THE BOOK OF HENRY

Empire (UK) - - ON.SCREEN -

OUT now / CERT 12a / 105 Mins di­rec­tor Colin Trevor­row cast Naomi Watts, Jae­den Lieber­her, Ja­cob Trem­blay, Mad­die Ziegler, Dean Nor­ris HOW DO YOU fol­low up the fourth-high­est gross­ing film of all time? If you are Colin Trevor­row, you go from Juras­sic World to

The Book Of Henry, an in­ti­mate drama that switches into a sus­pense thriller. When child ge­nius Henry (Lieber­her) sus­pects girl-nextdoor Christina (Ziegler) is be­ing abused, he comes up with an ac­tion plan, all doc­u­mented in a beau­ti­ful hand-drawn book. In the first, more suc­cess­ful half Trevor­row sketches a Spiel­berg­verse — kids, bikes, ab­sent dads — in en­gag­ing strokes and builds in­ter­est­ing, be­liev­able char­ac­ters. But with that sharp left-turn into thriller ter­ri­tory, Trevor­row lands on an over­wrought tone that would have felt OTT in a ’90s DTV movie. It’s trashy fun, but un­does the good work that pre­ceded it.

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