It's distinctly possible that "Babies" is review-proof.
I saw the film earlier tonight at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, as part of a special promotional screening. I'm not sure how they did the word of mouth for the event, but there were a lot of mothers with very young babies in attendance. It was like having extra Dolby speakers sprinkled throughout the auditorium, randomly cooing and crying and blabbering.
And the movie played tonight. It played like it was "There's Something About Mary" to that crowd, big laughs throughout. The film is non-narrative in any traditional sense, and there's something about the visual language, the choices made in how it's cut, what is shown, that is almost like a straight-faced parody of nature documentaries. I don't think it's intentional... I just think that the "big idea" of the film is basically shooting human babies in four different places in the world like they're wildlife, a la "Planet Earth."
Ponijao, Bayar, Hattie, and Mari are the four babies that were chosen by the filmmakers, and they live in Namibia, Mongolia, Japan, and the US, each in very specific, very different surroundings. The film traces two years in the development of these kids, and it does so without any voice-over or any dialogue. What little talking takes place in the film is there simply as ambient sound, part of the background of what the directors are shooting. It's cut to compare and contrast the way these kids develop, to show a common experience in the first few years of life with a family.