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Reviews & Ratings for
The Lost Son More at IMDbPro »

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15 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Well-filmed thriller, worth watching.

Author: r-e-witt from Brooklyn NY
4 April 2004

It is interesting that "8MM," with a plot so similar, came out the same year. I found this film more interesting and believable and far less dark and stomach-turning. It is well-filmed and acted with some interesting locations. The tension is well-metered. I enjoyed the colorfulness of the filming. The cosmopolitan/European flavor lends a great deal. I enjoyed the music as well. I would see this film again with a friend.

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18 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

An excellent mystery/drama Europic.

Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
26 December 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Lost Son" tells the story of a French private investigator (Auteuil) working in England who is retained by a wealthy family to find their adult son which leads to an investigation into a child slavery ring. A top tier film with all that we've come to enjoy about Europics and an excellent cosmopolitan cast, "TGS" has probably garnered more negative criticism than it deserves for taking on the subject of pedophilia. If so, it's simply a sad testament to a public mentality which will laud such sensationalistic garbage as "Pulp Fiction" or "Lock, Stock..." and their horrific violence while rejecting a more real treatment of a difficult issue which was not exploitive and offered insights into an evil underground of which too few are aware. Kudos to those who brought "The Lost Son" to fruition for an excellent film which did not sensationalize or pander to the people though it had the opportunity to do so.

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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Compelling if at times uncomfortable viewing

Author: David McDaid from United Kingdom
26 December 2001

Daniel Auteil gives a commanding performance as a French private investigator working in London following self imposed exile from Paris following the murder of his family. Making ends meet through a combination of blackmail of those involved in extra marital affairs and fees from their partners, Auteil is a weary character with little joy or passion in life, with the exception of football, and his friendship with a fellow French exile, Nathalie a high class prostitute. However when he takes on a case looking for the missing son of a wealthy industrialist, he finds himself embroiled in the sordid world of the child sex trade. A gripping story with good performances all round, especially from Auteil, this film tackles a taboo subject in a sensitive yet realistic fashion. Auteil's unorthodox methods to secure information should fill an audience with revulsion, yet in this situation, they seem entirely appropriate. Excellent if at times uncomfortable viewing.

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Not as bad as I thought it was going to be

Author: Trevor Gensch (
28 November 1999

Firstly, I quite enjoyed The Lost Son. I have never seen any of the films that Daniel Auteuil had been in before, so I did not go in with any preconceptions.

He was pretty good, despite his English being a bit hard to understand on occasion. It was nice to have a mix between his English and his native French when he spoke to friends from his homeland.

The story itself is a bit convoluted, but that really doesnt matter. It changes focus half way through and really is not about finding "The Lost Son", but really about his own personal revenge against the vile people who deal in the child sex industry.

I enjoyed the music by Goran Bregovic a lot, and am going to track down more of his work.

A solid 8 out of 10.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

An excellent "Flic" - French Cop-Style Thriller

Author: angelwild18 from United Kingdom
22 April 2007

I just watched this film on DVD, and sought it out because I love Daniel Auteil's acting.

This film felt very French to me in its cinematography and overall styling, although largely London based, and shot mainly in English.

The acting throughout was excellent, perhaps with the exception of Ciaran Hinds' Brazilian/American/Irish accent! Ciaran plays the lost son's brother in law, who brings Lombard, the French private detective living in London, in to try to solve the case of the disappearance.

The film does deal with a very sensitive subject, but I felt it did so sensitively, showing how an empire can be brought down by one man, if he feels strongly enough to sacrifice everything he has.

There are some very violent scenes, and they are wholly central to the script, highlighting how low Lombard's character, is brought by his passion and anger at what horrors he has uncovered in a paedophile ring, involved in the disappearance of the lost son. Lombard makes moral decisions throughout the film that are understandable and I feel that this is a very powerful film.

The late Katrin Cartlidge puts in a very strong performance, supporting Lombard's character in his ultimate revenge plot. Lombard's "tart with a heart" best friend, Marianne Denicourt, is excellent in a stunning bitter-sweet role, and Billie Whitelaw is fabulous as the stern, businesslike matriarch, whose lost son is being sought by Lombard, and who also comes to terms with tragic loss, as Lombard also must. Auteuil, as always, is credible, beautiful and gives a very moving performance. Although it took me a few minutes to get over his English "voice"!

In my opinion, this must be one of the best international, cross-over, thrillers in recent years.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

brutal and difficult, at times, to watch--but worth it

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
13 March 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First off, you need to know this is NOT a movie you should let your kids see. The subject matter of the movie is the child sex trade and there is a considerable amount of intense violence in the film. I think all but a mature audience would be pretty traumatized by the film--I know I was a bit put off by the disgusting plot initially.

Second, this film was a lot of fun for me to watch because I have seen Daniel Auteuil in many films and this was the first time I saw him acting in English and he did an excellent job. In addition, the character he played was a lot different than I was used to seeing. In Hollywood, this role might have been played by a more traditionally "macho" star--but I really think it helped to have a shorter, middle-aged and not particularly hunky guy play the role. It helped to make the plot seem more real.

