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Let the Right One In Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    This is one of the real finds of 2008.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    If random arty blood thrills are your cup of fear, perhaps you'll enjoy Let the Right One In, a Swedish head-scratcher that has a few creepy images but very little holding them together.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    A moody adaptation of the Swedish best-seller about a fateful mortal-vampire romance, Let the Right One In is atypically literate and unexpectedly affecting suspense fare. Complex characters, ominous situations fraught with mortality and the recklessness of youthful ardor create a tense and subtly shaded narrative.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    A remarkably fine and genuinely frightening movie about a teenage vampire.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The young actors are powerful in draining roles. We care for them more than they care for themselves. Alfredson's palette is so drained of warm colors that even fresh blood is black.

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  • See all Let the Right One In reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Swedish vampire tale is much grislier than Twilight.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this vampire drama has brief but intense, bloody scenes of biting, dismemberment, beheading, and grotesque images of an acid-scarred face and severed limbs. Sunlight turns one vampire into a fireball, while another begins suddenly bleeding all over. Swearing includes a few uses of "f--k." A "blood brothers" ritual is attempted. There is a bleak depiction of kids on their own in a world where adults are distant/distracted/divorced/drunk, in varied combinations. There are strong overtones of bullying and kids warped by divorce. The boy-girl relationship at the center of the film starts to take a homosexual turn. This movie was filmed in Swedish, but an English-dubbed version is a DVD option for viewers who don't like subtitles.

  • Families can talk about whether Eli is an "evil" vampire or not. What do you think will happen to the characters after the ending?
  • Oskar is a regular target of bullies. Talk about Eli's advice for him to fight back -- hard -- and whether that's a good idea or not in real world.
  • Vampire movies continue to be popular. Ask kids who their favorite screen bloodsuckers are and why.

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Theme of unconditional friendship among lonely young people, with outcast Oskar drawing close to paranormal Eli, who also can't be part of normal society. Foreshadowing that Oskar may come to a bad end later in life because of his association with Eli.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: There may not be any "good guys" in this story at all; Eli is a vampire who kills when necessary (though not seeming to enjoy it), while small, bullied Oskar has fantasies of deadly revenge against his enemies. Grownups, even parents, seem distant from the children, though Oskar has a few (very few) cozy moments with his split-up mother and father. Other adults are bitter drunks and hooligans.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Gore in horrific -- but usually brief -- bursts, including severed heads and limbs, snapped spines, a character falling from a high window, a boy hit with a rod, and of course, ferocious vampire attacks on necks. Eli bleeds from skin and orifices, and another character bursts into flames, illustrating famous vampire weaknesses. A near-drowning, and shots of a dead body after the victim's throat was slashed and the blood drained. One character is shown disfigured after acid in the face.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Eli is an androgynous creature who sleeps with Oskar naked (though nothing shown or happens in the way of conventional sex). A brief glimpse of what seems to be a naked male groin with a scar from the penis being surgically removed. A character is jokingly accused of masturbating. The boy-girl relationship at the center of the film starts to take a homosexual turn.

  • language false3

    Language: The f-word on a few occasions.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Supporting adult characters are a band of drunkards.