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The Thief Lord Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 10+

Magical orphan drama explores the definition of family.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie, based on the book by Cornelia Funke, focuses on two orphaned brothers who run away to Venice to escape the reach of a horrible aunt. They are taken in by the Thief Lord, the teenage leader of a band of runaways whose criminal activities support the gang. Some scuffles pit adults against kids.

  • Families can talk about family connections. How do you define "family"? Do you need to be related by blood? Do all blood-relatives look our for you? Also, orphanages are a common element in many classic movies and books about unhappy childhoods. Can you name some? Do any of these books or movies romanticize the experience? If so, how?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Family ties make up the heart of this story, especially a tender and loving bond between two brothers, and a bitter and hostile father-son relationship. Though the Thief Lord is the leader of a gang supporting criminal activities, he also acts as a father-figure to a band of runaway children, and his paternal role is endearing.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Several scenes that involve small scuffles as adults trying to subdue and capture runaway kids. A few scenes also feature guns.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Some very mild flirting between teens.

  • language false0

    Language: Some relatively tame epithets, such as "skanky old bat," "screw up," and "lying piece of crap."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: The movie is an ode to beauty of Venice, and portrays the Italian city as a charming and magical place.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable