The Good Son [R] 
Overall movie: ***
EJW content: The actual (just not commercial) lead; some good emotional "stretching"
Regarding the fates of child actors, this movie causes me to reflect, "There but for the grace of God - and the innate wisdom of a native Iowan..." Seeing Elijah act opposite Macaulay Culkin, I'm thankful Elijah's had a gradually building career rather than Macaulay's meteoric rise with all its problems. Actually, Macaulay does some solid acting here; he's chillingly nonchalant as a sociopathic child absolutely void of conscience. I was glad to hear he's trying to put the effects of his childhood exploitation behind him and give acting another shot; he does good work in this suspenseful movie.
Elijah's character is in the position of being the only person who sees what his cousin (Macaulay) is capable of. And being a kid - especially one who's expected to have emotional problems because of his mother's recent death - he can't get anyone to believe him. Of course, Macaulay's character takes every opportunity to tell people how sorry he is about his poor cousin's "problem."
The plot is solid until the climactic scene, when I wanted to (and did!) shout, "Hey! Where the h--- are the adults?" Evidently, in the midst of the life-or-death situation, Elijah's uncle and counselor decide to sit things out in the parlor instead of taking off down the path after this kid who's just crashed out a window to escape from a locked room and whom they're afraid is going to hurt someone (the kid is Elijah, not Macaulay - they still haven't figured that part out). But, then, if the adults had acted rationally, a different ending would have been needed, not unlike many other suspense movies.
My only other quarrel with the story is Elijah's counselor allowing his "wonderful" cousin to sit in on a therapy session without first getting permission from the patient, or a parent in the case of a minor. In the real world, a responsible therapist wouldn't have done this (and an irresponsible one who did would have found herself in professional hot water if it were reported). But, overall, the movie's plot and pacing work well, as we and Elijah's character gradually realize the enormity of his cousin's actions: past, present, and - if they're not stopped - future.
Okay, you want acting? We've got acting! When Elijah's character realizes he has to deal with his cousin without anyone's help, and the lives of other family members could depend on him, he gets pushed to the edge. There are a few occasions when you can't really blame the adults for believing he's got some serious problems! What would you think if you walked into your kitchen and found your house guest wildly shoving everything edible down the garbage disposal? There's a time when the threats of violence are going both ways between the cousins, when Elijah's character doesn't know any other way to protect the rest of the family.
But even with all the action, Elijah's acting doesn't lose its subtlety. His conversation with his counselor on the subject of evil is a case in point. So is the character's developing relationship with his aunt, which does seem to show he's having some problems dealing with his mother's death.
The movie's R-rated, probably in large part because most of the violence and threatened violence in the story is aimed at children, by children. The people who do the rating seem to treat that more seriously than violence among adults.
Macaulay and Elijah made a good, balanced team in this movie; I wouldn't mind seeing the two of them work together again.