The Great Wall
Unlike any American blockbuster you've seen, a conservative movie with action set pieces that are actually inventive and thrilling enough to be worthwhile.
Who in the world would want to see this movie? Watching "The Good Son," I asked myself that question, hoping that perhaps the next scene would contain the answer, although it never did. The movie is a creepy, unpleasant experience, made all the worse because it stars children too young to understand the horrible things we see them doing.
The story begins with the death of the hero's mother. His father needs to go to Japan urgently on business, and so young Mark (Elijah Wood) goes to spend a couple of weeks with his aunt and uncle's family in Maine. They've had tragedy, too: A baby boy drowned in his bath some time ago. Now young Henry (MacAulay Culkin) has the house all to himself - except for his sister, who may not last long.
The two boys seem to be about 9 or 10. They are allowed to roam freely all over the island, which seems to have been designed as a series of death traps for kids. Mark almost falls out of a towering tree house, and then, led by Henry, stands on the edges of cliffs, walks around the rim of a deep well, runs down the railroad tracks, and eventually watches with horror as Henry kills a dog and later causes a highway crash by dropping a human form off a bridge.
This is a very evil little boy; the movie could have been called "Henry, Portrait of a Future Serial Killer." But what rings false is that the MacAulay Culkin character isn't really a little boy at all.