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Child 44

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Czech Republic, United Kingdom, United States · 2015
Rated R · 2h 17m
Director Daniel Espinosa
Starring Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace, Fares Fares
Genre Crime, Thriller

Set in Stalin-era Soviet Union, a disgraced MGB agent is dispatched to investigate a series of child murders -- a case that begins to connect with the very top of party leadership.

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What are critics saying?


Empire by

This overwrought thriller is a pedestrian period piece that squanders its potential.


Hitfix by Drew McWeeny

I'm baffled by the screenplay credit. Richard Price is a muscular writer, and he's done some great work in the crime world over the years, but this feels like a screenplay by someone who has never written a film before, full of first-draft dialogue and weird structural and tonal issues. It's almost amazing how tone-deaf it is.


Slant Magazine by Ed Gonzalez

The film is at once devoted to corroborating and casting an exaggerated light on Soviet paranoia and the state's rhetoric of unmasking its enemies.


Total Film by James Mottram

Hardy is immaculate as Leo, from accent to demeanour. Now on his fourth film with Hardy, Oldman is a pleasure to watch, and even the smallest of roles have been carefully cast, with the likes of Vincent Cassel, Paddy Considine and Clarke all enjoying their moment.


TheWrap by James Rocchi

Director Daniel Espinosa’s Child 44 turns a best-selling period-piece procedural into a slow, tedious thriller almost totally devoid of thrills. While the cast is full of exemplary performers — Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman and more — the fault here is not in the stars, but in the material.


The Hollywood Reporter by Jordan Mintzer

This $50 million Ridley Scott production does benefit from strong performances and a few worthy scenes that director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) pulls off with an effective amount of grit. Yet the movie doesn’t really captivate the way it should, and as the manhunt stretches on it actually diminishes in suspense, ultimately overstaying its two-plus-hour running time.


New York Post by Kyle Smith

Calling Child 44 a mash-up of “Dr. Zhivago” and “Silence of the Lambs” doesn’t do enough to capture how strange it is.


Variety by Peter Debruge

Part serial-killer thriller, part old-school anti-Soviet propaganda, Child 44 plays like a curious relic of an earlier Cold War mindset, when Western audiences took comfort that they were living on the right side of the Iron Curtain, and relied on movies to remind them as much.


The Dissolve by Vadim Rizov

Daniel Espinosa’s unwieldy, sometimes unintentionally funny film adaptation nails the gloomy period production design of a perpetually gray empire, but otherwise, it’s a wash, starting with a Europudding assemblage of performers of all nationalities besides Russian.

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