Woe, by the way, unto the good, decent men who cross these women's paths. In the ovarian jungle of Mother and Child, each gent is undervalued in his own way.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
You may not quite trust Mother and Child -- its soft spots and fuzzy edges give it away -- but you can believe just about everyone in it.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Writer/director Rodrigo Garcia has fashioned a clear-eyed look at motherhood at all stages.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
With Mother and Child, Garca brings his finely calibrated sense of drama to the subject of adoption, which he handles with characteristic restraint and insight -- at least until the film's maudlin, too-pat finale.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Mother and Child keeps the traffic moving smoothly, much more so than a movie like Crash, because Garcia writes characters rather than positions, and he knows that the silences between people usually speak louder than their words.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Significant credit goes to these committed actors, who are forced to give speeches and make choices regularly at odds with authentic human behavior.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
It's a case of three exceptional actresses -- Annette Bening, Naomi Watts and Kerry Washington -- constituting an ensemble of obviousness.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
So many stories come packaged in hyped genres that we can forget how much character can hold sway. Watts, Bening and Washington -- along with a fine ensemble and a humane director -- make sure we remember.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
Still, stellar actresses Annette Bening and Naomi Watts rise above every impediment, delivering memorably luminous moments as mother and child, separated at birth.
Kathleen Murphy - MSN Movies
Of all the performances, Samuel L. Jackson's is the most surprising. It sometimes appears that the busy Jackson will take almost any role to stay working. This film provides a reminder of his subtlety.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
A screenwriter's butterfly flaps its wings and a chain of events is set into motion, resulting in the latest cinematic ensemble tale of connectivity and yearning. This one's good, though.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
This is well worth seeing for Bening's arresting, unpleasant performance.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
The fine actors show how we bond to those not related to us by blood -- and also how we love. Bring Kleenex.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
The film reminds us that character, not plot, is what binds us to a story. Cutting between scenes of each in her unique environment, the movie tantalizes us.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Obviously, this is emotionally rich ground and Garcia plows it perhaps a bit too heavily.
Tom Long - Detroit News
If Garcia's film never quite catches up with his ambitions for it, well, at least he's trying.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
One of the many pleasures in this exemplary film is watching the women grow and evolve, revealing more about themselves in each successive scene. Fraught with pitfalls, the narrative comes together seamlessly.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Rodrigo Garcia's reputation as a writer for and director of women will increase exponentially with Mother and Child, an insightfully observed and exceptionally acted ensemble piece precisely about what the title suggests.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
The film is an actors' showcase that Bening makes the most of.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
That Garcia manages to spin three rich and complex yarns without ever losing hold of the main thread -- the deep and mysterious connections between mothers and daughters -- is evidence of a keen eye and an exceptionally curious mind.
Greg Quill - Toronto Star
It's tough for actors to be nuanced when the movie isn't, and these intriguingly jagged edges soon get smoothed out.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
Garcia has achieved a scale and empathy that far surpasses his previous machinations without sacrificing the nuanced platforms he has granted actors all along.
Lisa Rosman - Salon.com
Three story threads finally intersect in a revelatory examination of what motherhood means.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Dynamite performances from Annette Bening and Naomi Watts ignite this strong drama from writer-director Rodrigo Garcia.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
For the first time in a very long while, Bening disappears into a character and turns in a performance that isn't about her shamelessly playing to the rafters to grab after Oscar.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Bening and Watts are good enough to see it through, and it's good to see Jackson actually play his age for once.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
It's a highly contrived affair with a barely concealed, deeply conservative Catholic agenda, and it has the ring of a cracked bell calling the righteous to prayer.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Mother and Child reminds us how important the notion of lineage - of finding a discernible path through life that doesn't just begin and end with ourselves - is to our personal identity, and the decisions we make in life.
Shaun Munro - What Culture
Annette Bening gives one of her most enigmatic and painfully frank performances yet that cuts direct to the core.
Lisa Giles-Keddie - Real.com
Bening, consistently one of the best US screen actresses, is really the main reason to keep you watching.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
Thankfully, the cast raise it above Hallmark standard, especially Jackson with a performance that proves he doesn't have to bring down great vengeance or furious anger to grab your attention.
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies
There are tears aplenty before the three plot strands are brought - rather too neatly - together.
David Aldridge - Radio Times
The producer is Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu, who has directed other karmic-coincidence dramas. This one looks mannered and gimmicky.
Garcia may have a good movie in him; Inarritu may have another (he once made Amores Perros). But as collaborators they should be divorced and sent, like their characters, to far-flung corners of the creative planet.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Mother and Child is too dutiful, overly sincere and its impressions are easily washed away.
Tom Seymour - Little White Lies
There's pleasure and humour to be had in observing these troubled characters (and fine performers) as they navigate intimidating, unfamiliar territory...
