Reviewed Aug 12, 2012
Ronan Doyle’s review:
Successfully acclaimed though adaptations of his own novels might be, Ian McEwan has found small fortune in the realms of screenwriting, his films Soursweet and The Ploughman’s Lunch very little-known works indeed. In the case of The Good Son this obscurity is for the better, its pitting of Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood against each other as cousins, one of whom is distinctly evil, yielding just a flaccid show of amateur horror and dull storytelling. The young Culkin and Wood show plentiful promise at this early point in their respective careers, but the material can only take them so far, McEwan’s plotting sapping the life from an already stilted, uninteresting story of juvenile malice. An overused staple of horror cinema, the enfant terrible requires far better motivation than McEwan ever manages to muster, leaving The Good Son a strangely pointless, narratively staid exercise that wastes the talents of its confident child actors.