User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 158 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 28 out of 158
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  1. Dec 21, 2012
    0
    The subplots are unbelievably generic, and not even done in an original way. Jackie Earle Haley's plotline is the most interesting, but as the movie progresses, it becomes sympathetic to the pedophile, and the movie's overall message seems to be about acceptance, even for someone like that. Apart from that, the acting is very overrated, even from Kate Winslet, who I usually love. Normally,The subplots are unbelievably generic, and not even done in an original way. Jackie Earle Haley's plotline is the most interesting, but as the movie progresses, it becomes sympathetic to the pedophile, and the movie's overall message seems to be about acceptance, even for someone like that. Apart from that, the acting is very overrated, even from Kate Winslet, who I usually love. Normally, I would just think this is an ordinary, annoyingly generic movie, worthy of maybe a three or a four. However, the idea of the pedophile being portrayed as a sympathetic character, and that those who deride him are considered villains, cause this movie to be an easy zero for me. Expand
  2. JenniferD
    Jan 6, 2007
    3
    An extremely disappointing movie, for all the critical acclaim it has received. The film is muddled, and neither Field nor Perotta seems to have a clear idea of what film they are making or what they wish to say. The first two-thirds of the movie were engrossing and enjoyable, if flawed, but the last section of the film is irretrievably unfocused (in toe and message) and ultimately so An extremely disappointing movie, for all the critical acclaim it has received. The film is muddled, and neither Field nor Perotta seems to have a clear idea of what film they are making or what they wish to say. The first two-thirds of the movie were engrossing and enjoyable, if flawed, but the last section of the film is irretrievably unfocused (in toe and message) and ultimately so unsatisfying as to be nearly infuriating. It's not interesting ambivalence; it's a lack of vision and a lack of trust in the audience. Winslet is strong, but deserves so much more than the movie gives her. Wilson is gorgeous to look at, and has moments that shine, but is ultimately led astray by the muddy script and the apparently confused direction. Jackie Lee Haley, Phyllis Sommerville, Noah Emmerich, and especially Jane Adams provide richly grounded, even heart-breaking performances. Unfortunately, that is not nearly enough to save this movie. Expand
  3. BryanW.
    Oct 9, 2006
    1
    Who's idea was it to have a running narrator? A bad decision that just echoes the caricatured/stereotype world Field creates. Maybe if I hadn't seen the dozen other films that deal with this subject matter with more weight and subtlety I would have been able to ignore some of the film's other weak points but in the end it's a struggle to find a single element of this Who's idea was it to have a running narrator? A bad decision that just echoes the caricatured/stereotype world Field creates. Maybe if I hadn't seen the dozen other films that deal with this subject matter with more weight and subtlety I would have been able to ignore some of the film's other weak points but in the end it's a struggle to find a single element of this film to praise. Expand
  4. AndrewF.
    Jun 10, 2007
    4
    The boring photography experienced in viewing Little Children was only the least of its problems. The film was an all-too-bleak, dry, uninteresting window into the world of problems associated with suburban life, including a very choppy overused view on adultery. With a script perpetually spiraling nowhere, the writers opted to slap unrealistic epiphanies into the heads of the main The boring photography experienced in viewing Little Children was only the least of its problems. The film was an all-too-bleak, dry, uninteresting window into the world of problems associated with suburban life, including a very choppy overused view on adultery. With a script perpetually spiraling nowhere, the writers opted to slap unrealistic epiphanies into the heads of the main characters by way of "terrible accidents/tragedies averted", and then tried to create a positive spin from them, when, in actuality, the concluding moments of the film felt forced upon the viewer because the writers hit a snag in moving the story toward a satisfactory conclusion. Any comparison of this film to CRASH is very correct; if you ate the spoon-fed archetypes and messages about racism and how to "conquer it" in CRASH, then you'll really love the baseless conclusion about how to conquer the problems of suburban life in LITTLE CHILDREN. However, if you want a powerful viewing experience that delivers the goods in the end, then look to AMERICAN BEAUTY. Comparing LITTLE CHILDREN to AMERICAN BEAUTY would be a crime. Expand
  5. HenryV.
    Apr 2, 2007
    1
    Garbage. Little Children treats you like a child, holding your hand and walking you through an atmosphere of contrived and unrealistic metaphors and dilemmas about the American suburbs. Drops your IQ to that of a three year old.
  6. DennisL.
    Nov 11, 2006
    4
    In a subtle way, this movie was asinine. It's well photographed and directed but none of the characters do anything that's believeable or compelling. There was the 'blind date' scene involving a sex offender that seemed totally unnecessary & ugly. The 2 main characters' choices at the end came off as silly--it was tough to care about them.
  7. JackieC.
    Oct 9, 2006
    3
    Extremely well-acted, particularly by Winslet, Haley and Phyllis Somerville. It is also, like "In the Bedroom," airless and ultimately lifeless. This is a rather academic exercise in filmmaking control. Yes, there is such a thing as "too perfect." This is it. And the result is, apart from a few electrifying scenes, what I imagine suffocation is like. There is no spontaneity here.
  8. LiliW.
    Feb 4, 2007
    3
    What happened with this film? Why was it so long and boring? I had a difficulty believing the actors. I didn't find any connection between the charactersw at all. Waste of time!!!!
  9. PnArdyPnArdy
    May 13, 2007
    2
    A movie about the difficulties of raising little children in young families where parents constantly experience stress, discomfort, sexual desires and disorders. Kate Winslet is absolutely boring.
  10. MarcK.
    Dec 29, 2006
    2
    This is one of the most over-rated and awful films of 2006, which I can assure you was the furthest thing from my mind when I sat down to watch it. Slow and uninteresting plot, and characters as unlikeable as the ones I saw in "Friends With Money." I have no idea why everyone is so excited over Winslet and Haley...I found neither performance to be even remotely exceptional. To me the best This is one of the most over-rated and awful films of 2006, which I can assure you was the furthest thing from my mind when I sat down to watch it. Slow and uninteresting plot, and characters as unlikeable as the ones I saw in "Friends With Money." I have no idea why everyone is so excited over Winslet and Haley...I found neither performance to be even remotely exceptional. To me the best peformances were by Connelly and Phyllis Somerville, who you don't hear very much about. Expand
  11. IanS.
    Mar 29, 2008
    2
    Really good movie till the end. The end is just plain and simply stupid.
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 40
    It's an unholy mess, simultaneously too Gothic and too sarcastic, that preaches liberation and delivers only puritanism. It's a craftsmanlike but robotic imitation of "interesting" filmmaking, only in patches, and by accident, the real thing.
  2. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    90
    Providing richness of detail and metaphor, elegantly blueprinted themes and impressive mastery of a constantly shifting tone, Little Children does just that. It is a deeply satisfying film.
  3. 90
    The result is a movie that is challenging, accessible and hard to stop thinking about...But in too many recent movies intelligence is woefully undervalued, and it is this quality -- even more than its considerable beauty -- that distinguishes Little Children from its peers.