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Mother and Child Review Critics


Dave White Profile

It is trying to break your heart. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

Jar Jar Binks is in it. Bring your light sabers! 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.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    A slow and lugubrious film about the impact of adoption on the lives of three women.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The hothouse drama Mother and Child is organized like a femme-friendly spa that specializes in treatments for the psyche rather than the skin. Soft New Agey music tinkles intrusively. Sore spots are prodded and massaged. Clients pass one another in the changing room. The ritual is exquisite to some, and excruciating to others.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Some may find the film overly schematic, but Garcia smartly uses three parallel narratives to probe the extraordinary nature of motherhood.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Mother and Child is as tangled as the emotions that link parents and children.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Mother and Child reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 17+

Adoption drama probes complex anger, heartbreak, hope.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this heartrending drama examines the complex repercussions of one adoption, and how its effects radiate outward from mother and child and can still be felt through the years. There’s no downplaying it: The film’s serious, and its heavy subjects may prove too overwhelming for both adults and the oldest of teens. There’s also some swearing (a rare "f--k" and "c--t"), plus flashes of nudity, and several sex scenes where very little is shown.

  • Families can talk about how Karen, and the daughter she gave up, Elizabeth, were formed by the singular experience they shared so long ago: her birth and subsequent adoption. Are their characterizations believable? Do you think the movie exaggerates the characters to create an emotional response in the viewer? If so, how?
  • What kinds of questions about adoption does this movie bring up for you? Do you know anyone who's been involved with adoption? Did this movie make you think differently about adoption? If so, why?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The overriding theme: Our past may haunt us, but it doesn’t have to define us. That’s certainly evident in the metamorphoses Elizabeth, Karen, and Lucy undergo. It’s a very empowering message. Also: Time does run out, so live the life you can -- now.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: There are no saints in this movie, and what a relief; instead, each character has his or her own strengths and foibles. In many ways, they each have something admirable about them, even the steeliest of the bunch. And they’re also woefully flawed. But oh what an arc they follow, especially Karen and Elizabeth, who are both eager to seek, if not happiness, then peace.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Lots of anger, but not much violence. A woman knocks everything off a counter at her doctor’s office in rage; soon after, she calls the doctor a name. A man and a woman have a loud fight in a parking lot after she overreacts to his kind gesture.

  • sex false4

    Sex: One character seduces her boss, and they have a sex scene together in which they’re nearly fully clothed but sex is simulated. The female later flashes her breasts to someone else briefly, and she also conducts a purely sexual affair with a married man. Her backside is also visible in two scenes. The movie begins with two teens kissing, and the girl takes off her top, revealing a bra. Other characters kiss. A married couple is shown in bed in the middle of having intercourse; the man’s behind is somewhat visible under the sheets, and the woman’s breasts are also momentarily revealed.

  • language false4

    Language: Some pungent language, from “hell” and “damn,” and the infrequent use of harsher swear words like “f--k” and “c--t.”

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some social drinking.