Little Men

Critics Consensus

Little Men takes a compassionate look at the ways in which adult problems impact childhood friendships -- and offers another affecting New York drama from director Ira Sachs.

96%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 141

64%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,412
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Movie Info

When 13-year-old Jake's (Theo Taplitz) grandfather dies, his family moves from Manhattan back into his father's old Brooklyn home. There, Jake befriends the charismatic Tony (Michael Barbieri), whose single mother Leonor (Paulina Garcia), a dressmaker from Chile, runs the shop downstairs. Soon, Jake's parents Brian (Greg Kinnear) and Kathy (Jennifer Ehle) -- one, a struggling actor, the other, a psychotherapist -- ask Leonor to sign a new, steeper lease on her store. For Leonor, the proposed new rent is untenable, and a feud ignites between the adults. At first, Jake and Tony don't seem to notice; the two boys, so different on the surface, begin to develop a formative kinship as they discover the pleasures of being young in Brooklyn. Jake aspires to be an artist, while Tony wants to be an actor, and they have dreams of going to the same prestigious arts high school together. But the children can't avoid the problems of their parents forever, and soon enough, the adult conflict intrudes upon the borders of their friendship.

Cast

Theo Taplitz
as Jake Jardine
Michael Barbieri (II)
as Tony Calvelli
Paulina García
as Leonor Calvelli
Greg Kinnear
as Brian Jardine
Jennifer Ehle
as Kathy Jardine
Kellan McCann
as Tony's Teammate
Mauricio Bustamante
as Acting Teacher
Johnny Serret
as Museum Visitor
Stan Carp
as Sal Bartolini
John Procaccino
as Mr. Plummer
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News & Interviews for Little Men

Critic Reviews for Little Men

All Critics (141) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (136) | Rotten (5)

  • As a referendum on gentrification in Brooklyn, the movie can occasionally be a bit tedious. But the entire cast is strong, especially Michael Barbieri.

    Mar 16, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Its smallness makes it grand and moving. These are the things, these little moments, decisions and consequences that most human lives are made of, after all.

    Dec 30, 2016 | Full Review…
  • As a picture of ticking intergenerational lives and their complex movements, it's as exact as a watch.

    Dec 27, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Little Men is a deceptively intimate drama that presents itself as a quirky coming-of-age story.

    Oct 10, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Beguiling and sad but also a tough pill to swallow, it's about good people reluctantly competing for what they want, and how circumstances can be a friendship's best friend, but also its worst.

    Sep 22, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Little Men is composed with scrupulous observational intelligence and care. It is really engaging.

    Sep 22, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Little Men

  • Apr 21, 2017
    Little indie film that has strong young characters. The film is a drama and doesn't get lost in the Hollywood melodrama world. The acting is top notch, just the pacing is a little off, never giving us the character drama that it promises. Seeing the 98 percent from critics is disappointing, this film while being good is not at a prestige rating. The divide between audience and critics is clearly starting to grow, why need critics anymore? 27/04/2017.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Sep 04, 2016
    Just fucking perfect. What astonishing performances, what remarkable writing, what specific vision. Beautiful.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Aug 15, 2016
    My last MIFF session had me a title I hoped would raise expectations, However there's not much to say about the overall encompassing themes and moral message 'Little Men' may set itself up to be (well... for me I guess). I will say however, there is definitely a lot this film does terrifically well, the performances from a talented cast as well as well written characters are excellent. The two young boys being the main standouts as the main characters, There's definitely a great degree of friendship to be had with these characters. The more overarching conflict concerns involves both boy's families in which adult problems can impact young lives. While the coming-of-age aspect could of been played upon more as well as developing some of the characters more. The big entertainment factor of this film lies within the subplots and doesn't directly involve the film's main subject matter all that much. So it's a little disappointing that given the fine writing and direction, I guess I would have wanted some more focus on the character development than the conflicting interest between one another. It's recommended though, if you're familiar with the director's catalog (I might not be that familiar).
    Luke E Super Reviewer

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