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
An excellent ensemble makes the most of a multi-strand female-centred film that drifts very close to melodrama as it explores various aspects of motherhood.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
This film is sure to make all but the hardest-hearted shed tears.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
What keeps the whole thing from toppling into an abyss of unwatchable TV drama histrionics is a pair of dynamite performances from Annette Bening and Naomi Watts.
Cath Clarke - Time Out
Emotionally engaging, sharply written and powerfully acted drama that commendably resists some of the expected cliches.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
There's no shortage of talent in this ensemble drama about the bond between mothers and their children.
Anna Smith - Empire Magazine
[a] well-executed, thoughtful look into the maternal connection and how it can destroy as much as it creates.
James Luxford - The National
An emotional and intensely realistic examination of three women with ties to adoption.
Sarah Sluis - Film Journal International
Dave White - Movies.com
full review at Movies for the Masses
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
Provides moments of genuine emotion and pathos, be you a man or woman, parent or childless.
Andreas Heinemann - Flicks.co.nz
In a way, I was almost hoping that the three storylines didn't tie together at the end. Each of them stands so firmly on its own.
Rob Thomas - Wisconsin State Journal
The strong against-type performances of Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, and Samuel Jackson help an absorbing if very uneven script.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
The answers Garcia offers aren't necessarily satisfying; particularly for those who believe in adoption or (gasp) childlessness, but they are thought-provoking questions nevertheless.
Alison Gang - San Diego Union-Tribune
Mother and Child has the pretence of being something more meaningful, but it's really just a notch above soap opera.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
Finely acted and measured in its subtly faith-based approach, Rodrigo Garcia's Mother and Child does not quite escape the limitations of its soapy genre ...
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Whenever we starts to lose patience with the story's conceit, Garcia and his actors hit a note of emotional authenticity that pulls us back in.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
A well-acted and effective drama -- when writer-director Rodrigo Garcia allows it to move along./
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
What's spot-on is the performances of the three lead actresses, Annette Bening, Naomi Watts and Kerry Washington.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
This movie packs an emotional wallop and women will get the most out of the way difficult decisions are reached in life-changing situations. Bening gives her best performance in years and makes a remarkable transformation that deserves Oscar consideration
Keith Cohen - Entertainment Spectrum
For the most part, Garcia offers a sober, clear-eyed picture that's populated with prickly personalities and unenviable situations, and he and his actors are brave enough not to flinch even during the most challenging interludes.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Garcia keeps his various stories flowing and in perfect balance.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Does as much disservice to its stars as it does to the art of graceful cinematic storytelling.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
As far as the stories are concerned, a couple of them are pretty good. But the nearly disastrous third section unravels the entire movie.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
A gently lathered soap opera whose bubbles burst nonetheless with expected timing and unwelcome force.
William Goss - Orlando Weekly
The emotional breadth of these performances makes the flow chart predictability tolerable.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
This is a movie well worth your time and attention.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
These people are not easy to love, but they are fascinating to watch.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
This isn't one of those lo-fi indie movies that sells out in the third act for a big bang. By the end, it's what's resolved as much as what's not resolved that makes this story worth telling.
Jason Di Rosso - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
Mother and Child winds up with some very mixed messages.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
With an emotionally raw script and top-notch performances, this provides an insightful look into the complex bond between mother and child.
Karlie Jeffrey - FILMINK (Australia)
Naomi Watts and Annette Benning give outstanding performances in this increasingly contrived and sentimental tale of mothers and daughters, and the joys and anguish that come with adoption.
Simon Weaving - Screenwize
A beautifully nuanced script, Bening at her best, and superb against-type performances by Watts and Jackson, make this a must-see film for, and about, women -- especially mothers.
Kristen Krauth - Empire Magazine Australasia
Mother and Child -- which interestingly never makes an issue of race in its relationships -- is rewarding viewing, even if it's not exactly feel-good entertainment.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
A powerful parable that uses the most primal of bonds to uncover the aching abyss of regret and the fundamental human need for connection.
Alice Tynan - Concrete Playground
There's something vaguely mystical -- and quite affecting -- about the way the individual paths of these women come together in Mother and Child. Intentionally or not, the movie is about the invisible hand of fate, or a higher plan, in our lives.
Darryn King - The Vine
Like mother, like daughter: Ice queens and overachievers
Corey Hall - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
The characters and the cast should deliver in spades, but the story falters, makes a couple of clumsy jumps and twists into contorted tangles with subplots that are mere distractions
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
Mother and Child takes us beyond our comfort zone as emotional boundaries are stretched and canvassed. It is an intriguing film, but there are flaws
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Mother and Child's best moments come from its many small and wonderful character details.
Steve Ramos - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A thoughtful and provocative film about the way we live now.
Calvin Wilson - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
[Garcia] lets the picture start to go soft in the middle, and teary melodrama floods in like water from a broken dam.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
You'll wonder if the message of the movie is that the process of adoption turns women into vicious hags. But that can't be right, can it?
