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Reviews & Ratings for
Little Children More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Good, not great

7/10
Author: jezburg from United Kingdom
31 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Superbly acted, long but never dull,funny, affecting, but lacking in edge. It's main problem is the narration which is intrusive and largely unnecessary. It feels like the makers don't trust the intelligence of the audience. Still I did enjoy it. Kate Winslet again proves what a good actress she is and the rest of the cast are equal to or not far behind her. The panic at the swimming pool scene is brilliantly staged and the film as a whole is nicely understated. Unfortunately the ending is a bit of a cop out. Nothing is resolved between the main two characters and we are robbed of a final scene between the two of them by a far too convenient series of events. These provide the only false notes in the plot. A pity but I left the cinema with a lot to think about, something rare these days. It's not for the Saw 111 crowd but it does deserve to find an audience.

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27 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Pointless, disgusting waste of time

1/10
Author: thegreenman5 from Los Angeles
31 December 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was disgusting and an unquestionable waste of time. Thank God I didn't pay to see this movie. Received it as a free DVD as a member of the WGA to judge "for your consideration". Don't even bother watching this movie under any circumstances. Meant to be a hidden glimpse/satire of American Suburbia where adults act like children, it is certainly the worst movie I have seen in 2006, if not the last 5 years. I'm stunned by the glowing reviews found on these pages and seriously wonder if they were written by the director and his publicist. I'm certainly no prude and I'm not coming from some morally offended point of view, but there is absolutely NOTHING redeeming about this film. There is not a single character in this film for which I had a shred of empathy and I could not have cared less what happened to any of them. In fact after watching half the film I found myself hoping for a giant sinkhole to appear and swallow them all up and take them to some insipid hell where they belonged. I will certainly avoid any movies by this director or writer for the rest of my life. For god sakes, was your own twisted and perverted childhood so horrible that you have to foist this garbage on the rest of us? Who green lights this type of utterly useless film? Rent "21 Grams" or "Blue Velvet" again if you need to glimpse the seamier side of America; at least in those films there is some appreciation for the human condition and an effort is made to connect to some part of the human soul while depicting the darker sides of our natures. Was this supposed to be "dark humor" or satire? The only thing dark or satirical about this waste of celluloid was the 2 hours of my life I will never get back from watching it. Even Kate Winslet getting naked couldn't save this product of mental & emotional midgetry. It's too bad you can't vote "zero" out of 10 here at IMDb because rarely has there ever been a film that deserved it more.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Just snip, quick and easy.

8/10
Author: Ben Larson from Leesburg, FL
5 August 2012

Todd Field (Eyes Wide Shut) presents a slice of life in suburbia that is both fascinating and sad.

This is the first time that I have watched a movie where a narrator (Will Lyman) provided hints as to what was going on. It worked beautifully as I felt that I was watching an anthropological study on suburban life, much as watching gorillas in the jungle.

In our study we see: a trio of suburban wives that thought they were special and shunned outsiders; a wife (Kate Winslet) that was disconnected from her husband (Gregg Edelman), who spent his time on porn sites with panties over his head; an immature husband (Patrick Wilson) that had a wife (Jennifer Connelly) that was married to her work and her child; and, to make things really interesting, the conflict between a disgraced cop and a newly released sexual predator (Jackie Earle Haley).

It was touching, bizarre, amusing, and aggravating. It was just what makes a movie that you want to watch over and over to see what else is in there.

Winslet was absolutely magnificent, and Haley was perfectly cast. They both really made this film.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Surprised so many people love this film

3/10
Author: beyoglu from Turkey
26 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I live in Istanbul and the TV information for this film didn't tell me who was in it, just the basic story. I started watching and thought it was pretty bad. Then the narration kicked in and I thought it was a kind of made for DVD comedy, or something like The Ten. BUt then I noticed Kate Winslett.

The film seems like it can't decide what kind of film to be. As a film buff, I do get black comedy and to me, there was nothing black comedy about this film. There were some truly "huh???" parts, shifting from absurdism to drama to emotionally charged scenes of family relations put to the test. It was just a mix that I think didn't work.

