I’m not sure what the determining factor is when it comes to which films end up shown in movie theaters around the world or just receive home releases, but it is my fear that there are tons of brilliant movies that are going unnoticed by the general public. One of the latest of these brilliant pieces is Daniel Espinosa’s drama thriller, Child 44.
After refusing to denounce his wife, Raisa (Noomi Rapace, Prometheus), as a traitor, secret agent Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy, Warrior, The Dark Knight Rises) is demoted and exiled from Moscow. In the midst of this, he finds himself in a continued investigation into a series of child murders that stretches much further than originally thought. With the help of Raisa and his new boss, General Mikhail Nesterov (Gary Oldman, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Dark Knight trilogy), he must follow the trail of the killer and bring him to justice, while remaining out of trouble from his former friend, now rival, Vasili (Joel Kinnaman, RoboCop).
Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, written by British novelist Tom Rob Smith, there is a lot to follow in Child 44. Liars, traitors, and corrupt officers are abound all while a serial killer is on the loose, murdering children from town to town in 1953 Soviet Russia. With all of that being said, it is still fairly easy to comprehend, due in part to writer Richard Price’s screenplay, the direction by Espinosa, and the superb performances from the entire cast.
I pretty much love every film I’ve seen Tom Hardy star in. His work in films like Lawless and Warrior will forever stick out in my head as fantastic work, but it is films like Locke and now Child 44 that really help show off this guy’s chops. Hardy is phenomenal throughout this entire flick. He is able to express a wide range of emotions, while being a badass Soviet officer who also has a soft spot for his wife and for doing the right thing no matter what he has to sacrifice in the process.
Hardy is not the only star to shine throughout Child 44, however. The Dark Knight Rises co-star, Gary Oldman, is wonderful as General Nesterov, Noomi Rapace (who isn’t afraid to get physical in a lot of the fight scenes) is breathtaking as Raisa, and Joel Kinnaman is the perfect villain in this crime thriller. In fact, the entire supporting cast is brilliant as well. Jason Clarke, Mark Lewis Jones, and Fares Fares, among many others, were all a pleasure to watch.
Child 44 is a film that should be seen by all. If you are a fan of war-time films, enjoy crime flicks, or are just a Tom Hardy fan in general, you should not miss out on this one — The acting is outstanding, there is plenty of plot to get wrapped up in, the characterization is entertaining to witness develop, and the action is intense. Child 44 is available on DVD and Blu-ray now from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
I give this film 4 corrupt officers out of 5.