Child 44 (2015)

Child 44 (2015)


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Child 44 (2015) A disgraced member of the military police investigates a series of nasty child murders during the Stalin-era Soviet Union.
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  1. SABA

    Tom Rob Smith’s crime bestseller makes a shaky transition to the screen in the hands of Swedish director Daniel Espinosa. Set in 1953 in Stalin’s USSR, it starts from a brilliant premise – a detective investigates a series of child killings in a society where even acknowledging the possibility of murder is considered treasonous. In writer Richard Price’s boil-down of the labyrinthine original, the whodunit intrigue loses all momentum, while the film never rises to the prime challenge: persuading us to invest in the redemptive ordeals of a hero (Tom Hardy) who starts out as a merciless state investigator. And the whole thing is fatally scuppered by the decision to have everyone speak in borscht-thick Russian accents. Hardy is very odd, as usual. With a performance of obsessional, brutish intensity, he seems to be off in another film of his own – although, truth be told, it’s a considerably more interesting one than Espinosa’s, which is shot in several shades of Volga mud and drags like a Thursday afternoon in Nizhniy Novgorod.

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