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The Book of Henry

  • Drama
  • Crime/detective
  • 2016
  • Colin Trevorrow
  • 105 mins
  • 12A

Summary

Referencing instructions from her genius son's carefully crafted notebook, a single mother sets out to rescue a young girl from the hands of her abusive stepfather. Drama, starring Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay. Directed by Jurassic World's Colin Trevorrow

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Review

A star rating of 2 out of 5.

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.

Credits

Cast

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Susan CarpenterNaomi Watts
Henry CarpenterJaeden Martell
Peter CarpenterJacob Tremblay
SheilaSarah Silverman
Glenn SicklemanDean Norris
Dr David DanielsLee Pace
Christina SicklemanMaddie Ziegler
Principal WilderTonya Pinkins
JohnBobby Moynihan
Mrs EvansGeraldine Hughes

Crew

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DirectorColin Trevorrow

Details

Theatrical distributor
Universal
Released on
2017-06-23
Languages
English
Guidance
Swearing
Formats
Colour
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