Children of a Lesser God
Children of a Lesser God (1986)

Children of a Lesser God is a love story about a speech teacher who falls for a beautiful yet distant deaf girl in a small New England school for the deaf, and the obstacles that they face due to their differences. William Hurt plays James… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: October 3, 1986
DVD Release Date: November 15, 2005
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Critic Score: 81% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

Children of a Lesser God, though given a handsome openness in Director Haines' production, cannot transcend the banalities of the play. But Matlin does. She is, one might say, a miracle worker.

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Stephen Garrett
Time Out

A genuinely touching love story and a clever gloss on the barriers and extensions of language.

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A sappy but often genuinely moving and angry film about love, life and deafness.

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Pat Graham
Chicago Reader

Hurt seems to be bucking for at least two Oscar nominations here: one for his performance, the other for best echo effects by an interpreter of signed speech.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

There's scarcely a single moment in it that seems to be spontaneous.

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Emanuel Levy

Not unlike The Miracle Worker, this teacher-student-breakthrough movie updates the genre with several changes: the teacher (William Hurt) is an unconventional male, the student (Marlee Matlin) is an attractive female, and their relationship involves sex.

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Variety Staff

A touching and universal love story.

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Paul Attanasio
Washington Post

This is romance the way Hollywood used to make it, with both conflict and tenderness, at times capturing the texture of the day-to-day, at times finding the lyrical moments when two lovers find that time stops.

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Victoria Alexander

Unfortunately, launched Matlin on us.

More reviews for Children of a Lesser God

Flixster Audience Score: 78% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
A sincere and touching drama with laudable performances by William Hurt and Marlee Matlin, whose wonderful chemistry together always convinces us of their… More
Drew Smith
If the original play was "tough" as the Flixster summary describes it, I'd be really interested to watch that. Its movie offspring is well-made,… More
Spencer S.
A commentary on the state of the deaf community after so many years of innovation in teaching techniques, medicine, and biology, was missing from this romantic… More
Alice Shen
Marlee Matlin is mysterious, beautiful, angry, and I've fallen into the pool with her. Film itself is a little patchy and some directorial choices… More
Thomas Johnston
Slow and boring. The "love" seemed rushed and shallow for the depths of such drama! Performances for this movie have been overrated!
Dean McKenna
Unusual love story between a teacher of the deaf and a deaf janitor. Marlee Matlin has a superb performance on her debut film. I love Deaf community / culture… More