As mentioned above, the plot involves child sexual abuse and the sick soul-less people who profit from buying and selling children. Auteuil plays a private detective who stumbles into this industry when searching for a missing man. But how he resolves this will either totally put you off or offer a great reward depending on your sensibilities. If you can't accept him becoming a vigilante and killing or maiming these evil people, then I suggest you don't watch the film. I admit was totally repulsed by the sexual deviants and found it very satisfying to watch them get killed--particularly the last guy. The film really manages to tap into your visceral disgust for sexual predators--and some may feel disturbed that they can ENJOY watching these men die.

About the only negative is the role played by Nastasia Kinski. Her character, at times, seems a little too shrill and annoying--almost more of a caricature than a 3-dimensional woman. Later the movie explains, in part, her over-reactions but I just felt she was a poorly developed character. However, considering she is NOT really that important to the plot, this can be overlooked.

The writing, direction and most of the acting is first-rate. Give it a try.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Difficult subject, handled indifferently.

Author: sibisi73 from United Kingdom
17 November 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


Taking a subject as controversial as paedophilia and attempting to build a routine detective story around it is prone to failure, not least because it is very easy to appear sensational and exploitative. Having said that 'The Lost Son' doesn't fall down on that count, but instead disappoints because it isn't bold enough. For two thirds of the film we have the basis of a great detective story, which only falters when the director feels the need to throw in a few heroics, and sentimentalities. When Lombard delivers the saved children, by truck, into the arms of the priest, he's almost saint-like - and it's just a bit too trite. I was also letdown by the 'twist' ending, which was totally expected.

Shot mostly on location in London, the film captures the claustrophobia and loneliness of Lombard's existence since the death of his wife and child, the catalyst for his own need to run away. Moving the action to Mexico destroys the sense of isolation and spoils the flow of the film immensely. Auteil's performance as the hard-bitten private investigator veers away from cliche because you really can believe in this man's story. He himself is a 'lost son', searching for some meaning to exorcise his own demons, and sorting out other people's problems while trying to bury his own. It is telling that his only real friend is a prostitute, and his life tends to revolve around those close to the 'business' he so ardently abhors.

'The Lost Son' isn't an easy film to watch, and doesn't deliver on all it promises, with a tendency to favour flashiness over a fleshed out story. But worth seeing, nonetheless.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Very tough topic, well done.

Author: billpride from San Francisco
27 April 2003

Violence, abuse, psychological drama, and sexual predation are real, and they're portrayed shockingly here, as is appropriate. Be warned. It makes you want to become an activist or a vigilante. Where was the law? Where were the other tradtional protectors? Can it ever be prevented and will it ever end?

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Excellent detective story with an unpleasant subject matter

Author: rimsey-2 from Adelaide, Australia
28 November 1999

Daniel Auteil is perfectly cast for this role as a sleazy detective trying to escape a tragic past. Sure there are some cliche elements in the story but hey, isn't that why we come to see this sort of movie? The subject matter is grim and I was left wondering about the still-gorgeous Natassia Kinski's role in the story. I felt her character never really went anywhere. The twist at the end was really fairly predictable but nevertheless at its best this movie reminded me of Chinatown.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The French P.I.

Author: jotix100 from New York
6 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Xavier Lombard, a Frenchman, has been living in London after his life was altered by the assassination of his wife and daughter in a horrible car explosion aimed to kill him, as well. He had gone mad, after the tragedy. He left France because he needed a change of pace. He is now a private detective. His old pal, Carlos De Moraes, a Brazilian former colleague, comes to him with a proposal. Xavier is asked by Carlos' wife Deborah Spitz, and her parents, to track down her brother who has mysteriously disappear from the face of the world.

The investigation takes Xavier to the missing man's girlfriend, Emily, who meets him with suspicion, aiming a shotgun at him. She has reasons for the hostility, she is caring for Shiva, a boy rescued by the missing man because he was being used for unscrupulous sexual purposes, leaving the boy speechless. Shiva can only mutter a name: "The Austrian" as the man that got him into sexual slavery. Xavier decides to consult with his friend, Nathalie, a French prostitute, because her contacts in the British underworld.

Nathalie puts Xavier in contact with what turned out to be a pedophile ring operating among London's elite. His investigation takes him deeply into the gang's territory, even going as far into Mexico to get to the root of how the children are taken away to be groomed for what they in turn will become. A lot of money is at stake. Xavier's finding will reveal who the real mastermind is, something that will stun him.

Chris Menges, a distinguished cinematographer himself, directs the film. Written by Marie and Eric Leclere with Mark Mills, this is a thriller adventure that holds the viewer's suspense because it is credible. The insidious work of pedophiles amazes Xavier, having suffered the loss of a daughter himself. The production was photographed by Barry Ackroyd, the Oscar winning cinematographer for "The Hurt Locker". The music score is by Boran Bregovic.

Daniel Auteuil, a wonderful French actor, shows courage accepting to appear as the star of this film. Even though his accent is a bit thick, he manages to portray the man at the center of the action. Not being associated with this type of genre, he does well in a film that takes him away from his usual roles in France. The late Katrin Cartlidge appears as Emily. Marianne Denicourt does an excellent Nathalie, and Natassja Kinski plays the grieving sister of the disappeared man. Ciaran Hinds makes the most of his Carlos De Moraes.

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