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Babies Review

  • Release Date: May 07, 2010
  • Rated: cultural and maternal nudity throughout
  • Runtime: 1 hr. 19 min.
  • Genres: Documentary
  • Director:Thomas Balmes Critics


Dave White Profile

Hell is other people's kids. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

The perfect Mother's Day movie date. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    As a portrait of children who are wanted and loved, it's intimate and often delightful.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    As the movie goes on, these fleshy little beings turn into…well, people. And that's something to see. But Babies, without falsifying its subject, could have used a more soul-stirring sense of showbiz -- that is, a riper display of infantile special effects.

    Read Full Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Mesmerizing film for kids and parents who adore wee ones.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this documentary -- which features four families from different parts of the world -- holds large appeal for both parents and children alike. There are no subtitles and several different languages spoken, but the universal messages of family and childrearing come through easily. Some families portrayed come from countries where nudity is commonplace (Namibia, specifically), and there are scenes of mothers breastfeeding children, but the images are placed in their social contexts. The movie offers a way for kids to learn about what it's like to grow up elsewhere in the planet, and to acknowledge differences as well as similarities.

  • Families can talk about how babies are raised in different countries: Are there any similarities among the four portrayed here? What are the main differences? Why do you think the filmmakers decided to make this movie?
  • What can we learn from the way babies live in different parts of the world? Did you find yourself making judgements about unfamiliar childrearing practices? Why or why not? Do you think the filmmakers presented the four families objectively -- or was there a bias?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The film offers much food for thought about different ways of childrearing: Some babies are in more sterile environments, and others aren't. Some babies have more access to books and toys, while others make do with plastic bottles and baby goats. On one hand, it shows that babies thrive and find glee in all sorts of situations, but on the other, it makes us think about unfamilar parenting styles that, if unchecked, could induce judgement calls.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: The four babies featured in this documentary are the stars, and in many ways, they remind us of how determined, persistant, curious, interested, and willful we once were.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence and scariness: Not really a concern, except the kids can be hard on pets. Also, some scenes might induce wincing among those unfamiliar with certain cultural traditions, as when a Namibian mother shaves her baby's head with a knife. Or when a child seems on the brink of disaster, such as when Bajar teeters atop a barrel.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Not an issue, though moms are shown breastfeeding and, in Namibia, topless, as is the custom there.

  • language false0

    Language: Not applicable

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Hardly an issue, though neon signage (HMV, for instance) is everywhere in Tokyo. Also, titles of books are visible.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable