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France, Belgium, Spain · 2015
Rated PG · 1h 21m
Director Lucile Hadžihalilović
Starring Max Brebant, Roxane Duran, Julie-Marie Parmentier, Mathieu Goldfeld
Genre Mystery, Drama, Horror

11-year-old Nicolas lives with his mother in a seaside housing estate. The only place that ever sees any activity is the hospital. It is there that all the boys from the village are forced to undergo strange medical trials that attempt to disrupt the phases of evolution.

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What are critics saying?


CineVue by Ben Nicholson

Evolution more often chimes aesthetically with a European arthouse drama, but that is only until it voyages into more fantastical territory. Then this haunting and esoteric work manages to seduce and repulse in uncanny harmony.


Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

The film interprets itself, offering an essay on rape and gender fluidity that locks us out of the cognitive process of digesting it.


The Film Stage by Ethan Vestby

A silly horror movie at heart, Lucile Hadžihalilovic‘s Innocence follow-up seems to confuse “ideas” with “prolonged silences.”


The Hollywood Reporter by Jordan Mintzer

With her sophomore effort, Evolution, the writer-director delivers another disturbing mélange of experimental genre filmmaking and adorable, tortured French kids, offering up a trippy visual feast that satisfies on an aesthetic level, if not always on a narrative one.


Total Film by Kevin Harley

As we’re steered from nightmares to raptures, the mix of horror, sci-fi, puberty fable and gender-twisting perhaps strains the narrative. But two certainties hold: it’ll stick with you, and Hadžihalilovic is in total command of her evolution.


The Playlist by Nikola Grozdanovic

Cloaked in a mystifying atmosphere and possessed by a transfixing, amorphous mood, Lucile Hadzihalilovic's Evolution is a beautifully strange hybrid of innocence and disturbance.


Variety by Peter Debruge

With its linear narrative and clear sense of a protagonist, Evolution is both more beautiful (thanks to gorgeous widescreen cinematography, including stunning underwater and nighttime footage, from “The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears” d.p. Manu Dacosse) and accessible than “Innocence,” though the two films clearly function best as the twisted diptych that they are.

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