Rolling Stone - 09/07/2006
"[T]he film pulls you in like a magnetic force field."
New York Times - 09/29/2006
"[A] superb film adaptation of the novel by Tom Perrotta....A rigorous study of adult behavior....[The film] balances tenderness with satire."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/13/2006
"[A] jolting, artfully made drama set in and around a suburban playground somewhere between AMERICAN BEAUTY and IN THE BEDROOM on America's psychic highway."
Rolling Stone - 10/19/2006
"A never-better Kate Winslet goes so deep into her character you can almost feel her nerve endings....Most movies fade from the memory. This one sticks."
Total Film - 12/01/2006 4 stars out of 5 -- "Todd Field's second feature prickles with sterile threat and looming suburban doom....Field gathers everything into a climax that trains a brutal light on the big idea: living is easy, growing up is hard."
Box Office - 12/01/2006
"All may seem neat and tidy, but simmering beneath is a hotbead of anxiety, frustration and infidelity."
Uncut - 01/01/2007
"[A] superbly realised and wryly comic melodrama of suburban angst, anomie and adultery."
Premiere - 04/01/2007 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[O]ne of the best American films in recent memory. It is by turns disturbing and uplifting, both horrible and horribly funny, which is to say, more than a bit like real life."
Ultimate DVD - 03/01/2007 4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's impossible not to be drawn into Field's intriguing and beautifully crafted drama."
Actor-turned-director Todd Field follows up his Oscar-nominated drama, IN THE BEDROOM, with this ambitious adaptation of Tom Perrotta's celebrated novel. Set in the imploding minefields of modern suburbia, LITTLE CHILDREN follows several inhabitants of a small American town as they fumble their way through adulthood. Numb-to-life housewife and mother Sarah Pierce (Kate Winslet) finds an outlet for her yearning in gorgeous househusband Brad Adamson (Patrick Wilson), who is crippled with insecurity over the fact that his perfect wife, Kathy (Jennifer Connelly), is the family breadwinner. When Sarah and Brad meet at the local playground one afternoon, a passionate affair is sparked. In a further attempt to reclaim his youthful fire, Brad joins a night football league with Larry Hedges (Noah Emmerich), a former cop who has begun to harass a convicted sex offender, Ronnie J. McGorvey (Jackie Earle Haley). These troubled lives eventually collide, causing each individual to take full responsibility for their not-so-responsible actions. Adapted for the screen by Field and Perrotta and artfully photographed by Antonio Calvache, LITTLE CHILDREN is a bitingly funny, and nakedly honest, critique of middle class dysfunction. Though the cast is universally superb, it is former child actor Haley (THE BAD NEWS BEARS, BREAKING AWAY) who steals the show. After only two features, Field proves that he is a truly gifted storyteller.
This film was included in the 44th New York Film Festival organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.