City of Lost Children
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Customer Reviews:

  • Incredible Movie
    its just one of those movies that will entertain your brain.
    and youll end up showing all your friends....more info
  • Homebrewer
    The City of Lost Children gets two platinum stars and also moves up to one of my top ten favorite films of all time. This is a confusing story, from beginning to end it expands your mind, reaches into your nightmares, and creates a story that is part Dark City and part of a novel called "The Golden Compass" by Phillip Pullman.

    Yes, this film was everything and more. Not only visually beautiful, but the creative and symbolic meaning of the actions and words of the characters are "jaw dropping". Also, there are so many sub-stories in this film that reminded me of the style that Run Lola Run was done. This is the style that due to a connection of unrelated events something extraordinary happens. Let me give you an example from this film: There is a scene where the girl and One (Ron Pearlman-also a very biblical name) are trying to escape from the two women who want their jewels. There are events that lead from a dog finding its female companion to a boat almost hitting/splitting the women in half. Wild coincidences...imagine this times ten, and you have this film.

    Keep in mind this is a French film with English subtitles, so you are not only getting the true voice of the film, but seeing the darkness of the cinematography without any American input. This really shows the purpose behind making this film, it really takes you to a new place so dark and dreamlike that you the viewer actually feel like you are in the picture itself. A movie about dreams and nightmares that takes place in a world of dreams and nightmares.

    The story centres around a mad scientist, Krank, who is unable to dream, because of this he is aging quickly and is old beyond his year. He grows insane and has developed a technique to view and capture children's dreams so he can thereby inject them into his own mind. He kidnaps children from the nearby village and brings them to his lair, a king of oilrig in the middle of surrounding sea. He is aided by his brothers who are four identical clones of each other, unfortunately they all suffer from narcolepsy. Krank himself is a clone. His father who created them is now merely a brain in a tank and Krank was an unfortunate mistake who doesn't dream. The only clone who was right is an enigma called the original who has long since escaped the insanity of this evil lair only to be living underwater and is kind of an insane junk collector. One day strong man, One (Ron Perlman), and his little brother are ambushed by Krank's men and One's little brother is kidnapped. Thus far Krank's captives have proved unsuccessful in his quest for a cure, because they all suffer terrible nightmares, partly due to his own nastiness. All One's little brother responds to is food, he seems to have no fear and it seems he could be the one, just as long as Krank keeps feeding him. One sets out on a quest to find his brother meeting Miete, a young a troublesome orphan girl in the process. It's all good fun this film and while the story is simplistic it's a kind of delightfully Grimm fairytale sort of story that keeps your interest.

    The cast are great. Ron Perlman is one of those cult actors who everyone seems to like and he has hit it big with the recent success Hellboy. He is a strong presence and unlike many musclemen of his stature he can act, something which has held him back somewhat,is because people have never really cast him as a leading action man, although in truth he's not blessed with good looks. The interestingly named Rufus, a Juenet stalwart is also very good with the clones, while Daniel Emilfork is excellent as Crank. Also good and a charming innocence is Judith Vittet as Miette.

    Anyone who loves a visually stunning movie should watch this film it looks amazing. The sets, the impressionistic and exaggerated designs are brilliant. It is typically French in it's verve. This is a fantasy fans wet dream, believe me! ****

    ...more info
  • The City of Lost Children
    The City of Lost Children is a wonderfully strange dark movie that just blew me away. I prefer the French version. I find that I get distracted if the dialogue doesn't go with mouth movements. I loved the setting, filming, special effects. It ranks very high in my list of really great weird movies. ...more info
  • Takes Patience But Will Reward You
    The City of Lost Children (Cite des enfants perdus) is perhaps the most visually striking film I have ever seen. The film is also one of the most difficult but with patience the careful viewer will be rewarded. Directed by Jeunet and Caro the film is a fairy tale for adults. It is an exploration of the idea of innocence. The innocence of a child and the innocence of a childlike adult.

    In a magical world a scientist (Daniel Emilfork) who cannot dream on his own is kidnapping children and stealing their dreams. One of the children that is kidnapped is the little brother of a circus strongman, One (Ron Perlman. The film is a quest for One to recover his lost brother. Along the way he meets Miette (Judith Vittet)a nine year old girl wise beyond her years. Together they brave the strange and mythical world of the City of Lost Children to recover the brother.

