Themes of parental guilt and the effects of broken families on children are hinted at early but discarded in favor of genre pleasures, which Carion provides to increasingly formulaic effect.
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Carion, along with his co-screenwriter Laure Irrman, leave things annoyingly unexplained – which would be fine in a poetic meditation on loss and grief that purposefully raises more questions than answers, but is indefensible in a neither-here-nor-there pseudo-intellectual thriller.
An endorsement of milquetoast vigilantism that’s not nearly as knotty as it presumes to be, the French thriller “My Son” is so reserved in its storytelling and vague in its details that all it elicits is a yawn.
The film seeks to elevate genre clichés by slowing down the speed with which they’re typically offered.
[An] engrossing, propulsive film.
My Son finds its cinematic footing in a committed, steady, realism, and that creates a high-wire act of tension and suspense that’s refreshingly clean and consistently effective.
It’s got a nervously eerie feel to it that’s grounded in Canet’s gripping turn as a dad out to do good for his estranged family.
In its modest, stripped-down way, it’s a worthy cousin to the genre stalwarts, anchored in the unvarnished power of Canet’s performance, and the no-nonsense approach to Christian Carion’s direction.