Child 44 Trailer: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Gary Oldman Are the True Detectives of 1950s Russia

By  · Published on January 28th, 2015

Summit Entertainment, LLC

There are many reasons to hope that Child 44 does well. First, this period-set drama involving a serial killer looks really good – a well-acted grown-up movie that reminds me of the brilliant, under-seen Red Riding trilogy (and hardly just because it also features Paddy Considine), only this partially true child-murderer story takes place a few decades earlier and in the Soviet Union. Second, it’d be great to see Tom Hardy get a franchise that isn’t based on a comic book (he recently had to drop Suicide Squad anyway) or seems like it’s based on a comic book (Mad Max: Fury Road might as well be), and Child 44 is adapted from the first novel in a trilogy, so there’s a possibility of at least two sequels.

In this one, Hardy plays a disgraced member of the military police investigating the death of a friend’s child, which has been declared an accident. It turns out the boy is the 44th victim of a single pedophile (inspired by the real-life Butcher of Rostov), but that’s a controversial (and in fact illegal) claim for him to make in Stalin’s Russia, where murder is considered a capitalist concept and crime in general “doesn’t happen.” He is joined in his pursuit by his wife (Noomi Rapace) and a general (Gary Oldman, reunited with Hardy on their fourth movie together) and encounter a major cover-up along the way.

Everyone gets to do thick accents, which could prove difficult for some of the dialogue – or am I the only one who thinks Hardy sounds like he’s saying “my grandson was murdered too”? I guess it’s better than Bane, at least. As for the visuals, there appear to be some epic set-pieces here, beautifully shot by Bourne franchise cinematographer Oliver Wood and featuring production design from Oscar nominee Jan Roelfs (Orlando; Gattaca) already transporting me to this world just with the trailer.

Also in the cast are Jason Clarke, Charles Dance, Vincent Cassell and RoboCop’s Joel Kinnaman, who is working again with the director who helped him break out, Daniel Espinosa (Safe House). Child 44 is produced by Ridley Scott, who was originally going to direct, and is scripted by Oscar nominee Richard Price (The Color of Money; TV’s The Wire) from Tom Rob Smith’s book. Watch the new trailer below.

Child 44 opens in theaters on April 17, 2015.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.