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The Childhood of a Leader

Mystery . Drama . Horror

This chilling fable about the rise of fascism in the 20th Century tells the story of a young American boy living in France in 1918 whose father is working for the US government on the creation of the Treaty of Versailles. What he witnesses helps to mould his beliefs – and we witness the birth of a terrifying ego.

Actors: Bérénice Bejo , Liam Cunningham , Robert Pattinson , Stacy Martin , Yolande Moreau , Sophie Curtis , Rebecca Dayan , Caroline Boulton , Tom Sweet
Directors: Brady Corbet
Release: 2016-07-22
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  • John Bleasdale

    The Childhood of a Leader is a dark, enigmatic piece of work that hovers between visionary greatness and petty domestic triviality. Corbet's inaugural stint behind the camera marks a stunning debut.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Lee Marshall

    The Childhood Of A Leader is as relentlessly sombre and compelling as the film’s remarkable, full-volume orchestral soundtrack by musician’s musician Scott Walker.

    Screen International Full Review
  • David Ehrlich

    With his unusually accomplished directorial debut Childhood of a Leader, Corbet delivers a strange and startling film that reflects the unique trajectory of his career, as well as the influence of the iconoclastic directors with whom he’s already worked.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Michael Nordine

    Little of what happens will come as a surprise, but Corbet's narrative restraint coupled with his formal daring makes for a gripping experience. It's a slow burn, but the fuse attached had me holding my breath.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Godfrey Cheshire

    An uncommonly promising debut. Full Review
  • Tommaso Tocci

    What could very easily be received as an irritating, pretentious feature debut is actually a display of controlled madness full of astute touches.

    The Film Stage Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    It’s a persuasive portrait of a monster-to-be, one etched in thrown tantrums and rocks, and heavily supported by an excellent cast that includes Robert Pattinson and Yolande Moreau as well as a driving score that occasionally threatens to upstage the movie.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Farran Smith Nehme

    It’s an ambitious, often arresting film, but it lacks cohesion, and the seesawing plot and motivations seem more indecisive than mysterious.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    A debut feature by American writer-actor Brady Corbet, the film is sketchy, confused and too self-consciously aimed at arthouse audiences to thrive commercially, but it has a chilling impact.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Jessica Kiang

    Alternating immense bombast with long stretches of longueur in its psychologically questionable evocation of the formative years of a future despot, the film is formally confident, stylistically inventive and intensely irritating.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Guy Lodge

    A overweening, maddening but not inconsiderable directorial debut for actor Brady Corbet

    Variety Full Review
  • Deborah Young

    There is actually a lot of imagination at work in the film, though frustratingly it rarely comes together in an emotionally meaningful way.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Sam C. Mac

    Brady Corbet reaches for a dreary self-importance akin to Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
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