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A harrowing coming of age tale told simply and truly, Kes is a spare and richly humane tribute to the small pockets of beauty to be found in an oppressive world. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Ken Loach's acclaimed British drama focuses on Billy Casper (David Bradley), a tormented working-class boy who is subjected to abuse both at school and at home. The son of a single mother (Lynne Perrie), Billy's existence is mostly bleak until he takes up an interest in falconry and begins training a kestrel that he finds on a nearby farm. While Billy forms a close bond with the falcon, his hardscrabble life and harsh environment prove to be a challenge to the boy and his bird.

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Critic Reviews for Kes

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (32)

Audience Reviews for Kes

  • May 23, 2013
    No signs of age on this at all. Just as poignant as it was when it first came out.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 28, 2012
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img] This much adored Ken Loach picture is a likable, smart and rightfully depressing film. However for me there was a small sense of a lack of emotional involvement. The tone of it frequently changed from being a coming of age drama to a family film and then back again, which I found slightly confusing. However the performances are genuinely emotionally resonant and the narrative itself is interesting and inspirational. Despite having one of the most unredemptive endings i've ever seen for what was meant to be, essentialy, a film partly about redemption. It's sweet yet edgy, and it maintains as a good example of classic British cinema.
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 23, 2012
    Northern England, 1969, and life is pretty glum for an introspective lad just finishing up regular school. Its the system, you see, that handles people like products in an immense factory. It breeds ... inhumanity. But one found hobby gives our boy some dignity, and that's the training of a wild creature. Stark and oppressive, Loach's commentary on modern times seen through adolescence rings too true to be ignored.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 25, 2011
    I didn't swoon for "Kes" as much as many others did, probably because... 1) deciphering the accents was a serious, serious problem for this Yank. 2) the story's "a boy and his dog" arc was overly familiar. 3) none of the characters were too well-developed beyond Billy. A lovely score, however. And a remarkably natural performance from the novice David Bradley.
    Eric B Super Reviewer

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