    The above is an extremely simplified version of the plot. This is a film that begs to be seen. The visuals created by Jean Rebasse are truly stunning as are the costumes of Jean-Paul Gaultier. The film needs to be watched carefully. I will admit it took several viewings before I understood what was going on. Watch it for the visuals and the story will begin to emerge. Don't miss the chance to see one of the most astounding French films of the last decade.

    The disc contains a commentary track by Perlman and Jeunet, talent files and production and costume galleries....more info
  • Dream like state...
    This movie is gothic eye candy, dreamy, the stylized world created is worth viewing alone. The characters, themes, moods and ambience are all quite pretty. From there it falls slightly into loquatiousness, not to be a pick d**k. Not a perfect film but how many are? There is much to commend, though the "Muscle Man's French" isn't one of them. Weak...too scripted? Maybe just plain sucky. At any rate, lots to think about here and to admire with your peepers. Lose yourself in a mesmerizing world and don't dissect, I already did it for you....HAHA
    Peace, morado.org ...more info
  • SUPERB AND COMPELLING FILM !
    A mad scientist has lost the power of dream and kidnaps children in order to steal their dreams.
    Once more the innovative minds of Marc Caro and Pierre Jeunet could make it possible this weird but poignant story .
    You may consider this movie extremely fantastic , only if you watch it with rational eyes abandoning the dark poetry involved in it .
    A triumph of the fertile imagination of these two creative authors . If Hans Christian Andersen lived in this age, perhaps could not make it better. Bravo for this team who, six years later would produce that one thousand million carats jewel : Amelie.
    Inmensely entertaining and visually stunning!
    ...more info
  • Visually interesting, boring otherwise.
    I really liked most of the visuals and quirky style. There was a little annoying CGI but done in at least reasonable amounts.

    As far as being stylized, it was very interesting. I wish it could have been applied to a better story.

    The acting also was pretty poor by many of the main actors which caused the story to drag even more.

    It was very nice to look at but the story just bored me.

    Seeing how popular garbage like the Matrix is just for visual style (with its combination innovative camera work and crappy CGI) minus content, I guess how I can see how this gets such rave reviews.

    It's visually far superior to the Matrix but at the same level storywise....more info
  • Whimsical Nightmare
    If Toulouse-Lautrec and Hieronymus Bosch were trapped inside each other's nightmares, it would look like this film. From its first scene, City of Lost Children plunges the viewer into a whimsical nightmare then leaves him immersed there through the closing credits.
    French duo Jeunet & Caro (Delicatessen) used their unparalleled film sorcery to create this haunting, dark fairytale of dread and longing, innocence and innocence lost. Krank, a sinister madman is stealing children to take their dreams, and One, child-like strongman, and Miette, young thief, nine going on too old, together face the perils of rescuing them.
    Visually, City of Lost Children is a masterpiece. Its performances are universally superb, making singling out any particular one superfluous. Its score, composed by Angelo Badalamenti, is eerie, haunting, beautiful.
    As the credits finally role to a close, the viewer feels that he has just awakened from an incredible, bizarre, frightening but amazing dream, with one difference; he can hit play and dream it again.

    Theo Logos
    ...more info
  • Beautifully Bizarre
    This will capture you from the first scene to the last. Judith Vittet as Miette` is Captivating to watch. She is an Adorable Child. She was nine when this was made and chosen out of a huge group of girls that tried-out. You will see why. She has so much natural talent. Daniel Emilfork is Great . His facial expressions are Incredible and show tremendous emotion. Ron Perelman is Great and convincing. You will probably like the voice of Uncle Irvin, the "poor migraine-ridden brain" in a fishtank.The movie is very highly detailed and if you have a dvd and a really good surround-sound system you will really Experience this movie. I have seen it about 8 times and I have started to look around the screen at places you usually don`t look at during the first few times of viewing. There is such intricate detail it is mezmerizing.I highly recommend setting the language to English with English sub-titles. They are not that distracting. There are a lot of phrases that are difficult to understand with the translation from French. It is Definately worth putting up with these two things and follow the journey into the dark, archaic, bizarre world. It is humorous too.The first time I saw this without subtitles I didn`t have much of an idea what was going on. Gary Coladonato ...more info
  • Fascinating, haunting...nearly perfect
    I've always been interested with avante-garde films. My DVD collection includes "Brazil," (my all-time favorite film) "Ichi the Killer," and "Pink Floyd The Wall." Seeing this at an EB Games I was immediately captivated by the front cover of a scientist with the strange mechanical helmet, and after reading about the visual effects and unique style I bought it. What did I think upon seeing it? Well, it was "a jaw-dropping movie" as Stephen Saban brags on the back cover, but I also found it a bit flawed.

