Genius kid Henry (Lieberher) lives with his younger brother Peter (Room’s Tremblay) and single mother Susan (Watts). He skilfully manages his mum’s finances (she’d rather play shoot-em-up computer games when she gets home from work) and keeps an eye on pretty next door neighbour Christina (Maddie Ziegler), who lives with her stepdad. Henry is convinced she’s being abused, and details in a notebook his scheme to stop it from happening any more.
What starts off as a really lovely family drama – the three leads make a believable, close-knit group – veers completely off the rails halfway through and becomes almost a Rear Window-style thriller. It doesn’t work at all, especially as the second half is unintentionally silly, as any believability established earlier on in the film is thrown out of the window.
A shame, as somewhere in this muddle there is a good movie with terrific performances begging to get out.
Is The Book Of Henry suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Parents should note this is a 12A certificate (PG-13 in the US) featuring quite a few swearwords and depictions of drinking.
There is also the theme of abuse which appears later in the movie, but is subtly referred to.
SPOILER A major character dies which many viewers will find upsetting.
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