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
You haven't seen women like this before. Cruel, distant, unfriendly, and selfish. Provocative and daring in its unsentimental approach to real life problems.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
You'll laugh and you'll cry at what turns out to be Rodrigo Garcia's finest work to date.
Frank Wilkins - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Does the excellence of the second part make up for the rancid, unintentionally campy opening? Not for me, though perhaps others would be more forgiving.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Great dramatic acting by the three lead women, and it's fantastic to see Samuel L. Jackson back in a strong supporting role.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
The story sometimes stretches credulity, but the talented cast brings out the drama.
Mother and Child has what might be the first Oscar caliber performance of the year.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
When Jimmy Smits holds out his hand, suddenly Karen's lifelong fury evaporates, transforming her into the loveliest woman ever known to man. What? All this time, and all she needed was the touch of Smits' mitts?
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
Something like a finely-written and -acted soap opera.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
Though really nothing more than a high-toned soap opera,...the extraordinary performances elevate the material far above its treacle-drenched roots.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
This is an actors' showcase first, and clearly Garcia enjoys demonstrating what this ensemble can do.
John Hartl - Seattle Times
The movie's substance lies in its psychological profiles, and it's as twisty and tortuous as any peek into the subconscious is liable to be.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
It's not an easy film of righteousness, but a trembling drama, with more venom than anticipated, salvaged by a few outstanding performances.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
...intelligent and aimed at a mature femme audience. In the end, it is all about closure.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Writer/director Rodrigo Garcia is the son of famed Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, so maybe the filmmaker comes by all the magic and coincidence in his stories naturally.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
If you are a regular moviegoer who can't get enough of the daytime soaps, look no further than Mother and Child. It has enough soapy story lines to fill out at least three daytime series for a month.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
In the feature-length soap opera "Mother and Child," writer-director Rodrigo Garcia creates a multiple narrative about women, the choices - sometimes forced upon them - that they make regarding childbirth and the manifold repercussions.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Though Watts's Elizabeth brings a sense of darkness and unpredictability to the film, the hyperbolic flourishes and the melodramatic climax offset the actresses' best efforts.
Tom Meek - Boston Phoenix
This movie's calm, steady control keeps a wide variety of good actors in the same universe.
Michael Phillips - At the Movies
Tender, heartfelt and intriguingly structured albeit occasionally melodramatic. Annette Bening, Kerry Washington and Naomi Watts shine in their captivating, raw and brave performances.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
Adoption drama probes complex anger, heartbreak, hope.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
The leads have excellent support from Jimmy Smits, Cherry Jones, Shareeka Epps and S. Epatha Merkerson-plus, that most welcome rarity, a subtle turn from Samuel L. Jackson.
Jonathan Kiefer - Sacramento News & Review
Rodrigo Garcia knew he was making a good movie, but did he really understand the kind of good movie he was making?
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
- National Post
The best thing about "Mother and Child" is Annette Bening's perceptive performance.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
It would feel overly theatrical if Watts, Bening, and Washington didn't convey the vulnerability beneath every firm demurral, lacerating insult, and refusal to engage.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
An extraordinary film about adoption and the lives of three very different women on separate quests for love, nurturing, and personal fulfillment.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
The tremendous cast is reason enough to give it a chance. Bening, Watts and Washington are at their very best.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
thick, saccharine pablum
Chris Cabin - Filmcritic.com
Poses a number of intriguing questions about the nature of maternity, only to obscure them with a gloss that is equal parts sentiment and subtle but specious politics.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
When a filmmaker does everything right, as in Rodrigo Garcia's Mother and Child, you may be watching a masterpiece.
Armond White - New York Press
A believably unbalanced Bening scores the movie's true coup: Karen's revitalizing relationship with a sweetly persistent coworker (Jimmy Smits) is a rare example of Hollywood doing right by midlife romance.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
Like a math equation whose inevitability doesn't diminish its crisp clarity of truth...It unwraps its surprises in ways that pay off as the movie goes on.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Mother and Child is suffused with grief and loss. It's also suffused with compassion and insight.
This movie is cloaked in prestige and indie-cinema trappings, but it's really not much different from the crappy middlebrow tearjerkers that Hollywood floods our theaters with.
Kristian M. Lin - Fort Worth Weekly
A two-hankie weepie for the family-values set, Rodrigo Garcia's latest sudser worships at the altar of motherhood, a state that the writer-director posits as something like the essence of womanhood.
Andrew Schenker - Slant Magazine
Not a single false note in this story of women's vulnerabilities, loneliness, seeking, disappointments, all brought about by the adoption conventions.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Dealing with adoption from differnet perspectives, Gracia's film is timely, well acted tale that unfortunately gets too conventional and schematic as it goes along, explaining each and every detail; even so, Naomi Watts and Annette Bening are splendid.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
An obvious return to form for filmmaker Rodrigo Garcia...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
A slick, ensemble melodrama that appears to touch on every female issue regarding motherhood, family and relationships.
Steve Ramos - Boxoffice Magazine