    The plot consists of a madman, Krank, who lives in a lab in the middle of the ocean with six clones of his brother, a midget version of his wife, and their Uncle Irvin who is now a living brain in a fish tank. Krank works with a cult of blind men who see through contraptions (known as the "Cyclops") who kidnap young children on the mainland and give to Krank, who uses a large contraption to try and steal their dreams, as he himself cannot. The Cyclops, doing their thing, happen upon a tender hearted strongman, One, and steal his "little brother." While running after them One stumbles across a young girl, Miette, and her young friends, all of whom work for Fagan-like siamese twins known as "The Octopus." Miette and One bond together and share the adventure to find Little Brother and the other children.

    The style is pretty impressive, I must say. The world is a surreal, warped version of a turn-of-the-century European port village, something you might find in a German expressionist film. Krank's lab is a nightmare world of strange mechanisms, nuts and bolts. The characters are all somehow bizarre, from the Cyclops cult to the clones to the female Siamese twins. Special effects of all kinds are used, from models to CG to film morphing.

    The cast is pretty solid. Daniel Emilfork is great as the evil Krank, Dominique Pinon is fantastic playing the clones, and Ron Perlman does a fine job in his role. (I have respect for anyone who can speak French in a Russian accent) My two biggest surprises were Judith Vittet as Miette and Jean-Louis Trintignant as Uncle Irvin, the brain in the fish tank. Judith Vittet, for a girl 9 years old at the time, comes out amazingly strong and professional, and is very captivating in her role - unfortunately, she seems to have only done one or two other films after this and then disappeared from the scene. Jean-Louis Trintignant made Uncle Irvin my favorite character, making sarcastic comments to the villains and controlling the fate of things from his fish tank.

    Before writing this review I briefed through the other reviews to see what other people thought. I noticed many negative reviewers said they turned it off midway through. Now, I didn't do that, but I have to admit...I don't really blame them. Some of the script tends to really drag, especially in the middle of the story. The Octopus subplot seemed to be the biggest offender, and I don't know if it was because it was present or merely dragged out. Particularly in the dock sequence and an extended boat smashing-into-the-dock sequence that gave me bad memories about "Speed 2." The main plot of a mad scientist stealing dreams takes a side-seat, and the storyline seems to come to standstill. I have to also admit I was a bit turned off by some of the darker moments of the film. A Cyclops member gets bitten by a flea and is taken over by the organ-grinder, stabbing one of his accomplices in the eye then strangling the other. (making sure to transplant his eye-plug into his victim so that he can watch himself die) There is a scene later where a character is harpooned through the stomach, with blood dripping from their mouth. And to add a bit of adult humor, rats go into a whorehouse with some topless prostitutes running out. Now, I'm not saying I'm against violence (I own "Ichi the Killer" for crying out loud) and it's not really that bad in the film as I'm making it out to be, but it was very unsettling to go from this child-like fantasy dream world involving a young girl and a simple-minded strongman to "Hey you get to watch yourself get strangled to death" kind of mood. Also, there should have been some serious editing. The tear sequence was a good idea but could have been done better if the shots had been tighter and quicker rather than as long as they were. I thought during it, "Shouldn't Miette be dead by now?" Another example would be the shot of the Octopus looking up at the boat and laughing as the camera pans back - could that shot have been any longer?

    The DVD special features include a commentary by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Ron Pearlman. It's fairly interesting as far as commentaries go, and Pearlman offers some laughs coming across as a pretty modest and laid back guy. There are French, English and Spanish audio, with subtitles for each. Incidentally, I was somewhat suspicious of the subtitles: the audio under the commentary was English, and I soon realized that the dialogue matched the subtitles perfectly. Very rarely, even in the most perfect dubs, is this ever accomplished. It seems they just "dubtitled" it - using the dub script for the subtitles. Other features include some production notes about what every one else has done. I found some humor here since it kept bragging how people went on to do "Alien Resurrection." Any one who can advertise they were involved with that movie with a straight face and full dignity gets some credit from me.

