes overboard by presenting its titular character as being possessed by a demonic spirit. With great subtlety, the movie suggests that the mother may possibly be culpable for a lot of Joshua's problems. Family secrets are kept off-screen. But the movie loses its credibility with me when Brad doesn't emit a sense of revulsion against Joshua if he believes his boy to be a cold-blooded murderer. We also miss Abby, since Farmiga delivers the film's best performance. What's interesting about "Joshua" is our mixed feelings towards the boy. How can he be a pure villian if his parents don't truly love him? Expand
  5. Spongeee
    Jul 13, 2007
    5
    Ah, this movie is pretty depressing. It drags at times and has no real redeeming values except for the music that Joshua plays. Its not much Ah, this movie is pretty depressing. It drags at times and has no real redeeming values except for the music that Joshua plays. Its not much of a thriller and leaves you questioning the screen and almost laughing at the characters. Def not a date movie...I didn't get laid bc it was friggin depressing. Expand
  6. DWilly
    Jul 17, 2007
    3
    The metacriitic amateur reviewers have this turkey pegged for the disappointment it is as the professionals once again overrate an unscarey The metacriitic amateur reviewers have this turkey pegged for the disappointment it is as the professionals once again overrate an unscarey movie for how they wish it would have been (see 1408, no wait, don't see it, it stinks!). The boy is kept in a buttoned up shirt, often with a tie, ewwww... but, as a robot without motivation of any kind, he's a total bore. Vera Farmiga fails to be compelling before she disappears into a looney bin halfway through, and this leaves the movie in the incapable hands of Sam Rockwell, good at smirking, but a leading man he is not. Expand
  7. SamJ.
    Jul 11, 2007
    0
    How anyone could issue a perfect grade for such a tepid, tedious, underdeveloped and laughably acted piece of junk is beyond belief. A How anyone could issue a perfect grade for such a tepid, tedious, underdeveloped and laughably acted piece of junk is beyond belief. A commercial potboiler in the worst sense of the word, and that's a better point. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews

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