OK for kids 16+
Downbeat but powerful drama about childhood and love.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Kid with a Bike is a very downbeat, but highly acclaimed French drama about an 11-year-old boy whose father refuses to take care of him and the boy's attempts to deal with being abandoned. The movie contains some fighting, a robbery sequence in which people are hit with a baseball bat, and a scene in which the 11-year-old hero is knocked unconscious with a rock (offscreen). There's also some very brief language, including one use of "f--k," one use of "a--hole," and two uses of "s--t" (all in subtitles). One older teen character is said to be a drug dealer -- though no drugs are shown -- and he smokes a cigarette. Though the movie is rated PG-13, the material is very mature and complex. However, it has its hopeful aspects, and viewed with parents, the movie could lead to some interesting discussions.
- Families can talk about the movie's fighting and violence. How realistic is it? Is it thrilling, or does it make you feel squeamish? How does it contribute to this story?
- How does watching a movie with subtitles change your experience of a movie? Are you always aware that you're reading, or do you get swept away by the story? Are you eager or reluctant to watch subtitled movies?
- This movie was nominated for a Golden Globe and won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Why do you think it got this kind of attention? What sets it apart from other movies you've seen?
- Why would Cyril so quickly and easily fall in with the older teen? Could this older character be considered a bully?
The good stuff
Messages: Generally, the movie seems to be saying that kids long for attention, and if they can't get it from their parents, they'll get it from other places, even from criminals. Responsible adults can step in and possibly turn young destinies back toward a positive path.
Role models: Cyril is not necessarily a role model; he's hurting after being rejected by his dad, and in his anger, he acts out, fights, and commits crimes. But Samantha is a fine role model, taking on the responsibility of a child without seeming to have any motivation other than the goodness of her heart.
What to watch for
Violence: Cyril gets into a couple of brief fights, mostly pushing and wrestling, one after having caught a bike thief. During a robbery sequence, he hits an adult and an older boy with a baseball bat. In one scene, an older boy throws rocks at Cyril; a rock hits him, knocks him out of a tree, and briefly knocks him unconscious. Adults handle Cyril fairly roughly in one or two scenes, trying to control him after he has acted out.
Sex: Not an issue
Language: "F--k" is heard once, "s--t," twice, and "a--hole," once.
Consumerism: An older boy tempts Cyril with an offer to play Assassin's Creed on the PlayStation PS3. (The game is not shown, but can be heard offscreen.) Coke and Fanta soft drinks are mentioned, and Cyril chooses a Fanta.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: An older teen character is said to be a drug dealer, though no drugs or deals are ever shown. The older teen smokes a cigarette.
Fan Reviews provided by
Reality brought to the screen by aletaqueen
At first glance it's an ordinary story about ordinary life events. Story boils down to ... Boy's father leaves and son doesn't understand why. What made it powerful was its ordinary-ness. It is so true to real life when stuff happens to kids (or anyone) and because of what happens, life takes a turn.
The story evoked several emotions from sorrow for the kid to wonder at the woman who stepped into his life.
This movie is for those who enjoy a story that is well told and extremely well acted by the lead and supporting characters.
The Kid With a Bike by Peneflix
This Belgian film was one of the "darlings" of the Chicago Film Festival (October, 2011) and absolutely warrants its plaudits. Glittering copiously with the gems of a fabulously fine flick: fascinating and original scenario, masterfully unique individuals, pristine, gut-wrenching acting, elements of surprise that clutch your attention in an unrelenting, tenacious grip; never trust the obvious...In less than ninety minutes brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have blessed audiences with a refined classic; resonating with characters, who will deservedly, occupy permanent residency in your movie memory bank.
FOUR & 1/2 STARS!!!
***For full review please visit peneflix.com
something different by hellokitty56
not predictable it makes you think not a cute little moppet tugging at your heartstrings but an angry kid in a terrible situation and you end up rooting for him all the way realistic and believable not corny or eye rolling emotion a must see!
Dardennes stay on theme by awhittak
Another of the Dardenne brothers depictions of the tenacity (often wrong-headed) of neglected and abandoned children. Looking at the film as a part of a series with La Promesse, and L'enfant (with the Jérémie Renier character depictions as the thematic arc), one can see the effects of neglect propagating both in the immediate surroundings and over multiple generations. Contrasting with Tuffaut's more indulgent treatment of his Antoine Doinel character, the Dardenne's present a darker view of the impact of masculine resistance to domesticity and responsibility.
Had high hopes by alisab63
I was looking forward to catch this movie after seeing the previews but was a bit disappointed. Very slow. I caught myself checking my phone a few times throughout out of boredom. This was the second movie I've seen this week with Cécile De France. She's a good actress and a beauty. The boy was good. My heart did go out to him, but wish I could have waited for this as a rental.
This Turbulent Drama Loses Nothing In Translation. by Alon Patterson
It may be French and subtitled in English but this is well worth its ticket price. The protagonist player (the kid) basically carries the screenplay but does a fine job regardless the language of his performance. See this film. You won't be disappointed.
250 Blows (or maybe 600) by kkampsch
Kid with a Bike is, first of all, gripping. The Kid is, like M. Leaud, a scene stealer, not deliberately, rather because the acting is so natural. Every moment he is on the screen, which is almost every moment, you cannot not watch. The reactions to what happens to him are inscrutable at first--you immediately see determination, but without understanding what drives it. Then, slowly, the reasons behind the reactions reveal themselves through the face and the eyes of the Kid. While there are a couple of plot twists that don't seem completely necessary, on reflection they are cathartic and underline the evolution of the characters. If this movie doesn't grab your heart, you don't have one. The references to 400 Blows are subtle--it isn't a retelling at all--and the final frame has the same heart-stopping effect of the final frame in the earlier movie--the entire experience flashed back through your mind as the camera lingers on the one final shot. Less dramatic, equally effective
entirely disappointing in plot, script, score, etc. by rafsanjani
entirely disappointing in plot, script, score, etc.