48 user 61 critic

Ben X (2007)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 26 September 2007 (Belgium)
1:41 | Trailer

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As an alternative to getting bullied at school, an autistic teenager retreats into the world of online role-playing games.


Nic Balthazar


Nic Balthazar (novel), Rik D'Hiet (advisor on screenplay) | 2 more credits »
7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Marijke Pinoy ... Moeder
Greg Timmermans ... Ben
Cesar De Sutter ... Jonas
Gilles De Schryver ... Coppola (as Gilles De Schrijver)
Bavo Smets Bavo Smets ... Ben - 6 jaar
Katrien Pierlet Katrien Pierlet ... Kleuterjuf
Rebecca Lenaerts Rebecca Lenaerts ... Opvoedster
Maarten Claeyssens ... Desmet
Titus De Voogdt ... Bogaert
Pol Goossen Pol Goossen ... Vader
Michel Bauwens Michel Bauwens ... Oorarts
Koen De Sutter Koen De Sutter ... Oogarts
Peter De Graef ... Psychiater
An Van Gijsegem An Van Gijsegem ... Maaike
Jakob Beks Jakob Beks ... Leraar metaal


Ben is different. His life is a universe to itself, where he plays his favorite on line computer game Archlord avidly, trying hard to train himself for the real world he lives in. The harsh world of a technical school is for him a daily kind of hell. As the horror of being a daily subject to bullying grows, Ben devises a plan. Then Scarlite comes into his life, the girl he has met in his on-line game. That wasn't part of the plan... Written by Peter Bouckaert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Courage is everything See more »


Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Belgium | Netherlands


Flemish | Dutch

Release Date:

26 September 2007 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

Ben X, o distaktikos iroas See more »


Box Office


€1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,949, 28 November 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,912, 30 November 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Cesar De Sutter, the little boy who plays Ben's little brother, is in fact the youngest son of Marijke Pinoy, the woman who plays Ben's mother. On top of that, he has a mild form of autism. See more »


[first lines]
Ben: [voiceover] It's hard to explain. It's hard to explain myself. But I never tell lies. Everything I say is true, even when I don't say a thing.
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Remade as IRL (2013) See more »


Include Me Out
Written by Tom Barman
Performed by dEUS
Published by EMI Music Publishing Belgium
With kind permission of Universal Music Belgium
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great film, not too predictable
10 May 2008 | by FlorisVSee all my reviews

I was interested in this film as soon as I read about it because you don't see that often that the topic of games is incorporated in a serious film with relevant issues. I was interested in how they would blend in images of the game world and the real one. It turned out fine, the movie is beautifully shot.

From the beginning on, the film makes you believe it's going to end in a predictable way but it had a good surprise ending. Of note are the well thought out monologues of Ben X, using very little words to express what he feels (something he cannot do towards others).

The movie also kept it's integrity in showing how most autistic people would probably be towards girls: mostly invisible. Although Scarlite plays an important role in the film, she's mostly in Ben's mind. Ben is also not spared when the cruelties committed against him are revealed. There was definitely a statement in the film without handing out a clear solution.

On a side note: personally I think autistic people should be able go to special schools. They are in some ways very gifted and smart and should be cherished that way rather than treated as people with a problem that should constantly struggle to adapt.

Back to the film: all in all it delivered all you could want from director Nic Balthazar who I only knew as host of TV show Filmfan and I knew it would have integrity because he is clearly an honest and personable guy.

There's also a lot of nice extra's on the DVD including the game Archlord itself, overall a well thought out, complete film package!

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