6.4/10
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159 user 48 critic

The Good Son (1993)

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A young boy stays with his aunt and uncle and befriends his cousin, a boy of the same age who begins showing increasing signs of violent and psychopathic behavior.

Director:

Joseph Ruben

Writer:

Ian McEwan
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Macaulay Culkin ... Henry
Elijah Wood ... Mark
Wendy Crewson ... Susan
David Morse ... Jack
Daniel Hugh Kelly ... Wallace
Jacqueline Brookes ... Alice
Quinn Culkin Quinn Culkin ... Connie
Ashley Crow ... Janice
Guy Strauss Guy Strauss ... Arizona Doctor
Keith Brava Keith Brava ... Doctor in Blackport
Jerem Goodwin Jerem Goodwin ... Factory Worker
Andria Hall Andria Hall ... Woman Reporter
Bobby Huber Bobby Huber ... Axe Man
Mark Stefanich ... Ice Man
Susan Hopper Susan Hopper ... Woman at Rescue
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Storyline

Following his mother's death, Mark is sent to Maine to visit his aunt and uncle while his father goes on a business trip to Tokyo. Mark meets his cousin, Henry, and the two quickly form a friendship. However, Henry begins to show signs of violent behavior that worry Mark. Written by Sam

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A gonosz igazi arca (The true face of evil) (Hungarian DVD) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for acts of violence and terror involving a disturbed child | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 September 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El ángel malvado See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,520,305, 26 September 1993

Gross USA:

$44,789,789

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$60,613,008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name Henry actually means "ruler of the home". This is very fitting for the film's antagonist, as Henry is very controlling and manipulative of his family. See more »

Goofs

When Henry is kicking Mark at the dinner table, Mark's right hand moves between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man: [Mark plays soccer with his teammates as they cheer Mark's name] Get the ball!
Mark: Pass it to me!
Boy: Shoot it! Hit it in! Hit it in!
Mark: [Mark scores the goal] Yes! Yes!
Boy: Good goal! Good game.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1995 UK video version was cut by 33 secs by the BBFC to edit shots of 2 young boys dropping a lifelike human dummy into a stream of traffic to cause a motorway pile-up, as this was considered a dangerous imitable technique. The cuts were waived for the 2002 version. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Cinema Snob: Beware! Children at Play (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Dog Chase
Music composed by Elmer Bernstein
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A good sign
23 July 1999 | by SpleenSee all my reviews

In many ways this is just a standard thriller. How I loathe the word "thriller". It suggests roller-coasters; and the genre it denotes, at its best, deals in quiet tension. Where was I? Yes: standard thriller. A is really an evil person, intent on performing great harm in the future; B knows this but can't convince anyone else. I heard that sigh. But make A and B children, on the verge of adolescence, and not only is this tired formula invigorated, but it makes a great deal more sense. (Especially if B is in the slightly awkward position of a cousin on an extended visit.) The creaky old scenes where B goes to the police and either he is strangely incoherent or the police are strangely obtuse, are gone. There is now a perfectly good reason why B can't go to the police, or indeed anyone. Nor is there anything strange about the obtuseness of A's parents. The rotten adult seems so commonplace that we scarcely bat an eyelid; the rotten child, who is in fact far more commonplace, we like to pretend doesn't exist.

So I'm glad Hollywood took this step. I also, for the most part, like the way the step has been taken. B has no accomplices - he must battle A alone - and his plight is keenly felt. There's an air of plausibility about it all. Elijah Wood is an unusually good boy, Macaulay Culkin is an unusually bad boy; both look perfectly real. (Wood, who has the harder task, does especially well.)

The climax - or what is meant to be the climax - is HIGHLY contrived. It will probably come as a shock that the writers chose something at once so obvious and so ludicrous. The mood of the audience I saw this with - it may just have been my mood - was one of grudging acceptance, granted only because we had been treated so well in the events leading up to it.


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