Critic Reviews

75

Metascore

Based on 34 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
The movie is one of the few films I can think of that examines the baffling combination of smugness, self-abnegation, ceremonial deference and status anxiety that characterizes middle-class Gen X parenting, and find sheer, white-knuckled terror at its core.
100
Perrotta and Field succeed, not by guessing, but by knowing this world. They understand it enough to see it with cold precision -- and to approach it, at times, with disarming warmth. The characters aren't types, but people.
100
Chicago Tribune
Unnervingly good, Little Children is one of the rare American films about adultery that feels right--dangerous, hushed, immediate.
100
Once again, Field has crafted and grown-up movie that grabs you by the throat, drags you in and doesn't let you go until the very bitter end.
91
Entertainment Weekly
A jolting, artfully made drama set in and around a suburban playground somewhere between "American Beauty" and "In the Bedroom" on America's psychic highway.
90
The Hollywood Reporter
Providing richness of detail and metaphor, elegantly blueprinted themes and impressive mastery of a constantly shifting tone, Little Children does just that. It is a deeply satisfying film.
88
This unnervingly funny and quietly devastating film -- director Todd Field's first since his smash 2001 debut with "In the Bedroom" -- pulls you in like a magnetic-force field.
88
New York Daily News
Built from a perfect story-telling collaboration.
88
The rarest of movies - a literary multi-character drama. From the erudition of the voiceover narrative to the three dimensionality of the characters, Field's film is the closest it's possible to get to a book without reading one.
75
Little Children maintains much of the power, humor and nuance of Tom Perrotta's wonderful novel, but seems unsure if it's a satire or a serious drama.
75
Philadelphia Inquirer
During its two hours-plus running time, Field's movie veers from dark comedy to melodrama, not always gracefully. But tonal inconsistencies don't blunt the keenness of its satire, so sharp that I walked out with emotional razor burn.
50
Wall Street Journal
Mr. Field is a filmmaker with an exceptional gift for directing actors -- he's an actor himself -- and an eye for telling detail. (His cinematographer here, as in the previous film, is Antonio Calvache, and again the images are quietly sumptuous.) Yet I was put off by Little Children's satiric tone.

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