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Joshua (2007)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  13 July 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 9,735 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 85 user | 125 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

The arrival of a newborn girl causes the gradual disintegration of the Cairn family; particularly for 9-year-old Joshua (Kogan), an eccentric boy whose proper upbringing and refined tastes both take a sinister turn.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ned Davidoff
Nancy Giles ...
Alex Draper ...
Rufus Collins ...


The Cairn's life seems to be a harmonic family: The father Brad works as a stockbroker, his wife Abby takes care of their common new-born daughter Lily, and the 9-year-old Joshua is high-talented. But the appearances are deceptive. Joshua becomes gradual jealously, that his parents give the baby more attention than him. Therefore he begins to terrorize his family. Written by RSaVLSG

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

baby | newborn | stockbroker | museum | boy | See All (69) »


Not all children are innocent. See more »


Drama | Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some disturbing behavior by a child | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 July 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Devil's Child  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$51,233 (USA) (6 July 2007)


$478,492 (USA) (3 August 2007)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The note that Joshua leaves for his father reads: "Dad,/Eaten lunch already/and gone to/The Brooklyn Museum of Art/having fun with Nunu and Lily." If you arrange the first letter of each line in order, it reveals an acrostic for "Death." See more »


The video tape Joshua pulls from the drawer to watch is dated 2/29/1997. 1997 was not a leap year. See more »


[first lines]
Soccer Dad: You're playing like a bunch of little girls!
Brad Cairn: [signalling him to chill out]
Soccer Dad: You're playing like a little girl!
Brad Cairn: Good, good hustle. Good hustle!
See more »


References Battleship Potemkin (1925) See more »


The Fly
Performed by Jacob Kogan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Strange but not too strange . . .
17 July 2007 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

"Cruel children, crying babies, All grow up as geese and gabies, Hated, as their age increases, By their nephews and their nieces." Robert Louis Stevenson

If you're thinking of starting a family, don't see Joshua. If you think your stockbroker spouse is a stable breadwinner capable of providing you a view of Central Park, don't see Joshua. If you think all your children will be lovable, don't see Joshua.

However, if you want the bejesus scared out of you by a kid so bright he could skip two grades and play Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 12 at recess, director George Ratliff, whose Hell House could have entitled this expert psychological thriller, has fashioned a hell of a cautionary tale about appearances and reality, unlovable kids and their clueless parents. The slow disintegration of an upper-middle class family is so carefully drawn that the first third of the film seems like a walk in the park with a few scrapes from some errant shrubbery. When, however, nine-year old Joshua Cairn (Jacob Kogan) begins missing his parents' affection, displaced to his crybaby newborn sister, strange but not too strange things happen, not easily ascribable to him.

As in most successful thrillers involving miscreant kids, even to the end is a doubt that they could be the source of the growing terror. Although comparisons to The Bad Seed and Rosemary's Baby seem fair, Kogan bears a strong resemblance to Buddy Swan, who played the young Charles Foster Kane with chilling deadpan. Kane's lifelong hang up over being separated from his family is an appropriate allusion to clarify the psychological ramifications in this film.

Although I was quite pleased with the slow exposition, because I think things unravel slowly in privileged families, the payoff ending came too quickly and without the supernatural underpinnings the buildup seemed to promise.

"Modern children were considerably less innocent than parents and the larger society supposed . . . ." David Elkind, Child Psychologist

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