    All in all, it's worth at least a rental. This will appeal to many, and it has, but others should be warned to preview before buying. The beginning and end make the film worth watching if you can get through some of the plodding moments in the middle....more info
  • A Totally Stylized, Created World Of Dark Fantasy Imagery
    A dark tale of a simple man whose young brother has been kidnapped by a madman who attempts to steal the dreams of children because he himself cannot dream.

    This movie is like an even darker version of the "Child Catcher" character from the film "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" made a movie (I also kept expecting him to cameo). It is a totally stylized, created world filled with dark fantasy imagery, a madman (Daniel Emilfork), silly clones (Dominique Pinon), orphan thieves, evil conjoined twins (Genevieve Brunet & Odile Mallet), mechanically altered religious fanatics, poison carrying fleas, and the notion that a tear can cause a shipwreck and save two lives. It also has one of the most disturbing openings I have ever seen (it involves Santa so be prepared for another childhood memory to be flushed down the toilet of life). Dark, unsettling, twisted, to the point of almost defying the ability of description, yet also touchingly beautiful in it's portrayal of the spiritual nature and devotion of unrelated people who become family.

    Ron Perlman has the male lead, a circus strongman named One, who's three year old adopted brother Denree (Joseph Lucien) is kidnapped. Innocence is tough to pull off. Most actors come across looking stupid and that's not the same thing. The character of One isn't bright but he's also not stupid. Simple, yes, but that's also different. It's fine lines and Ron Perlman does a great job walking those subtleties and capturing innocence.

    The nine year old female lead, Miette (Judith Vittet), an orphan thief who helps One, has the look of youthful, lovely adulthood and the attitude of a child who has had no childhood. A great, character defining moment is when she is being carried on One's back and tries on an earring and checks herself out in a mirror. A telling juxtaposition of "father/daughter" and "blossoming woman" imagery.

    Perlman and Vittet have lovely screen chemistry. The spiritual connection that develops between their characters is the beating heart of this film.

    Favorite line(s): "Does it hurt?" (asked of a woman with a metal arrow through her body) "Yes. I'm allergic to steel."

    Favorite line spoken by Ron Perlman: "After I heard them sing (whales), I always always missed target (harpooning them)."

    The DVD has an excellent audio commentary with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Ron Perlman....more info
  • Vivid, Wild and Intriguing - A Truly Unique Urban Fairytale
    I would call this a fairytale before it is a comic-book-like adaptation or a science fiction tale simply because of its specifically magical quality. Though dark and perhaps somewhat disturbing because of how warped the graphics can be, it presents its audience with a circus of both crazy and endearing characters. An orphan girl who is tough as nails and a circus strong-man who is soft as a marshamllow take us on a wondrous journey in search of the city of lost children. There, orphans are taken hostage and their thoughts stolen by a mad scientist who is no longer able to dream.

    The special effects and cinematography are so unique and effectual, it's like nothing I've ever seen. And though the dark, swimming and quirky quality was engrossing to me, it made my roommate nauseaus.

    For some it may be too weird to convey a poignant message, but ultimately its strangeness makes it more effectual as it demonastrates how the absence of childlike wonder can corrupt a mind, yet maintaining youth's optimism can set free the child in us all....more info
  • This is what nightmares are made of...
    This is one of my favourite films of all time.!! The cinematography is unique, I find it odd and slightly out of focus how a previous reviewer mentioned, it had a look similar to The Matrix, that's like comparing poop with hand cream... waaaaay off-base pal. The film isn't bounded by CGI at all, and the story line is nicely thought-out and ambitious with marvelous acting. This is the type of film I can watch over and over again, because of that essence of uniqueness and mastery in film-making. The theme song is haunting yet alluring in its machiavellian atmosphere, truly a pleasant rare nightmare but not for everyone I agree.

    Daniel Emilfork playing the role of Krank could have easily won an academy award in my book.

