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Serial killer sought in ‘Child 44’

By Tyler Clarke

Photo courtesy of

A killer who targets young boys is on the loose in ‘Child 44.’Photo courtesy of

The new movie “Child 44” was released April 17. It is directed by Daniel Espinosa, and stars Tom Hardy as Leo Demidov, a disgraced Russian secret agent, and Noomi Rapace as his wife Raisa.

The movie is well made, but would benefit from a bit more action.

The movie takes place in Soviet Russia around 1953 where Leo and his wife Raisa join together with a general named Mikhail Nesterov (Gary Oldman) to capture a serial killer who murders young boys.

The movie is enjoyable but lacks some important features, such as good pacing. It moves very slowly. The film also could have included more information about the serial killer and his life, rather than focusing more on the secret agent.

The movie takes place in a “utopian” society.  Throughout the movie, characters repeat the refrain, “There is no murder in Paradise.” Leo was an orphan who was moved into a family of the Russian military. His parents died of the Holodomor famine in the 1930s. Leo now works as an undercover agent that seeks out traitors. He works with two others named Vasili (Joel Kinnaman) and Alexei (Fares Fares).

Early into the movie Alexei’s son is killed. Since Russia does not believe in murder, they say that he was hit by a train, which would make sense due to his body being found on the train tracks.

Alexei doesn’t believe that was the case. Leo tells Alexei that he shouldn’t say anything about it because it’s a very bad idea to challenge the government. Soon after, Raisa is revealed to be an informant during interrogations. They are both sent to a city named Volsk. This is where a second murder occurs.

Leo is certain that this cannot be a coincidence. Now working under General Mikhail Nesterov, he seeks out to find the murderer. While he seeks out the murderer, 42 more children are killed. That brings the total to 44, hence the name of the movie.

This movie is good, but it could have been better. “Child 44” is well made and a good thriller. Most critics think otherwise, rating it one or two stars. It plays out like many Hollywood films: a romance, a killer, and how they work together to find out who he is. Still, it makes for an entertaining couple of hours, but it is not a film for family viewing due to some of the gruesome scenes.

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