32 user 9 critic

The Child in Time (2017)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 1 April 2018
2:02 | Trailer

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The life of a children's book author is turned upside down when his daughter goes missing.


Julian Farino


Ian McEwan (based on the novel by), Stephen Butchard
2,163 ( 214)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Benedict Cumberbatch ... Stephen Lewis
Kelly Macdonald ... Julie
Stephen Campbell Moore ... Charles
Saskia Reeves ... Thelma
Andrea Hall Andrea Hall ... Policewoman
Jim Creighton Jim Creighton ... Male Neighbour
Beatrice White Beatrice White ... Kate
Rosa-Marie Lewis Rosa-Marie Lewis ... Shop Assistant
Franc Ashman Franc Ashman ... Lydia Webb
Anna Madeley ... Rachel Murray
John Hopkins John Hopkins ... Home Secretary
Elliot Levey ... Prime Minister
Lucy Liemann ... Joanna Buckley
Natasha Brown Natasha Brown ... Stephen's Younger Mum
Laurence Spellman ... Greg Ellis


Children's author Stephen Lewis is shopping with 4-year old daughter Kate when she suddenly disappears. Failure to find her puts a strain on his marriage, his wife Julie leaving to live in a seaside village, though Stephen regularly visits her. Stephen continues to write but is asked by the prime minister to check on his best friend Charles Dark, who has resigned his cabinet membership to live in an isolated woodland retreat with his wife Thelma. Stephen is perturbed by Charles' apparent regression to childhood, reminding him of his own loss and, returning to London, erroneously believes that another little girl is Kate. Three years after the disappearance Thelma asks Stephen, still keeping Kate's room for her, for help with the increasingly disturbed Charles, leading to a shocking discovery though a later phone call from Julie provides a new beginning for them both. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

1 April 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ajan lapsi See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The scene where Kate goes missing was filmed in a supermarket in Crouch End, London, with an uninterrupted public flow. Because of the intense performance in this scene, a real police officer was standing nearby to reassure members of the public that a filming was taking place. See more »


Stephen's Mother: Kate is out there. You have to keep on loving her. Loving her is different to missing her. It will find her. She is... somewhere.
See more »

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User Reviews

So unreal that is just plain creepy.
7 July 2018 | by mharahSee all my reviews

Cumberbatch's character is so unemotional that he's just really strange, especially when he finally breaks down (albeit, briefly). And his persistent habit of peering in odd windows is eerie, even though those he is peering at don't seem bothered by it. (Maybe it's all in his mind.) Kelly McDonald is alternately overly hysterical and amazingly passive. She does the passive part quite well; her hysterics are over the top. The plot is all over the place with flashbacks that come out of nowhere and occurrences that drop in and out for no apparent reason. The mental illness subplot really has no connection to the main plot, except perhaps in the comparison of reactions to the repressed stress of life's challenges. This was certainly a very problematic book to dramatize, and the writers couldn't handle it. The bottom line is that these are truly dreary people, and it is quite difficult to work up any sympathy for them, in spite of the largely excellent performances.

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