Parents' Guide to

The Kitchen

By Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Relevant dystopian drama has violence, threat, language.

Movie R 2023 107 minutes
The Kitchen movie poster: A teenage Black boy and a Black man holding a motorcycle helmet stand next to each other with a moody city skyline behind them.

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

A sci-fi flick that represents how dark out world has become.

This movie was great. As a Black person, I was pleased with the diverse and colored cast. The film speaks of how racial tension/prejudice is still on the rise, and could drastically get worse in the not-so-far future. It also depicts how people running away from their past only cause more sadness/guilt for themselves in doing so. The relationship between Izi and Benji was something I enjoyed watching, as it reminded me of all the great times I spent with my own father. As a sci-fi fan, I also thought the way futuristic London looked so alien was a nice touch. It looked so real, as if I had teleported to 2044 myself and got a glimpse of the future. I recommend this movie to those who are interested in a serious story with deeper/hidden message. Would watch again with family or a friend👍
age 15+

The larger theme is poignant, but the pacing feels off

This film feels like it has a lot of promise, but the pacing feels a bit off and inconsistent. The slow parts are too slow and the franticness of the violent sequences feels closer to the where the film needs to be. The father/son story doesn't do as much heavy lifting as the film wants it to, although it has moments of pathos. The world building is very believable and is a reminder to how close we are to this dystopia. The larger topic of housing scarcity and the disparity between the very poor and those with secure housing feels poignant, but also underdeveloped. And then of course the ending, what is it all for?

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This dystopian drama is an impressive debut feature behind the lens for acclaimed actor Daniel Kaluuya, who shares directing duties with Kibwe Tavares. With The Kitchen, the duo have together created a film that both looks the part and has a powerful, profound narrative. What helps bring a sense of intimacy into an otherwise grand world -- a near-future, rundown London, full of maze-like overbearing tower blocks -- is the father-son like relationship between Izi and Benji (played by newcomer Bannerman). The performances are strong. Robinson does a fine job as Izi, bringing nuance and depth to the role, able to convey so much with just his eyes. There's also a strong cameo performance from former English soccer star Ian Wright. The film walks a fine line between fantasy and reality, at times feeling otherworldly. But it's a film that is constantly grounded by its impactful, human tale. It also has a lot to say, without ever feeling heavy-handed, with its themes about the disparity between rich and poor, and the crash of social housing, all ringing true.

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