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.