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The Kid With a Bike Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Watch out, he bites. Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

If only they made helmets for your heart... Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    No one charts the wilds of childhood more precisely than the Dardennes.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Working on a scale that's minuscule by studio standards, the Dardenne brothers have made yet another movie that does what Hollywood used to do - keep us rapt, and leave us grateful.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Kindness is evident in even the most hurt or exasperated moments of de France's lovely performance as Samantha. But then, kindness couched in unblinking social realism is an intrinsic part of how these supremely gifted filmmakers view the world.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Kid With a Bike reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

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
  • message true2

    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.

  • rolemodels true2

    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 false3

    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 false0

    Sex: Not applicable

  • language false3

    Language: "F--k" is heard once, "s--t," twice, and "a--hole," once.

  • consumerism false1

    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.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    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.