13 user 72 critic

Piranhas (2019)

La paranza dei bambini (original title)
1:36 | Trailer
A gang of teenage boys stalks the streets of Naples armed with hand guns and AK-47s to do their mob bosses' bidding.


Claudio Giovannesi


Roberto Saviano (novel), Claudio Giovannesi (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
8 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Francesco Di Napoli Francesco Di Napoli ... Nicola
Viviana Aprea Viviana Aprea ... Letizia
Mattia Piano Del Balzo Mattia Piano Del Balzo ... Briatò
Ciro Vecchione Ciro Vecchione ... 'O Russ
Ciro Pellechia Ciro Pellechia ... Lollipop
Artem Tkachuk ... Tyson (as Ar Tem)
Alfredo Turitto Alfredo Turitto ... Biscottino
Pasquale Marotta Pasquale Marotta ... Agostino
Luca Nacarlo Luca Nacarlo ... Cristian
Carmine Pizzo Carmine Pizzo ... Limone
Valentina Vannino Valentina Vannino ... Madre di Nicola
Aniello Arena ... Lino Samataro
Roberto Carrano Roberto Carrano ... Caminiello
Adam Jendoubi Adam Jendoubi ... Aucelluzzo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Renato Carpentieri ... Don Vittorio


A gang of teenage boys stalks the streets of Naples armed with hand guns and AK-47s to do their mob bosses' bidding.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Kids Are Out To Play


Crime | Drama


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Did You Know?


The protagonist had not auditioned, had never enrolled in drama schools but as a job he was a baker and was taken for the right script for the type of boys See more »

User Reviews

Dry and unfaithful adaptation
21 February 2019 | by t-viktor212See all my reviews

I don't think that books are automatically better than their movie adaptations, but this is clearly the case: not only a lot of changes were made but the general meaning of the story was subverted, delivering a faded, less thought-provoking message.

Saviano penned both the screenplay and the novel, but he and the other writers choose to omit the violent scenes, include several scenes that did not occur in the novel, and change the personality of the main character.

In the movie, Nicholas is a teenager who essentially dreams about making mafia "great again", and is portrayed as having a sense of justice and being essentially a good boy who did terrible decisions. The violence is limited to a few gunshots, and the meaning of the ending focuses on the impossibility of change.

In the novel, Nicolas is immediately portrayed as a power-thirsty teenager who was inspired by Machiavelli and that has no ethics whatsoever (e.g., mild spoilers, to give an idea: to punish a gang member for having stolen a gun without permission, he almost forces his sister to be gang raped; the movie version of the character would have never done this). The violence is brutal and striking, and the story aims at describing the inner evil that teenagers that are involved with the System experience because of the environment they live in.

I personally felt much more invested while reading the novel than while watching the movie. Except for one specific scene that was the only identical one to the novel, most of the sequences felt dry or non-authentic. For who knows the novel, I think it is impossible to appreciate the film. Technically wise, it felt very similar to Garrone's Gomorra, probably it aimed at replicating the feel of that movie, but while the distanced photography and dryness of sequences in Gomorra gave a "tranche de vie" feel, it is not the case for La Paranza dei Bambini. It is sad that this film was chosen to be ran at Berlinale, when Italy has just released Il Primo Re, a masterful and very creative work of art that risks not receiving well-deserved international recognition.

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Release Date:

13 February 2019 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Piranhas See more »

Filming Locations:

Naples, Campania, Italy


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,898, 4 August 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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