Our Children


Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
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  1. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Jul 30, 2013
    It’s a near-perfect portrait of a domestic tragedy as a master-and-servant psychodrama, one that leaves catastrophic collateral damage in its wake.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Dec 15, 2013
    At this finely tooled tragedy’s core towers Emilie Dequenne, no longer the feral young thing seen in 1999′s “Rosetta,” but a trapped animal pushed to devastating extremes.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Sep 19, 2013
    This is a film as powerful as it is painful.
  4. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Aug 8, 2013
    This is a taut psychological study, based on a true story, of the complexities of personal power relationships that begins with the kind of shattering revelation that would be the conclusion of most films.
  5. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Aug 1, 2013
    Much like the Dardennes, Mr. Joachim holds to the truth that the personal is political, which is why this isn’t simply a movie about a woman and an unspeakable crime, but also an exploration of the power and cruelty that brought her to that very dark place.
  6. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Aug 5, 2013
    There is no whodunit here — the horror is plain in the opening shots — and the how is presented with great restraint, but the why remains veiled and mysterious long after the film has ended.
  7. Reviewed by: Violet Lucca
    Jul 30, 2013
    Can a film that holds no surprises be of value? In the case of Our Children, which masterfully plays with stylistic conventions and all-too-common instances of real-life matricide, the answer is decidedly yes.
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Jul 28, 2013
    Émilie Dequenne is the young actor who made a powerful debut in the Dardenne brothers' prize-winning film "Rosetta" in 1999, and what a superb performance she gives now in this inexpressibly painful drama.
  9. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    Jul 28, 2013
    Reteaming to play a duo similar to the one in A Prophet, Rahim and Arestrup maintain the film’s tense and sinister tone – the former providing a convincing mix of fragility and machismo, and the latter looking and acting more and more like Brando in the latter half of his career.
  10. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Jul 31, 2013
    Though Lafosse’s handling of the actors is pitch-perfect, his sense of structure is more problematic. The decision to start the movie at the end and then jump back several years undercuts the drama.
  11. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Jul 26, 2013
    It's occasionally too icily removed, but it compensates through its perpetual concern with understanding its characters and their untenable situations.
  12. Reviewed by: Stan Hall
    Jul 28, 2013
    A drab, gloomy drama that doesn't provide any real enlightenment about why something so awful could happen.
  13. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Aug 1, 2013
    The movie fails, but it’s like watching R.P. McMurphy try to lift that huge marble fixture in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest—at least they tried, goddammit.
  14. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Aug 2, 2013
    When the final moment comes and it's revealed how the children died, it's less of a surprise than a shrug. Drama robbed of suspense is just dull.

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