8.1/10
656
21 user 1 critic

Little Criminals (1995)

Des is an eleven year old kid who has had a really bad deal in life. Crime and mischief are the main staples of his life and he and his friends cruise around the city and do things like ... See full summary »

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8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Des
...
...
House
Jordan Clarke ...
Sam
London Sam Baergen ...
Jamal
John Nguyen ...
Nick
Loc Vo ...
Tak
...
Rita
Randy Hughson ...
Vince
...
Chet
...
Ruth
...
...
Kostash (as Callum Rennie)
Sonia Norris ...
Judy
Keely Purvis ...
Nonny
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Storyline

Des is an eleven year old kid who has had a really bad deal in life. Crime and mischief are the main staples of his life and he and his friends cruise around the city and do things like vandalize, steal, light fires, and mug people. He thinks that he is untouchable because he cannot be charged until he is twelve. Cory becomes Des' best friend and they carry on like nothing can stop them; however, Des ends up at an assessment centre for troubled youths and may begin a new life without crime. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

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Crime | Drama

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Also Known As:

Delinquentes  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brendan Fletcher's film acting debut. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Des: [head resting on table, looks up into video camera] Hello.
[pause]
Des: Fuck you!
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Crazy Credits

The end credits scroll downwards from the top of the screen. See more »

Connections

References Under Siege (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

It's All Over
Performed by The Headstones
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User Reviews

 
Depressing but thought-provoking
30 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

'Little Criminals' has to be one of the most depressing films I've ever seen; more so when I consider that, in reality, there must be thousands of children out there condemned to lives of crime and misery as a result of their home situations.

The film revolves primarily around two eleven-year-olds boys named Cory and Des whose extra-curricular activities involve robbery, violence, vandalism, smoking and drugs. On the whole, Cory is a decent child who is just acts out because he feels displaced his step-father and half-siblings. He is sucked into the world of juvenile crime in the hopes of feeling 'cool' but realises the full ramifications of his actions when things go too far and, luckily, he has a family to protect him. Des is another story. It would be too easy to hate him from the onset because he behaves like a vile little monster but only through watching the film do we see a different side to him. He's a neglected, miserable child who has never had one happy moment in his short life. And, deep down, there is a part of him that is still very childlike and desperate for someone to reach out and redeem him. He's a boy who could have lead a well-adjusted, productive life had he been raised by loving parents who actually cared about, guided and disciplined their son.

The quality of the child actors was just excellent. Myles Ferguson, who tragically died just five years after appearing in this film, was able to portray Cory's descent into crime in a way that makes the audience identify how easily a child can be led astray. But it is Brendan Fletcher who steals the show. He depicts Des' hard edge and dark emotions while retaining a sense of vulnerability and childish desperation in the character. He leaves you feeling a conflict between condemning Des as irredeemable and wanting to help this child climb to a better future.

There is no happy ending in this film but it does leave you pondering many thoughts long after the credits have gone by. Perhaps if Canada had a lower age of criminal responsibility, Des and his friends could have been arrested earlier and given the therapy they needed. While I do believe some child criminals deserve to be locked up for a good few decades because they have gone just too far for justice to take second place to rehabilitation (the two ten-year-old British boys who tortured, abused and murdered two-year-old James Bulger fall into this category), reflecting on Des' situation leaves me realising that juvenile detention is not the best solution for all children who commit crimes. Some can be saved if intervention is given early enough.

It's just sad that even in the twenty-first century many of those children who can be save fall still through the cracks of and go on to meet the fate of becoming adult criminals or, worse, premature death.


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