The City of Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus) 1995

The City of Lost Children

Critics Consensus

Not all of its many intriguing ideas are developed, but The City of Lost Children is an engrossing, disturbing, profoundly memorable experience.

79%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 56

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 65,805

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Movie Info

Old and decrepit Krank (Daniel Emilfork) has lost his capacity for dreaming and is attempting to fight death by stealing the dreams of children. Krank's cadre of cloned henchmen (Dominique Pinon) snatch 5-year-old Denree (Joseph Lucien) to subject him to the horrific dream-retrieval process. The boy's father, One (Ron Perlman), the hulking strongman of a traveling circus, and his precocious 9-year-old friend, Miette (Judith Vittet), join forces to defeat Krank's minions and save Denree.

Cast & Crew

Dominique Pinon
le scaphandrier, les clones
Odile Mallet
la Pieuvre
Mireille Mossé
Mademoiselle Bismuth
Serge Merlin
Gabriel Marie (Cyclops Leader)
François Hadji-Lazaro
Killer
Marc Caro
Director
Angelo Badalamenti
Original Music
Darius Khondji
Cinematographer
Nacho Ruiz Capillas
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for The City of Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus)

Critic Reviews for The City of Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus)

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (12)

Audience Reviews for The City of Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus)

  • Oct 02, 2015
    As one person on here quite astutely observed, "It's Blade Runner as made by circus artists." Comparing it to Blade Runner may sound like a bit much, but its look and set design's imagination are about on par with that film. What really makes the difference in this movie is the warping and confounding narrative, which is all over the place. Its weirdness so shunts the audience that in the end the film becomes a strange and befuddling [and at moments exasperating] oddity. It lives in the line between child fantasy and macabre dystopia. The human moments are what tie this movie together -- every scene with the little girl Miette [Judith Vittet] makes the film, in particular her relationship with One [Ron Perlman]. I almost feel bad giving such an imaginative movie such a low rating, because there are aspects of this that are truly imaginative and brilliant, but along with imagination a film must have cohesion and some amount of accessibility to rate higher. Overall, the film is imaginative, confounding, a bit disturbing, and strange, with a small dose of humanness thrown in every once in awhile.
    Kyle M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 28, 2015
    The City of Lost Children is a must-see for lovers of the surreal, especially steam punk. The film is rated R but has PG feel to it; it is like the fantasy adventure movies of the 80s with plenty humor and a bit of the grotesque mixed in (very reminiscent of Terry Gilliam films, though the vibe is different). The plot is not the greatest but sometimes I rate the film up because it has great style and outstanding visuals.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2015
    A steam-punk carnival of grotesque extravaganza. The City of Lost Children is a disturbing tale of a scientist's fascination with dreams which reflected the problem of aging. Ron Perlman was an interesting cast but nevertheless an excellent addition.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Aug 05, 2014
    When a scientist kidnaps a brute's sister, he must join a group of urchins to retrieve her. Jean-Pierre Jeunet, one of our most imaginative and interesting filmmakers, throws all his cards on the table in this film. At each turn, Jeunet's world unfolds, and it's a dark vision in which a mad scientist can steal children's dreams, clones vie to be the Original, and a muscle-bound, monosyllabic tough finds his heart of gold. The film is an experience - a convoluted and occasionally hard-to-follow one, and I can imagine some people finding this film to be a collection of gimmicks, but I found it compelling and interesting. Overall, Jeunet is a unique filmmaker, and good or bad, his films are always interesting.
    Jim H Super Reviewer

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