The Kitchen (2024) parents guide

The Kitchen (2024) Parent Guide

Although it's set in the future, the elements of this sci-fi plot could easily happen today. That's what makes it interesting; the second act drag is what makes it dull.

Overall C

Netflix: In a dystopian London where social housing has been eliminated, people who refuse to move out of their homes create a community called The Kitchen. Within it, two young men struggle to survive and navigate their situations.

Release date January 19, 2024

Violence B
Sexual Content A
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is The Kitchen (2024) rated R? The MPAA rated The Kitchen (2024) R for language.

Run Time: 107 minutes

Parent Movie Review

The future has not been kind to the city of London, which sees an unprecedentedly massive divide between rich and poor. The poor, for the most part, are confined to crowded, dangerous tenement housing, but now the police are violently clearing the tenements to replace them with high-income rental properties, pushing the desperate residents onto the streets.

Izi (Kane Robinson) has lived in one of London’s most notorious neighborhoods, The Kitchen, for his entire life. Twelve-year-old Benji (Jedediah Bannerman) has found his way to The Kitchen because he has nowhere else to go: His mother just died, and he never knew his father. All his mother told him was that he lived in The Kitchen. Izi agrees to let Benji stay with him for a few nights, but the entire community is on a knife-edge as police raids increase. But Izi’s not used to the responsibility of looking after someone else, and he struggles to adapt. While he’s trying to sort out his feelings, Benji is desperate for a sense of family and starts hanging around with Staples (Hope Ikpoku Jr.), the leader of a dangerous motorbike gang who’s always looking for new help…

The Kitchen is an interesting piece of science fiction because all the cyberpunk décor is just that – decoration. Any of its story could plausibly happen now, and the set dressing is really just neon icing on a story about gentrification, crime, police brutality, generational poverty, and personal responsibility. That’s an ambitious list of big topics, but the film isn’t necessarily interested in coming up with a holistic solution to any or all of them. The story is more of an overview of the intersection of those issues, all with a dystopic little ribbon on top.

That grounded approach makes the emotional content of the film shine, but the more drama-focused second act really maims the pacing. I think that’s one of the major reasons that the sci-fi aspects feel so insignificant – the middle 40-minutes or so of the film are just a found-family/coming-of-age story, and none of the sci-fi elements that drive the plot in the rest of the film make an appearance.

The film’s “R” rating stems mostly from some heavy profanity, consisting of around three dozen f-bombs. There are also depictions of brutal police violence and brief marijuana use. If that doesn’t deter you, and you think you can withstand the terminal case of second-act drag the movie seems to have, then there’s an interesting story here about life and family on the edge of society.

Directed by Daniel Kaluuya, Kibwe Tavares. Starring Kano, Jedaiah Bannerman, Hope Ikpoku Jnr. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release January 19, 2024. Updated

Watch the trailer for The Kitchen (2024)

The Kitchen (2024)
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Kitchen (2024) rated R? The Kitchen (2024) is rated R by the MPAA for language.

Violence: Individuals are seen beaten and tazed by police.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 35 sexual expletives, 15 scatological curses, and frequent use of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking socially and smoking marijuana.

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Other films about gentrification include The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Candyman, West Side Story, and Vampires vs. The Bronx. This film is reminiscent of Les Miserables. (No, not the musical).