Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. 90
    Unmistaken Child stands above most others in offering us an intimate look at Tibetan Buddhism in action, with no external commentary or narration.
  2. Its privileged glimpse deep into unfamiliar spiritual territory has the strength of revelation.
  3. Films that address faith and love as eloquently as this moving 2008 documentary are rare.
  4. 75
    I hope they have shrinks in remote Nepal, because this kid is going to need one. P.S.: The scenery is awesome.
  5. 75
    Baratz’s apparent willingness to accept everything at face value papers over some of the more troubling aspects of Tenzin’s mission, but Unmistaken Child allows the mysteries of the process to be preserved without judgment.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    Unmistaken Child stands as a window on a beautiful and mysterious world. The questions it leaves hanging are for us to untangle.
  7. This documentary is only partly a story of the chosen one; mainly, and more intriguingly, it's a chronicle of the choosing one, of the nervous young monk charged with the job of leading the search party.
  8. Seldom has a film presented such a richly ambiguous juxtaposition of modernity (among the toys showered on the boy is a really cool radio-controlled helicopter), ancient mindset and, to be sure, possible miraculousness.
  9. Reviewed by: Dan Zak
    70
    Unmistaken Child: adorable, moving, bewildering, sad and, ultimately, peaceful.
  10. 63
    Baratz doesn't ask any of the obvious questions, preferring to observe uncritically, and if you can do the same, you may find Unmistaken Child worth seeing. I could not, and grew restless.
  11. 50
    The movie is a drama of faith, a Tibetan monk's search for the reincarnation of his beloved master Lama Konchog.
  12. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    50
    Although the film is handsomely filmed and features a surprisingly frank view of the political machinations within the upper ranks of Tibetan Buddhism – even the Dalai Lama comes across as a bit of a wheeler-dealer – Unmistaken Child is more than a little disappointing.
  13. The beauty of the landscape and the monk’s sweetness, humility and good humor evoke a plane of existence, at once elevated and austere, that is humbling to contemplate. That said, Unmistaken Child offers no scholarly perspective on Tibetan Buddhism and leaves fundamental questions unanswered.
  14. 40
    Who knew reincarnation could be such a lovely snooze?

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