The Book of Henry
At last, after The Lovely Bones and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, we receive the third part in a reprehensible triple feature of revoltingly smarmy and overstylized tragedies about precocious children and grief. Jaeden Lieberher stars as Henry, a genius-level 11-year-old who runs the household for his flaky mom (Naomi Watts) and Ewok-esque younger brother (Jacob Tremblay), while keeping one eye on the molester next door. Director Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) and screenwriter Gregg Hurwitz are hopelessly out of their depths dealing with bullying, molestation, abuse and all the other deadly serious subjects that they want to compose inspirational bumper stickers about. A first half of magical treehouses, Rube Goldberg contraptions, brassy best friends and half-witted intelligence is bad enough, but a midpoint twist flips The Book of Henry into a Manic Pixie Rape Revenge movie. The film has an ugly core utterly at odds with the gauzy, apple-cheeked exterior. D.B.