Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 36 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Dispossessed twenty-year old Bruno lives with his eighteen-year-old girlfriend Sonia in Seraing, an eastern Belgian steel town. They live off Sonia's unemployment benefits and the panhandling and petty theft committed by Bruno and his gang. Their lives change forever when Sonia gives birth to their child, Jimmy. [Sony Pictures Classics] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Astonishingly vivid. The illusion of reality is so nearly complete in this magnificent French-language film by the Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne that the screen becomes a perfectly transparent window on lives hanging in the balance.
  2. Few directors working today make films with the grace and magisterial power of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's best work.
  3. 100
    Here is a film where God does not intervene and the directors do not mistake themselves for God. It makes the solutions at the ends of other pictures seem like child's play.
  4. 88
    The arrival of closing credits feels like a trap door. The film is over, and, suddenly, we have to leave these people. The directors make no guarantee for their futures, but the strength of their filmmaking inspires you to hope for the best.
  5. 80
    As Dardenne films go, with their slow, minutely observed journeys from despair to faint hope, L'Enfant is a horror movie of sorts, and for a few minutes at least, a kind of thriller.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    80
    Those masters of small-scale realism, Belgian brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, have created yet another beautifully acted, exquisitely observed morality tale in The Child.
  7. 50
    There is something willed and implausible at the heart of L’Enfant, beginning with the child himself--the first non-crying, non-hungry infant in human history, let alone in cinema.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Nadie
    Jan 15, 2007
    10
    This movie portrays innocence in the most dramatic way. The acting is flawless and represents young people without education as they are. Very moving and well told. For me, the best movie of the year. Expand
  2. TomC.
    Apr 14, 2006
    10
    This movie was a moving experience! Will stay wiith me for quite a while. No doubt who 'The Child' that the title refers to really is!
  3. JoshC
    Jan 4, 2007
    10
    This film goes deep into social crevices without entertainment blandishments (a mellifluous score, the huge acting, the faux-literary contortions). Yet still earns a chill of recognition. This movie is a tremendous kind of me-against-the-world picture whose perceptions are life-sized and surprising in their humanness. In L'Enfant, the screenplay isn't making choices for these people; every one of Bruno's bad decisions springs from his poor, desperate judgment. Unlike the maid in Babel, he's a stupid person you can relate to. To that end, its realism is staggering. Expand
  4. JayS.
    Apr 23, 2006
    8
    There is a point in this movie where i badly wanted Sonia to punish her boyfriend for the horrific act he had just committed by whacking him in the head with a frying pan. It seemed the only possibe correct response to his behaviour. Now, after the movie has ended it still does, but the filmmakers managed to provide a glimmer of hope to this troubled couple. This movie has many things typical Hollywood fare needs a huge dose of: integrity, believability, consistency, hardcore drama, and oozing credibility. Expand
  5. ChadS.
    Aug 27, 2006
    8
    Before the incident, these young Parisians act as if they'd be at home in a trailer park if they had the money for a RV. But then the husband does something unforgivable, and the emotional age of the mother is brought up to speed. What was plural(in reference to the characters' demeanor), now becomes singular, and the dual meaning behind the film's title is unveiled. "L'Enfant" is a story about arrested development. Although the docu-drama approach to "Le Fils" is greatly missed(this film is shot more like "La Promesse"), the ambiguity remains, albeit later in the game. In "Le Fils", we're not sure about the carpenter's interest in the young boy, and in "L'Enfant", an act of contrition might indeed be an act of self-interest. "L'Enfant" is a very good film, but it's not the equivalent of "Le Fils" and "Rosetta". Expand
  6. [Anonymous]
    Jul 8, 2006
    8
    Showing the underbelly of Belgium in all it's bleakness.
  7. RudyC.
    Apr 8, 2006
    4
    Quite boring, not an ounce of music (which makes it awful for me cause I think much of a movie from the music) and, did I not mention, quite boring !! But Jérémie Renier does a really good act! Expand

See all 14 User Reviews