Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Three women's lives share a common core: they have all been profoundly affected by adoption. Karen placed a baby for adoption at age 14 and has been haunted ever since by the daughter she never knew. Elizabeth grew up as an adopted child; she's a bright and ambitious lawyer, but a flinty loner in her personal life. Lucy is just embarking with her husband on the adoption odyssey, hoping for the opportunity to become parents. (Sony Picture Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. 100
    A flawless film of heartrending realism about the eternal chord that binds parents and children and the emptiness when they are separated.
  2. Still, the goodwill lingers, even though Mother and Child falls down, dies and is beginning to look a little green and stiff about 15 minutes before the finish line.
  3. 75
    In Mother and Child, he (Rodrigo Garcia) creates an emotional powerhouse.
  4. 70
    This is well worth seeing for Bening's arresting, unpleasant performance.
  5. Very few actual mothers will appreciate the manipulative ending, which even a child could spot coming an hour away.
  6. A believably unbalanced Bening scores the movie’s true coup: Karen’s revitalizing relationship with a sweetly persistent coworker (Jimmy Smits) is a rare example of Hollywood doing right by midlife romance.
  7. A slow and lugubrious film about the impact of adoption on the lives of three women.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Sep 10, 2010
    This is a movie with strong women front and center and much softer men definitely on the perimeter. Benning is incredible, and with her acting in "The kids are all right" she ought to at least get the best female actor of the season award. She plays a brittle, socially prickly spinster living with her frail ailing mother. We learn early that she gave up her child at 14, and we are to presume that this has brought her to cope by keeping people at a distance, which she does with great success through the personality of a haughty, reactive, woman with her own arcane sense of social propriety.

    The child she gave up is played by Naomi Watts, who is also a bitter loner who has her mother's genes and the story to match. Naomi's character is far more powerful than Bennings. While Benning is a shrill, cold, arrogant woman who's defensiveness is expressed in attack, Naomi is a control Goddess, who uses her intellectual and sexual power to move men around like pieces on a check board. She seduces her boss (Samuel Jackson in a mellower role) after taking umbrage at his inviting her to dinner alone. The message is clear: "I make the moves here." Then without much of a break she seduces the next door married neighbor. Because she can? Partly, but I suspect mostly to strike back at his wife's pregnancy.

    The third mother in this story is played by Kerry Washington a married woman determined to adopt the child she cannot conceive. The woman whose child she wishes to adopt (played with fierce intensity by Shareeka Epps) is another strong woman. She's not simply giving up a child she's going to arrange it's future environment as much as she can. She doesnâ
  2. Jul 5, 2011
    Some bonds are so strong that when broken the individuals previously connected can no longer function properly. Mother and child explore the mother and child bond and the effects it has on a woman desperately needing to be a mom and also a woman and her daughter separated at birth. The performances are pitch perfect from Bening, Watts and the remainder of the cast. Expand
  3. Oct 22, 2010
    La primera pelicula hollywoodense de la productora Cha-Cha-Cha (fundada por Cuaron, Gonzalez Iarritu y del Toro) es un solido woman's film que, a pesar de un final demasiado convencional, tiene un par de elementos a su favor: la limpia realizacion artesanal de uno de los directores de cabecera de HBO Rodrigo Garcia y un reparto uniformemente competente en el que brilla especialmente Annette Benning en el papel de una seca enfermera cincuentona que no deja que el amor llame a su puerta. Expand
  4. Dec 8, 2012
    Only saw the second part of this, but each of the leading ladies did a great job and the story and writing was solid. I hope to watch this all the way through one day. Collapse
  5. Oct 9, 2010
    While watching this film, one realizes that Rodrigo Garcia has been making the same movie... during all his career. His themes, style and framing is exactly the same throughout his work, maybe except for TV. It is a shame about this flick, a strong cast that turns awry due to the predictability of every single character an shot in the movie. Such a shame. Expand