The Son
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Olivier, a carpentry instructor at a vocational training center for troubled boys, has his world turned upside down with the arrival of Francis, a mysterious 16-year-old. Unbeknownst to Francis, a past tragedy, involving Olivier's son, connects him to his new teacher. When Olivier's ex-wife, Magali, is told of the boy's existence she is horrified. Olivier becomes obsessed, stalking the boy, furtively, while struggling to maintain a professional distance in his presence. As the secret that Bond's Olivier to the Francis is revealed, Olivier is thrown further into a conflicted… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Fails to provide enough tension to draw us into what, at first, seems a properly chilling crime drama."
‑ Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail
"[Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's] most gripping film to date."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"It's a clear-eyed style of filmmaking reminiscent of The Decalogue or The Bicycle Thief, movies that adopt a raw, bare-bones aesthetic to capture the difficult morality of everyday life."
‑ Robert Davis, Paste Magazine
"Actions, not words or feelings, are at the center of The Son, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's challenging, nearly religious parable of humanity, fallenness, and grace."
‑ Steven D. Greydanus, Decent Films Guide
"See if you don't find Olivier Gourmet's performance one of the most compelling and natural of the year."
‑ Eric D. Snider,
"If you have to pick between movies about the spiritual passion of tortured carpenters, make this the one."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"A miraculously straightforward drama of deep symbolism and lingering power."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"There's no music, not much dialogue (and what there is is mundane), a deliberately bland video look, and not much happens."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Simple yet deep. Not for blockbuster fans but amazing in its own way."
‑ Mark Robison, Reno Gazette-Journal
"The events are simple. The emotions are hugely complex."
‑ Liz Braun, Jam! Movies
"A substantial story about how one man handles his personal turmoil."
‑ Kathy Cano Murillo, Arizona Republic
"It's spring-loaded with tension and driven by agonizing moral choice."
‑ Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News
"The Son will dazzle you if you patiently think it through and discuss it. The effort you put into it will determine how much it rewards you in the end."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"The Son proves that [the Dardennes] can take on the concepts of the human desire for revenge and the capacity for forgiveness without becoming precious or overbearing."
‑ Matt Bailey, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"The Son takes forever to get going. And while that is a deliberate move by the filmmakers, Belgium's Dardenne brothers, it's still a problem."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
More reviews for The Son on Rotten Tomatoes