The Kid with a Bike

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Oh, those Dardenne brothers—still making great movies with second-nature ease. The Belgian duo's latest follows Cyril (Thomas Doret), a temperamental 11-year-old left to foster care by his down-and-out father (Jrmie Renier). A kindly hairdresser (Ccile De France) develops an interest in the boy, even though the kid's clearly on the cusp of criminality, and adopts him for weekends. From there, this deceptively doclike film unleashes a maelstrom of torments and temptations—from a bike-stealing bully to a charmingly wolfish criminal—that hint at the story's parable-like undercurrent. The heightened quotidian details pave the way for a subtly visualized miracle that hits with the force of a heaven-sent epiphany.—KU

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New York Film Festival 2011

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