The Book Of Henry review

03_BookOfHenry.jpegJaeden Lieberher stars as Henry Carpenter in director Colin Trevorrow’s THE BOOK OF HENRY
The critics have it at 20% and the audience rating at 63%. So clearly a film that is divisive! 
It starts with the story of a boy genius, Henry, precocious beyond belief. That part of the film is enjoyable, great fun a bit like watching the Young Sheldon. Then comes the weepy part where he develops a brain tumour. 
“Critics Consensus:The Book of Henry deserves a few points for ambition, but its tonal juggling act -- and a deeply maudlin twist -- may leave viewers gaping in disbelief rather than choking back tears.”(Rotten Tomatoes)

After this, the film reaches a nerve-wracking point as his Mother having followed the instructions left to her by her genius son sets out to kill her neighbour who is physically abusing his stepdaughter.


Naomi Watts is excellent as the mother and would encourage me to watch her again in any film. Sarah Silverman puts in a praiseworthy performance as her best friend Sheila. But to me, the real star of the film is the neighbour played by Dean Norris. You may have seen him as an evil main character in The Dome or as the Airforce Colonel in The Big Bang Theory.


The acting is excellent, the script well written but .....


01_BookOfHenry-TO.jpg(l to r.) Jaeden Lieberher as Henry, Jacob Tremblay as Peter, and Naomi Watts as Susan in director Colin Trevorrow’s THE BOOK OF HENRY


...somehow it doesn’t work. The whole story is implausible I’m not quite sure how an eleven-year-old can have a stockbroker, buy a car and can make his mother rich and know more than his oncologist?


I put off watching this film for some months after recording it although it’s still available on Sky Cinema.



“Whatever it thinks it is, it’s a whole lot less than sensible, and several planets away, you know, from good.” (Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph)

You see clearly the critics panned but audiences have a different opinion.


A “multifaceted disaster”. (Christopher Hooten, The Independent)

I’m glad I watched it and would encourage you to do the same and make up your own mind about this rather odd film. Karen Han sums up my own feelings when she writes:


“It’s fun but not fun, forgettable but unforgettable.” (Karen Han,  The Daily Beast)

Three stars I think.


3 star.png

About the author
Catholic, Bibliophile,Cinephile, Deltiologist and Casual Philatelist. All things Apple, Been online since 1983.