The Book of Henry

The Book of Henry

Colin Trevorrow (2016)

12A Certificate


Our Score
An 11-year-old boy genius runs the show in a single-parent American household as this serio-comic fable unfolds with more than a hint of mid-80s Spielberg. Jaeden Lieberher's Henry loves building Heath Robinson-esque contraptions, is working on his stocks portfolio, has expertise in existentialism and brain surgery, but is also caring towards his put-upon waitress mum (Naomi Watts) and vulnerable little brother (Jacob Tremblay). He seems perfect in every way, except for the numbing headaches. Some will guess the story's direction of travel, but Henry's thought of everything in advance, with a red notebook that's a handy user manual - including what's to be done about the suspicions hanging over their next-door neighbour (Breaking Bad's Dean Norris). Tonally, the film plays like ET minus the alien visitor, but its heavy-duty subject matter (mortality, child abuse) proves a truly awkward mix. The cast performs heroics and director Colin Trevorrow's emotional empathy with the characters is clear, yet this simply fails the credibility test, with one plot strand involving illegal firearms startlingly irresponsible.


Premiere. A single mum sets out to rescue an abused girl using instructions from her genius son's notebook. Drama, starring Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay. Directed by Jurassic World's Colin Trevorrow.

Cast & Crew

Susan Carpenter Naomi Watts
Henry Carpenter Jaeden Lieberher
Peter Carpenter Jacob Tremblay
Sheila Sarah Silverman
Glenn Sickleman Dean Norris
Dr David Daniels Lee Pace
Christina Sickleman Maddie Ziegler
Principal Wilder Tonya Pinkins
John Bobby Moynihan
Mrs Evans Geraldine Hughes
Director Colin Trevorrow
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UniversalGuidance: SwearingReleased on: 23 Jun 2017