6.6/10
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128 user 116 critic

The Book of Henry (2017)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 23 June 2017 (USA)
Trailer
2:23 | Trailer

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With instructions from her genius son's carefully crafted notebook, a single mother sets out to rescue a young girl from the hands of her abusive stepfather.

Director:

Colin Trevorrow

Writer:

Gregg Hurwitz
Reviews
Popularity
2,303 ( 32)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Naomi Watts ... Susan Carpenter
Jaeden Martell ... Henry Carpenter (as Jaeden Lieberher)
Jacob Tremblay ... Peter Carpenter
Sarah Silverman ... Sheila
Dean Norris ... Glenn Sickleman
Lee Pace ... Dr. David Daniels
Maddie Ziegler ... Christina
Tonya Pinkins ... Principal Wilder
Bobby Moynihan ... John
Geraldine Hughes ... Mrs. Evans
Maxwell Simkins ... Tommy (as Max Simkins)
Jackson Nicoll ... Morris
Donnetta Lavinia Grays ... Nurse Leah
Joel Marsh Garland ... Big Ed
Wass Stevens ... Gary
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Storyline

Juggling a job as a waitress and raising two boys on her own--little Peter, and the 11-year-old child prodigy, Henry--the single mother, Susan Carpenter, has a somewhat chaotic life, depending on Henry to manage the household's finances. However, things will take an unexpected turn, when Henry's innocent crush on the beautiful girl next door and hopeful ballet dancer, Christina, unveils a cruel and shocking revelation, dragging Susan in the middle of a dark conspiracy. Will the Carpenters take the law into their own hands; moreover, what's written inside Henry's little red book? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Never leave things undone.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 June 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Book of Henry See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,424,540, 16 June 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,219,536, 7 July 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Colin Trevorrow and John Schwartzman's second film to be shot in the Univisium (2.00:1) format since Jurassic World (2015), although it was projected at 1.85:1 theatrically. See more »

Goofs

Henry is seen using a payphone to make stock trades. He is using fractions. While it could be just his personality/condition, US markets switched to decimals on April 9, 2001. Later in the movie the doctor shows the MRI scan on a tablet too advanced for pre-2001. See more »

Quotes

Susan Carpenter: We are not murdering the police commissioner and that is final!
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Alternate Versions

The film was shot for the Univisium aspect ratio of 2.00:1, but was presented theatrically in the standard 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The Univisium ratio is preserved on the home video release of the film. See more »


Soundtracks

Amazing Grace
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly good with excellent performances, writing and camera work
16 June 2017 | by rannynmSee all my reviews

I had no expectations going into this movie. I knew I like the director, the leading actress and it had an interesting premise. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this under-the-radar film and am sure general audiences will as well. The Book of Henry is an emotionally affecting film with a few fine messages about parenthood and altruism.

The movie actually surprised me. Perhaps it's because I had no prior knowledge about it, but the twist (I don't think it's supposed to be a twist per se) in the movie is reminiscent of Psycho, in that the seeming protagonist has an interesting cinematic journey. That provides the basis of our catharsis. It's actually very solid writing. We become invested in this character who has a charm and wit about him that's irresistibly likable and we fall for him. We become invested in his relationships with his mother, his little brother and his neighbor. The plot is already in motion and then the twist happens.

After this twist, the true protagonist comes to the forefront and we become invested in her because we feel for her and root for her cause. The only issue - her cause happens to be literally unbelievable and predictably improbable. However, we find ourselves nearly believing it. I mean, there's a sequence that's utterly Hitchcockian, when there's cross editing between two separate scenes. One scene is used as the musical background for the other and the tension is palpable. It's reminiscent of the concert scene in The Man Who Knew Too Much. It all comes to a satisfying ending that we all knew was coming and yet, isn't any less smile inducing.

The performances are very good. Naomi Watts is one of our generation's most consistent actors and the youngsters Jacob Tremblay and Jaeden Lieberher hold their weight and then some. However the score and direction deserve a lot of credit. The film is very well paced and switches between tones so seamlessly. Never are we pulled out of the film because it gets boring or it goes too quickly or it switches between genres.

A lot of reviews are bashing the film. Don't get me wrong, it has its flaws. The foundation of the character is never told and is a glaring hole. A few plot elements are improbable, definitely. However, those are forgivable in the grand scheme. This film has charm and intrigue. I believe it'll go down as one of those films where critics and general audiences just don't agree. With that said, I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It can be seen at a local theater when it opens June 16, 2017.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.


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