Kall S’s review published on Letterboxd:
Great piece of social realism packed with a little secrets and family drama from Hirokazu Koreeda, who’s proved himself a talented film-maker before, Like Father Like Son is definitely worth a watch.
This film is essentially not about shoplifting. It’s about the concepts of family, love and poverty. Under the difficult circumstances, the family still cares for each other and feels like a real family. They make morally questionable decisions, sure, and they might often seem selfish in their actions, but still it feels like a family in some curious way.
There is a great beach scene, the social family realism equivalent for a pool scene in coming-of-age films. (e.g.Roma)
The acting and writing is great. The characters and their situations seem real, in a social and cultural environment that is vastly different from western norms and conventions. The child acting is especially wonderful, Miyu Sasaki is great.
This film is in fact quite sad, but manages to feel happy and warm in parts. For something so subtle and well-nuanced, there is lots of heart and emotional impact packed in.