Little Children

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 161 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 28 out of 161
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  1. M.R
    Oct 25, 2006
    5
    I'll refrain from calling this film garbage, which it clearly is not. It is, however, an unfortunate series of poor decisions and missteps in execution that hamstring what could have otherwise been an incisive treatise on suburban concupiscence. Field is a filmmaker in search of a thesis, a wannabe auteur who delivers panache without purpose. One could argue that the film's I'll refrain from calling this film garbage, which it clearly is not. It is, however, an unfortunate series of poor decisions and missteps in execution that hamstring what could have otherwise been an incisive treatise on suburban concupiscence. Field is a filmmaker in search of a thesis, a wannabe auteur who delivers panache without purpose. One could argue that the film's problems begin on the page; the screenplay contains little insight into what drives these characters beyond the obvious pet neuroses and surface angst which have already been bludgeoned to death thematically by much better films. The only actor who delivers more than the script asks of her is Winslet, who performs an admirable bit of acting alchemy. Connelly also stands a shoulder above the rest, but like too many of the characters she's left with no gear beyond first. The fatal irony of the film is that it tries so desperately to navigate the edge and shake us up, even as we become painfully aware that Field only has the guts to play it safe. Lazy filmmaking for a lazy culture. Expand
  2. 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
  3. Filmfan
    Oct 22, 2006
    6
    This is an ambitious and intelligent film, with great performances and good cinematography. It is fairly intense and several performances linger in the memory. So why did I not enjoy it? The confusion between satire and drama, with the few "real" characters surrounded by a bevy of caricatures, made it difficult to take the story seriously, in fact, made it just plain weird. One moment This is an ambitious and intelligent film, with great performances and good cinematography. It is fairly intense and several performances linger in the memory. So why did I not enjoy it? The confusion between satire and drama, with the few "real" characters surrounded by a bevy of caricatures, made it difficult to take the story seriously, in fact, made it just plain weird. One moment there are gross, wide angle in the face shots of caricature "guys" on the football field, the next moment there are intensely dramatic scenes concerning death, personal grief and even dismemberment. Another huge problem is the overlay of style, expressed through the narrator, the sometimes hip ironic score, and the Gregory Crewdson-look. This style overlay ultimately undermines the dramatic edge of the performances. I like a lot of films that share some of these qualities, including Bubble, Magnolia and American Beauty. Somehow in this case it just does not add up to a satisfying or interesting experience Expand
  4. 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.
  5. d
    Jan 30, 2007
    6
    Boring. Poorly acted. This could have been done a lot lot better.
  6. TonyB.
    Sep 26, 2007
    5
    This is a well-acted film that fails to reach its potential. With more plot lines than it can develop satisfactorily, it sometimes both jumps all over the place and rambles on at a snail's pace. Watch for Jennifer Connelly's realization that Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson have been naughty. It's by far the best scene in the film.
  7. CarlM.
    Nov 19, 2006
    6
    Brilliantly done, if not a bit exhausting.
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.