Box art for Mother And Child (2010)

Mother And Child (2010)


Three women's lives share a common core: they have all been profoundly affected by adoption. Karen had a baby at 14, gave her up at birth, and has been haunted ever since by the daughter she never knew.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 17
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
4 out of 5
2 out of 5

Adoption drama probes complex anger, heartbreak, hope.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this heartrending drama examines the complex repercussions of one adoption, and how its effects radiate outward from mother and child and can still be felt through the years. There's no downplaying it: The film's serious, and its heavy subjects may prove too overwhelming for both adults and the oldest of teens. There's also some swearing (a rare "f--k" and "c--t"), plus flashes of nudity, and several sex scenes where very little is shown.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how Karen, and the daughter she gave up, Elizabeth, were formed by the singular experience they shared so long ago: her birth and subsequent adoption. Are their characterizations believable? Do you think the movie exaggerates the characters to create an emotional response in the viewer? If so, how?
  • What kinds of questions about adoption does this movie bring up for you? Do you know anyone who's been involved with adoption? Did this movie make you think differently about adoption? If so, why?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: 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, Friday, May 7, 2010

Rotten: 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, Friday, May 21, 2010

Fresh: If Garcia's film never quite catches up with his ambitions for it, well, at least he's trying.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Friday, June 4, 2010

Audience Reviews

5 stars

Rodrigo Garcia's "Mother and Child" is an incredible and emotionally epic film. We didn't need any more proof that Annette Bening and Naomi Watts were two of the best actresses in their age groups, but this film cements the deal. Bening (with her searing turn in this film as well as "The Kids Are All Right") and Watts (completing her 2010 hat trick with "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" and "Fair Game") are so compelling and affecting. Kerry Washington also delivers fine work here, completing the trio of women whose lives have been affected for generations by adoption. Garcia's writing is poignant and far reaching. He has an amazing command over this three leads, the story, it's progression- both narratively and fated, and his many supporting players (most notably Samuel L. Jackson and Jimmy Smits). "Mother and Child" is a film that reminds us how affecting a symbolic, well told and meaningful story can be. How well written characters experiencing real emotion are the truest of special effects. "Mother and Child" is an outstanding motion picture.

- stevenecarrier, Sunday, February 20, 2011

4 stars

Emotionally charged drama features 3 stories of different women and the subject of adoption, the common thread that unites their experiences. An absolute powerhouse in the acting department: Kerry Washington, Annette Bening, and Naomi Watts are uniformly brilliant. Many scenes rely on nothing but the actor and their words. Simply the way someone sits or the length of pause before speaking, complements the scene just as much as what is actually being said. Colombian-born writer and director Rodrigo Garca gives a surprisingly credible voice to these complicated women. They can be downright unpleasant at times, but that's human and sincere and what makes this ensemble piece so affecting. Serious-minded drama is adult in every sense of the word, but viewers that crave a raw and deeply moving experience, will be not be disappointed.

- hobster1, Tuesday, June 1, 2010

4 stars

A powerful drama about three different women and the toils of motherhood and daughterhood. All three lead women, especially Annette Bening, were fantastic! I also liked Samuel L. Jackson's very solid supporting role, his character was not what you normally see out of him.

- TecmoSmokaBowl, Tuesday, July 20, 2010