Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Joshua Review

Movies.com Critics

4.5

Dave White Profile

… really excellently disturbing … Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 4.0
    69

    out of 100

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

  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Superbly crafted psychological thriller.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Joshua does grow a bit repetitious (it lacks the cathartic climaxes of a horror film), yet it has cool and savvy fun with your fears.

    Read Full Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Sinister sibling-rivalry drama is majorly creepy.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a very scary movie about evil triumphing over good. The most vulnerable creatures -- animals, a newborn baby, loving parents and grandparents -- are stalked, threatened, and destroyed by a little boy who uses his extraordinary intelligence to wreak havoc on the world around him. There are upsetting deaths and some blood, though much of the actual destructive violence is implied and takes place off screen. Some drinking and swearing (including "f--k").

  • Families can talk about the impact of implied violence in scary movies like this one. Are movies scarier when they show violent acts taking place on screen or when those acts are left to your imagination? Why? What statement is the film making about the nature of evil? Is Joshua purely bad, or is there any way he could be redeemed? How is his state of mind revealed by the music he plays? What role does music play in this movie and in other scary movies?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Evil triumphs over good. Intelligent, loving parents are no match for a child with a deadly agenda and without a conscience. Superior brain power and artistic genius are equated with stop-at-nothing wickedness. A Christian fundamentalist is portrayed as well-meaning but narrow-minded and cluelessly ineffectual.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Much of the actual destructive behavior is implied and takes place off camera. A dead woman is shown with pooling blood around her. Animals die under suspicious circumstances. The lead female character is graphically seen stepping on broken glass. Child is beaten by father.

  • sex false0

    Sex: One scene of affectionate sexual foreplay between husband and wife. No nudity. A new mother is shown using a breast-pump.

  • language false5

    Language: Plenty of swearing: "F--k," "bulls--t," etc.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Casual drinking: wine at dinner, a champagne toast. In one scene, a lead character drinks when upset.

Advertisement