A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The film is a social commentary on the ever-increasing gulf between the privileged and underserved communities, and how the latter is poorly treated. A sense of community can be a powerful thing, especially when standing up to oppression. Compassion, courage, and teamwork are displayed within a father-son dynamic.
Positive Role Models
Izi is initially a lonesome figure who is planning his own way out of the the Kitchen. When Benji walks into his life, he isn't sure at first whether he wants the responsibility. But he then displays compassion and understanding toward the young boy. Benji is grieving the loss of his mother, but shows great strength in character during this difficult process. Local youngsters commit antisocial behavior, though the film does not pass judgment, understanding their cause.
Set in a near-future dystopian London, the film is a social commentary on how underserved communities are treated and how the gulf between them and richer communities continues to grow. It has a diverse cast, with the two leading roles belonging to Black British performers. The vast majority of supporting roles are also portrayed by people of color. Though the film lacks significant female representation, with the two leading roles being a man and teenage boy, the film takes an interesting look at an atypical father-son dynamic. The film is directed by two British Black men, one of whom is Daniel Kaluuya, who also co-wrote the script.
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Violence & Scariness
Masked characters commit robberies, breaking into a home and smashing up a family's house. Police brutality as law enforcement enact violence on residents. Fights and clashes between the police and civilians. Reference to a dead mother. Dead bodies are seen at funerals, though these scenes are peaceful and profound.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There is a fleeting romantic storyline concerning two young characters, who are seen holding hands. A joke is made about a character's sexual relationship with another.
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Countless uses of the word "f--k" as well as "s--t" and "bitch." A character puts their middle finger up in one scene.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters can be seen smoking pot on occasion.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Kitchen is a British sci-fi drama set within a dystopian London with a father-son dynamic at its core, along with some violence and strong language. Co-directed and co-written by Daniel Kaluuya, the movie is a social commentary on how low-income people are treated, with the film's underserved community being oppressed and forced out of their homes. There are physical clashes between the police and the residents and other antisocial behavior such as violent armed robberies are also depicted. The film doesn't pass judgment on this behavior, instead portraying those committing these crimes to be victims of the system. Dead bodies are seen in open casket funerals and a young character is grieving the death of his mother. There is frequent use of "f--k" and "s--t," and some pot use. The movie boasts a diverse cast with two Black actors -- Kane Robinson and Jedaiah Bannerman -- taking the lead roles in the father-son relationship at the heart of the film. The supporting cast is also made up primarily of people of color, though there is not much in terms of female representation. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.