Daniel Espinosa‘s Child 44 deserves points for investing in historical realism (1953 Soviet Russia) while telling a murder-mystery tale, but it’s way too slow and long and grim. And my God, the whitewalls! The exact same Hitler Youth haircuts that were surrounding me at Whole Foods the other day are worn by Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Joel Kinnaman and Vincent Cassell, among others. The bottom line is that you just don’t want to “be” in this film. There’s no disputing that Stalin’s Russia was a relentlessly gray, morose and repressive place, but who wants to spend two hours and 17 minutes in the hell-hole of Child 44? It’s all about Hardy’s Leo Demidov, a deposed Ministry of State Security agent, trying to catch a serial child killer, but while catching or killing this monster will obviously save children’s lives, it won’t make any difference to anyone else. After a half-hour or so I was feeling a profound longing to escape from Child 44, but I had another 90 minutes to go. After 45 minutes I stretched out on the seats and caught a 20-minute nap. But I caught the last hour’s worth.