User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42

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  1. Mar 25, 2012
    10
    Sometimes a movie comes around that has so much emotional power that you're taken aback by just how touching it is. I had high expectations going into the film, because I've heard about how good the Dardenne brothers are with their films, but I must say that this movie will exceed your expectations. The story is simple itself, following the life of a young boy searching for trust and love after his loser father abandoned him. The Dardenne brothers can seemingly convey heartbreaking emotions instantly at certain points in the film, which are magnified by the use of the 2nd movement of Beethoven's 5th. At first glance, the boy is so recalcitrant that you want to strangle him, but then you realize that he is only acting out because he needs to feel loved by someone. This kid has a terrific acting career ahead of him. And then there is the magnificent Cecile de France, whose acting has never been better. Her character Samantha may be the most selfless, compassionate, honest, and loving I have ever seen. She practically radiates these qualities. If there were more people like Samantha in the world, the world would be a better place. Not one thing is this film is forced; everything is genuine and heartfelt. Highly recommended. Go see it before it disappears out of your nearest movie theater. Expand
  2. Mar 18, 2012
    9
    And outstanding film which effectively sheds light on an abandoned child's (Cyril) yearning for the love and affection for his dead-beat father. Cecile de France (Samantha) is amazing as the the woman who agrees to host Cyril on his weekends away from the state home which is raising the boy. Totally selfless person who immediately connects with Cyril during a chance meeting. I was struck by the scene during which Samantha and Cyril first track down the boy's father, and it becomes stunningly clear the latter has no interest in raising his child because he's simply an inconvenience. I've never seen something like this on film. Sure, there are thousands/millions of deadbeat dads, but you don't often see the kind of matter-of-fact reliance on the government - or just other people - to raise your child as was depicted in this film. It seems like the social safety net in certain countries has become so well-developed, so institutionalized, that parents see shoving their children off on the state as a viable, reasonable option - as if this were Plato's Republic - where the state raises all the children. Truly heartbreaking. Samantha's willingness to stick by Cyril despite his subsequent transgressions is heartwarming. And the "tag" at the end of the film is so well-done. This is a clear recommendation. Expand
  3. Apr 17, 2012
    10
    This is a movie that draws you in and holds your attention, because you care very much what happens to the main character. It's a movie about fate that ends on an optimistic note. Outstanding acting.
  4. Jan 2, 2013
    10
    'The Kid with a Bike' is the first film from the Dardenne brothers which I have been lucky enough to come across. What I can say about it is that I was amazed by how emotionally impacting the story was, which played out as simple as its straightforward title may suggest. These directors have a way of making the mundane seem grand and the everyday feel cinematic. The film has the sense that it was directed with the greatest of ease, as if these were the actions of real people being filmed as they went about their everyday lives. Realism this deep and authentic is often incredibly hard to capture and these Dardennes, well, they make it seem like second nature to them. Many themes are explored in the film (all wrung out with the greatest of subtlety) such as redemption, cruelty, and kindness, never leaving the feeling that the easy solution was presented to the situation at hand. We are blessed with two wonderful performances that are great in their own respects. The first comes from Thomas Doret who plays Cyril, a young boy whose father has abandoned him, with the kind of gravity that professional adult actors can barely manage to flesh out themselves. The second great performance comes from Cecile de France, playing the caring hairdresser Samantha, who takes over the role as Cyril's legal guardian. I feel that the critic that described her performance as a credible portrait of goodness was spot on. I am not saying that her character is saintly, but she represents the undying qualities of care and forgiveness that seem to exist in everyone. I would recommend this to anyone yearning to experience a genuinely uplifting tale about humanity. You will leave rocked to your core. Expand
  5. Apr 27, 2014
    10
    Simple tale with satisfied execution, The Kid with A Bike is deeply inspiring film about the power of random act of kindness. The whole of those things geniusly wrapped by Dardenne's original style which makes this drama more attractive and realistic.
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Apr 13, 2012
    88
    This is a film that's not always easy to watch, but just about impossible to forget.
  2. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Apr 11, 2012
    89
    How the Dardennes, time and again, turn gritty, mundane subjects into transcendent moments of honesty and truth is one of the great cinematic wonders.
  3. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Apr 5, 2012
    100
    Leery filmgoers can exhale: The Kid With a Bike may hew faithfully to the Dardennes' house style of spare, lucid storytelling. But without giving anything away, let's just say that with this simple, deeply affecting tale, they never set out to break your heart.