70 user 280 critic

The Kid with a Bike (2011)

Le gamin au vélo (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama | 18 May 2011 (Belgium)
2:19 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Abandoned by his father, a young boy is left in a state-run youth farm. In a random act of kindness, the town hair-dresser agrees to foster him on week-ends.
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

L'enfant (2005)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Bruno and Sonia, a young couple living off her benefit and the thefts committed by his gang, have a new source of money: their newborn son.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Stars: Jérémie Renier, Déborah François, Jérémie Segard
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Sokol and Lorna, two Albanian emigrants in Belgium, dream of leaving their dreary jobs to set up a snack bar. They need money, and a permanent resident status. Claudy is a junkie - he needs... See full summary »

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Stars: Arta Dobroshi, Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione
Rosetta (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Young and impulsive Rosetta lives with her alcoholic mother and, moved by despair, she will do anything to maintain a job.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Stars: Émilie Dequenne, Fabrizio Rongione, Anne Yernaux
Le fils (2002)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A joinery instructor at a rehab center refuses to take a new teen as his apprentice, but then begins to follow the boy through the hallways and streets.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Stars: Olivier Gourmet, Morgan Marinne, Isabella Soupart
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Liège, Belgium. Sandra is a factory worker who discovers that her workmates have opted for a EUR1,000 bonus in exchange for her dismissal. She has only a weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses in order to keep her job.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Stars: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Catherine Salée
La Promesse (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Roger uses his son Igor to ruthlessly traffic and exploit undocumented immigrants. When one of the immigrants is killed, Igor is guilt-ridden and wants to care for the dead man's family against his father's orders.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Stars: Jérémie Renier, Olivier Gourmet, Assita Ouedraogo


Cast overview, first billed only:
Le libraire
Egon Di Mateo ...
Avec la participation de
Batiste Sornin ...
Éducateur 1 (as Baptiste Sornin)
Samuel De Ryck ...
Éducateur 2 (as Samuel De Rijk)
Carl Jadot ...
Claudy Delfosse ...
Homme gare de bus
Jean-Michel Balthazar ...
Voisin Val Polet
Frédéric Dussenne ...
Myriem Akheddiou ...
L'assistante médicale
Sandra Raco ...
Hicham Slaoui ...


At about 11, the stubborn and impulsive Cyril seems on his way to delinquency: he has no mother, his father wants a new life without him, so he's in a foster institution. He searches for his father, wanting him and his bike. Through the intersession of Samantha, a hairdresser Cyril happens upon, he gets his bike back, and she offers to take him into her home on weekends. He remains aloof from her and gets involved with a young crook. Is Cyril intent on driving Samantha away - and what then? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, violence, brief language and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »


| |


Release Date:

18 May 2011 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

The Kid with a Bike  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$45,933 (USA) (18 March 2012)


$1,384,749 (USA) (10 June 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


For both the moments where Cyril is running from the police and ends up in the doctor's office and the opening scene when he's using the phone and won't let go, the young actor was just instructed by the directors not to give up what the character was doing under any circumstance. See more »


When the hairdresser is leaving the orphanage after she returned Cyrill's bike the car she iss driving makes the sound of Diesel engine, but in the next scene with the same car the car sounds like it has a petrol engine. See more »


Wes: May I call you Pitbull?
See more »


Referenced in Autumn Lights (2016) See more »


Written by Didier Dauvrin, Raphaël Mancini, Frédéric Migeot, Adam Aldridge, Pierre Constant and Xavier Lesenfans
Performed by Isola
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The limits of kindness? Perhaps none. A limited but very touching film.
11 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Kid with a Bike (2011)

A troubled boy finds an informal foster mom who tries her best to keep in line. That's the story and in way that's the whole depth of the story. The details—his rebellion, his responding to love, his being suckered by a drug dealer—are expected and interesting and beautifully told. The story has a slightly polished realism to separate it from its forebear, the great classic "The Bicycle Thief," and there might be a slight gap in motivations to explain, but in general you get sucked into this situation and the awkward relationship between the two. It is a tale appreciated in its siimple telling.

I had a foster child for a couple of years at an age close to this boy's, and there is a lot here that makes vivid sense. The woman, perhaps too lovely for normal realism (played by Cecile De France), is nevertheless sincere and quite smart in her mothering skills. She gets the boy to live with her almost by chance, and follows that chance, and learns to give him some rope and to also reign him in by example and through compassion.

But even this isn't enough. That's one of the terrifying truths of being a foster parent (or any parent)—you can only do your best. Some of the result is a product of luck, or personality, or some course of outside events that you don't predict (even if later you can say you saw them coming). All of this is included here, well done, with a kind of filmic modesty.

The one bit of high drama comes down to the child pushing his limits when he gets into a criminal plan, and the results of that, which leads to a bit of small time revenge that goes wrong. The boy is now beyond his own limits and is literally stunned. By the last scene, you ought to be heartbroken but also really hopeful. The message finally is that kids are really resilient, and you have to keep opening the right doors for them and let them make good choices.

This film lets us do that.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page