The Other Son


Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 24, 2012
    When the mistake is discovered, how do the families react? What disturbs them more: that their son has been raised as an enemy or that he has been raised in another religion? That's where The Other Son gets complicated.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Oct 25, 2012
    Ms. Levy's film gets to say affecting things about the mysteries of identity, and the ironies of ancient enmity. If we can assume, from the nature of the premise, that Joseph and Yacine will soon accept their situation and become friends, we can also assume, from the course of history, that the Israelis and Palestinians will continue to resist doing the same.
  3. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Oct 25, 2012
    A parablelike melodrama with obvious symbolic meaning.
  4. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Oct 25, 2012
    It's done persuasively enough that you wonder how you'd feel under similar circumstances.
  5. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Oct 25, 2012
    Ms. Lévy is rescued from her maudlin, preachy tendencies by the skill and sensitivity of the actors, who turn a wobbly parable of tolerance into a graceful and touching story of real people in a surreal situation.
  6. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Nov 18, 2012
    The movie doesn't need to preach a "we're all equal" message. When we watch the boys bond with their new kin over food or music, then see the lines of Palestinians plodding through armed checkpoints to reach jobs or visit Israeli friends, we get the point.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Oct 25, 2012
    This beautifully photographed drama is well-played throughout with great conscience without becoming heavy-handed.
  8. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Oct 25, 2012
    Sentimental? Certainly, but in a part of the world where hope and optimism haven't shown their faces in a long time, it's hard not to feel carried along by the generously conciliatory spirit that warms The Other Son, as it did "The Band's Visit." Movies have rarely been known to change the world, but you never know.
  9. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Oct 24, 2012
    The Other Son's setup is too contrived, carried along by conversations that are either confrontational or artificially elusive.
  10. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 26, 2012
    Some may scoff when the boys exhibit traits and interests derived from the biological parents they never knew, but The Other Son is such a disarming feat that cynics will get left at the checkpoint.
  11. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Oct 25, 2012
    The Other Son is a case of good intentions overwhelming the inherent drama - quite simply, political correctness got the best of it. The French director is so focused on covering all the bases, and ensuring a sense of equal empathy - and screen time - for the plight of both families, she leaves the film struggling to get beyond a log-jam of life lessons.
  12. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Nov 2, 2012
    Lévy gets expectedly strong work from the veteran Devos and outstanding performances from Sitruk and Dehbi.
  13. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Oct 25, 2012
    The Other Son is played with warmth and conviction by its cast. But it's also a little pat and toothless, set in an Israel where not even the notorious border crossings seem that difficult.
  14. Reviewed by: Louis Black
    Dec 12, 2012
    Cinematically well-made, The Other Son is nevertheless workmanlike. The actors are all excellent, the storytelling compassionate, and the overall sense one takes from the film is more humane than political.
  15. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    Oct 23, 2012
    Making a feel-good movie about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be a recipe for disaster, but French writer-director Lorraine Levy manages to avoid many, if not all, of the pitfalls in her touching family drama.
  16. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Oct 23, 2012
    Ham-fisted dialogue and clichéd characterizations trump genuine chemistry in The Other Son, a contrived Franco-Israeli drama about two 18-year-olds, an Israeli and a Palestinian, accidentally switched at birth.
  17. Reviewed by: Boyd van Hoeij
    Oct 23, 2012
    An adequate if never surprising effort from French helmer Lorraine Levy.
  18. Reviewed by: Matt Singer
    Oct 23, 2012
    The cast's performances are so gut-wrenching (particularly from Emmanuelle Devos and Areen Omari as the boys' equally empathic mothers) that the film's hopeful message and abundance of heart prove impossible to resist.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 2 out of 4
  1. Oct 29, 2012
  2. Jan 10, 2014
    I really don't like this movie. 'Joseph' one of the protagonists didn't act well, he recited very badly, full stop. However the story isI really don't like this movie. 'Joseph' one of the protagonists didn't act well, he recited very badly, full stop. However the story is enough good made. Full Review »
  3. Apr 11, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. The most pointless movie ever. Not only is it boring, uneventful, badly directed and too long. But the whole premise of the movie is meaningless. The film is not intented to be an action movie, a romantic film, a thriller, a comedy or to show innovations in film-making; nor does it have a talented cast of well-known actors. It's made to tell a story. Therefore, I'm going to judge it based off its purpose. Even ignoring the badly translated French into English subtitles, and the lifeless direction, I can say this is the worst movie I've ever seen. Clearly, the whole point of the film is to show the characters' emotions in light of the information they've recieved, but these actors are horrible at doing that. What's more, the whole story is completely redunant. So what if you found out you've not been living with your genetic parents? It makes no difference, and any impact is only relevant in the minds of those concerned. It may only have an impact on the emotionally weak. In reality, in practice there is no difference. Any subsequent action or change in behaviour is purely from one's emotional side; no real factors or circumstances are affected. Clearly, this is a film for women who cry all the time and have nothing better to watch. Full Review »