Had the film just stayed straight without trying to inject the humor, I think it would have been much more successful. I still can't believe the actors won so many awards speaking such terrible dialog.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Unsympathetic portrait of small town lives which never quite achieves its contradictory ambitions

6/10
Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
12 July 2010

Another fascinating, flawed film by writer-producer-director Todd Field, who co-adapted the screenplay with Tom Perrotta from Perrotta's novel. Handsome stay-at-home dad in a stifling suburb, slowly and quietly being emasculated by his documentary-filmmaker spouse, has an affair with an unfulfilled housewife in the neighborhood; meanwhile, a sex-offender recently paroled has moved into town and is being harassed by an ex-policeman, who has his own tragic history. An occasionally effective tapestry of dramatic storytelling, yet one waits in vain for big, revealing scenes that never arrive. An even headier problem may be that this particular group of troubled (and selfish) people are never made embraceable to the audience...are any of these characters worth caring about? Field intertwines the smaller bits of the plot--the minutiae--together successfully, but he is unable to chart a satisfying course through the culmination of events, thereby reaching an unrewarding conclusion. There are rich, intuitive moments and performances, but the film derails at a crucial point in the story--with about 10 minutes left on the clock--and this leaves the audience feeling somewhat emotionally deprived. **1/2 from ****

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Stunning

8/10
Author: peterlane5 from United States
2 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Loved it. Yes there a few parts that are 1 or 2 parts that I found a little disturbing and depressing. Through the movie I kept feeling sorry for Ronnie and I did cry when he did "that" to himself in the end. What I liked most about this movie was the character development especially Noah Emmerich's character Larry. It was really neat to see him going from absolutely hating and being disgusted by Ronnie to caring for him and finally feeling sorry for him. I went from hating Larry to liking him in the end. It had a few funny parts through Decalogue. I think the movie was perfectly cast. Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson make a great on screen couple. Jakie Earle Haley does a great job at portraying a sex offender who can't help the way he is. I actually liked Earle's performance in this better than his other performance in Watchmen. Also Phyllis Somerville does an outstanding job as Ronnie's mother. If you are in the mood for a fantastic Drama this is it,but keep in mind that there are a few disturbing parts.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An excellent piece of film-making

Author: Red_Identity from United States
4 February 2010

Little Children is an important film, simply because it is a satire on society and it's many flaws. There is no right or wrong, and if there is, it is not up to us to judge. Todd Field directs this film with a keen sense of wonder and comedy. The film is at times very funny, and at other times heartbreaking and fundamental. I have seen many other suburban dramas, most notably some of my faves American Beauty and Revolutionary Road. But this film is different to a larger extent because it is not about suburban life, but about the hypocrisy that lives within it. The characters are complicated and flawed, with brilliant performances all around. Kate Winslet, my favorite actress, here gives another powerful performance and really bringing her character to life. Patrick Wilson is the perfect actor to play Brad. Jackie Earle Haley is outstanding, creating the 'evil' in society, the threat, but also a very sympathetic and very sad character. Haley should do more films, as he was also amazing in Watchmen. The whole film is not just about Brad and Sarah, but about every other character. This strengthens the film, and it also gives it the tone of impending doom lying ahead.

Little Children is a perfect example of a film where the characters drive the plot. I hate films where characters do and say things that will benefit to the film's plot- manipulation. This film is the completely opposite. Todd Field gives the actors room to breathe, making his film feel weight-less and surreal. The narration adds to the film as a whole. I found the film fresh and very strong.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

If you want to spend a couple of hours with some unhappy people, here's your chance

7/10
Author: bandw from Boulder, CO
16 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We have Brad (Patrick Wilson) married to Kathy (Jennifer Connelly) and Sarah (Kate Winslet) married to Richard (Gregg Edelman). Brad is a stay-at-home dad who is trying to pass the bar exam and Kathy is a PBS documentarian working on a documentary about children who have lost a parent in the Iraq War. Richard is a "branding" agent who compulsively watches internet porn and is caught by Sarah masturbating with panties strapped over his face. However beautiful, Kathy is reserved and distant and Brad feels intimated by her. So, the premise is set up for Brad and Sarah to become an item. Into the mix throw in: several anal, stereotyped, over-protective moms; Ronnie the pedophile (Jackie Earle Haley) who has just moved into the neighborhood in his mother's home; an ex-cop who was tossed out of the force after making a very bad decision; a mentally disturbed woman. This mix creates quite a wicked brew.

Winslet gives a good performance and the main demand made on Wilson is that he be a handsome hunk. It is Haley who steals the acting prize in this film. His impressive performance makes Ronnie into a tragic figure--he fully understands his affliction and his inability to control it. The conclusion of his date with a mentally disturbed women will surely stick in your memory as will his attempt at a final solution to his problem. Ronnie is so creepy that he may do a disservice by making people think that all pedophiles are that creepy and so easily identified.

