Critic Reviews



Based on 19 critic reviews provided by
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.
Screen International
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s an ambitious, often arresting film, but it lacks cohesion, and the seesawing plot and motivations seem more indecisive than mysterious.
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.
A overweening, maddening but not inconsiderable directorial debut for actor Brady Corbet
There is actually a lot of imagination at work in the film, though frustratingly it rarely comes together in an emotionally meaningful way.
Slant Magazine
Brady Corbet reaches for a dreary self-importance akin to Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon.

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