Review: SOCRATES Is A Moving Coming-Of-Age Story


Although it has a few shortcomings, Socrates is a mostly effective film thanks to an able director and a strong performance by its lead actor.
Technical Merit

Socrates, co-written and directed by Alexandre Moratto, is a powerful new Brazillian coming-of-age film. Addressing topics such as grief, poverty, and sexual identity, this is a subtle yet effective movie that may slip under the radar but deserves to be seen.

The film follows a fifteen-year-old boy who, after the sudden death of his mother, must struggle to make ends meet while coping with his grief. As a snapshot of a moment in an individual’s story, the movie is excellent. As a commentary on bigger issues, the film is less effective. The movie does manage to make a connection between the experiences of the protagonist and the larger context in which they fall, but not with the depth that it likely should.

For example, the film’s exploration of the protagonist’s sexuality is somewhat underwhelming. Although some conflict does arise from this part of the character’s identity, it very much feels like a sidebar to the main story about grief. The runtime is just over an hour, so the movie could have taken more time to explore these more nuanced subplots to a greater extent.

However, the film does hit the intended emotional beats with ease. The opening shots of the movie are truly heartbreaking, perhaps some of the most emotionally-involved of the year so far. The film really throws you into its story immediately, much like the protagonist is suddenly thrown into his grief, and as a result, you are able to connect with the character on an individual level more easily.

socrates pair

The protagonist is definitely a sympathetic character and his arc has multiple layers to it. Although there are some parts of his story that work better than others, for the most part, you are invested in the life of Socrates. The supporting characters are predominantly used as ways to further develop the protagonist, so they don’t have much complexity, but they serve their purpose.

Christian Malheiros gives a moving performance in his leading role. From the opening scene, you can tell the amount of emotion that he is going to put into the character. He gives a great performance and is one of the main reasons why the movie works as well as it does. Perhaps most impressive about the film, though, is that the cast was comprised primarily of at-risk teenagers from São Paulo and they do a phenomenal job.

On a technical level, the movie was mostly fine. There isn’t anything particularly flashy about the way in which it was executed, but this elegant simplicity works. The film is shot in a way that emphasizes the emotion in the performances over the style, and as a result, the attention is drawn to the humanity of the story.

Socrates doesn’t do everything it wants to do as effectively as it could, but it is still a well-acted and mostly well-made movie. As Moratto’s feature debut, this film shows that he has a lot of potential to be a great and personal storyteller.

Socrates opens in theaters on August 9 and hits DVD and VOD on August 20.


6 Underground: Because Science Says So (and Ryan Reynolds does too) | Netflix

Science proved it: 6 Underground is the most Michael Bay movie Michael Bay has ever Bayed. Ryan Reynolds is there too. Watch 6 Underground | 12.13 | Only On Netflix You can’t argue with science. Ryan Reynolds stars in Michael Bay’s 6 Underground, only on Netflix December 13. Maximum Bayhem has officially been reached. Ryan…

Every Time Negan Curses in 5 Minutes | The Walking Dead

Watch every time Negan said S*** in The Walking Dead, plus more! Watch more from The Walking Dead: Subscribe to The Walking Dead on YouTube: #WalkingDead #TheWalkingDead #WalkingDeadNegan THE WALKING DEAD: Like The Walking Dead on Facebook: Follow The Walking Dead on Twitter: Visit The Walking Dead Official Site: Sign…

Klaus | Jesper Pitches Christmas | Netflix

What happens when you run out of toys? Make new ones! KLAUS is now streaming on Netflix #KlausNetflix Watch Klaus, on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide…

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow | Season 5 Official Trailer | The CW

DC's Legends of Tomorrow premieres Tuesday, January 21. Stream free next day only on The CW App! SUBSCRIBE: About DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW: The Legends continue their new mission to protect the timeline from temporal aberrations - unusual changes to history that spawn potentially catastrophic consequences. When Nate, the grandson of J.S.A. member Commander…

The Cast of Let It Snow Plays Kiss & Tell | Netflix

Kiernan Shipka, Liv Hewson, Matthew Noszka, and Anna Akana kiss Christmas, Hanukkah and other holiday items and try to guess what they are! Watch Let It Snow, Only on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV…

The Irishman’s Ray Romano on Working With Scorsese | Netflix

Ray Romano, who plays Bill Buffalino in The Irishman, recounts the first time he met Scorsese, and how incredibly nervous he felt. Watch The Irishman, on the big screen and on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries…

What’s a Doula? Danielle Brooks Finds Out | A Little Bit Pregnant | Netflix Family

With 6 weeks to go before her due date, Danielle gets the scoop on what doulas do, what doulas don’t, and the difference between a doula and midwife. The best advice: make sure your support team is the kind of people you could take a poop in front of… literally. A Little Bit Pregnant is…

High Maintenance: Season 4 | Official Teaser | HBO

When life gets hard, we've got a Guy. High Maintenane returns Friday, February 7 at 11PM on HBO. #HBO #HighMaintenance Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: Don’t have HBO? Order Now: Get More HBO: Get HBO GO: Like on Facebook: Follow on Twitter: Like on Instagram: Official Site: High…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here