All of the main characters are victims of animalistic urges that they have as much control of as children.

After much melodrama the film concludes with a message equivalent to, "Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life."

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Film to Be Watched

9/10
Author: Ross G from Cincinnati, OH
26 May 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The ringing of countless clocks commences this film, whose subject concerns American suburban life. This sound fragments the day into hourly slivers which the suburbanites follow without skepticism. But under the street-lamps, at the end of the day, the main characters cast their shadows too far.

Kate Winslet plays the frustrated, educated mother, the spectacle of the film, with Gregg Edelman as her erotica-obsessed husband, and Sadie Goldstein as their neglected daughter. As Sarah, Winslet's life brings her to Brad, played by Patrick Wilson, another disenchanted suburbanite and Ronnie, a desperate child predator. In Hollywood fashion their lives are intertwined more and more until the climax, but the way in which the director depicts these characters makes their stories authentic and profound.

Sarah and Brad become secret and passionate lovers after a scandalous kiss at the playground, a kiss which made disappear the suburban wives and mothers from Sarah's life. The incident that they committed filled them with vivacity and sexual energy. That the spectators sees their faults, their relationship, and their unhappiness only adds to the underlining of all the scenes by the small-town friendly narration of Will Lyman.

The other characters must be mentioned because of their strong and sensitive performances. Ronnie, the pedophile, is encouraged by his mother, who only wants good for her son and that he will change. He is harassed because of his problem but Field does not subjectively comment on his actions. This relationship makes us realize the love of a mother for her son and that others, the ones about whom we read in newspapers, are not as different as we think. The empress of suburban life, Mary B. McCann plays her role to the extreme, a mother who embodies the incessant ringing of the clocks from the beginning of the film and who confirms the dominant aura of the suburbs.

Based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, the film transmits well the subtlety of emotions and themes. Field explores the interior of the characters, their relationships, and their surroundings; one sees this in the recurring images, always facing upwards, of silent trees, deserted playgrounds, and grand New England houses. Also, Field makes evident the idea of movement in a new direction, the future, and that this movement obliges us to forget, to hurt ourselves, or to relapse. This is well illustrated in the stories and dialogues, the brief and intense interaction of the characters.

Field has given us an extraordinary film with the talent and professionalism of Hollywood and the introversion and symbolism of the novel. This film should be watched to know the direction where Hollywood could go.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Compelling and interesting look at the dark side of human nature, it shows how different attitudes and personalities intersect in the suburbs.

6/10
Author: Danny Blankenship from Petersburg, Virginia
22 May 2009

Just watched "Little Children" and I must say that clearly this was one of the better and more underrated films of 2006. It's focus and setting is in the suburbs, and it's themes I should say center around characters who have problems some are dark, yet many traits are hidden and exposed as the film goes along. In some sense you may feel like your watching something similar to "American Beauty" or a big screen film of TV's "Desperate Housewives".

Todd Field who went rounds as both director and writer paints a haunting tale of life in the suburbs as it shows all have hidden secrets and different personalities intersect. It was interesting how the themes of bringing an ex child molester back into a community blended in with a marital affair, lust and sexual deviance. One of the best actresses around Kate Winslet stars as Sarah a married but, lonely woman who devotes all of her time to her studies as being an educated woman she studies groups and social patterns and life trends. Sarah just wants a little passion yet her husband is a masturbating online freak who has turned the cold shoulder to her.

Enter Brad(Patrick Wilson) the hunk of the community who's a water cooler and book club discussion topic with all of the ladies of the town. Brad is still trying to pass the bar exam to become a lawyer, yet he's dominated and watched careful both professionally and money wise by his wife Kathy(Jennifer Connelly)a documentary filmmaker. Yet one day to everyone's surprise both Sarah and Brad meet and hit it off right away. Slowly and surely a hot and passionate romantic affair of sex and lust develops which was great escape for both. And even though as a viewer you feel the escapism and erotic nature still you are drawn to the wild card of the film the return of Ronnie(Jackie Earle Haley)a child molester who's returned to society. And the film portrays him as so odd and one to fear as you see evidenced by the pool scene. As clearly this character is used as an allegory to show fear.

This film was made to show how typical life has become in the suburbs and it shows how the different personalities mesh and mix and it's clear a lot of human nature is dark. Yet most of all it proves no matter how different our paths our lives intersect and lead to surprising discoveries and even tragic ends.

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