    Great film, so watch it!...more info
  • a must have movie for fans of weird films
    awesome story !!!! even better cinematography !!! strangest cast of characters you will ever experience . there is no other movie out there that can ever compare with this . a true piece of art . stunning , dark , creepy and humorous at times ...more info
  • Great eye-candy from the French Terry Gilliam
    Clearly influenced by Gilliam's Brazil, The City of Lost Children is undeniably gorgeous to watch (especially on an upgraded HDMI DVD system). Shot entirely in studio, the attention to detail in all locations from the Dickensian style city to Krank's gothic lair is phenominal. The acting too, most notably from 9 year-old Judith Vittet as Miette - the leader of the orphans, and from everyone's favourite neanderthal Ron Perlman, is outstanding.

    Why then only three stars? Because, in my humble opinion, almost two hours was far too long to drag out this basically simple fable about good and bad, exploitation of the innocent and the quest for lost youth (a la recherche...?). I'm sure I will not be the only one to feel that the stunning sets sometimes take precedence over the plot.

    I enjoyed it the first time through. Will probably skim through it again to wallow in the sumptuous detail and skillfully choreographed scenes with the "octopus", but doubt if I could sit through the entire movie again without a yawn or two.

    A few extras add value to the DVD, most notably a "making of" and "behind the scenes" which give away some of the clever special effects. I wonder why co-director Marc Caro refused to participate in the documentaries though - was he on the verge of doing an Alan Smithee?

    Finally a note about the dubbing. I started with the English version, but found the dubbed voices to be very poorly lip-synched and with irritatingly inappropriate accents - most notably Pinon's that sounded impossibly aristocratic! I therefore switched to the original French with English subtitles and would certainly recommend that as the preferred audio option.

    ...more info
  • Oddly twisted tale that is strangely delightful
    Krank is an evil, created being who uses the Cyclops to kidnap children for him so that he can steal their dreams. Intrigued yet? One is the strongman at a street sideshow, who has adopted a street urchin as his younger brother, Denree. One is not much more than an adult child himself, having a simple brain, and when Denree is taken by the Cyclops, One must find him.

    One finds himself tangled up with a band of street kids, thieves and pickpockets, who are enslaved by Siamese twins named la Pieuvre. He manages to enlist the help of Miette, one of the older girls in the gang. If you boiled the movie down to basics, it would be One and Miette looking for Denree, but City Of Lost Children is not a simple movie.

    'City' is a complex and sometimes confusing film, but is so richly done and bizarrely plotted that it is entertainment at its surreal finest. Krank (Daniel Emilfork) was created, along with his 'brother', Irvin, who is nothing more than a brain in a green tinged fishtank. His 'mother' is a midget, and his 'brothers', five clones (all played by talented Dominique Pinon) wait on him hand and foot. Krank and his strange entourage live on a dark and creepy platform out in the ocean, surrounded by mines that protect them.

    Back in the squalor of the city, One and Miette are pursued by the greedy la Pieuvre, who winds out utilizing the resources from her old circus days, a worn out opium addict with an amazing flea circus. His fleas are trained to inject a poison into targets, the fluid being activated when an old hand-cranked music box is played. And Miette winds out meeting a strange, fanatical man who lives underwater, salvaging treasures from the sea floor.

    There are many, many fantastical things for you to see in this film, but I have a few words of caution before you begin. First of all, this is a French film, and the dialogue is French. I strongly recommend watching the movie in the original dialogue with English subtitles, rather than watching the dubbed version. You will loose a lot of emotion in the inadequately dubbed voices.

    Don't expect feats of FX either. City Of Lost Children has the feel of a play, using expert sets and backdrops, and winds out being a visually stunning treat with good, old fashioned sets rather than a lot of CGI. The costumes are marvelous, the photography is stunning (note: Daniel Emilfork is rather evil looking anyway, with his bald head, large nose, and large teeth, but the camera is utilized in a curved view to make him even more menacing) but the script is a little bit disjointed. All of these features combined mark a distinctive feel of bizarreness throughout the entire film.

    Also to note, there are a couple of amazing sequences in the film, one in which we follow the events caused by a single teardrop, and another where we follow the journey of a flea.

    City Of Lost Children is a film only for those who enjoy a taste of the bizarre, love to stroke their fingers down the spine of the surreal, and believe that off-the-wall is a livable realm. If this is you, then you will love this film as much as I did. Enjoy!
    ...more info
  • Very strange movie
    I don't know what to think of this movie. The idea sounded interesting, a man who cannot dream taking children from the city so he can dream, but I spent the first 45 minutes of the movie trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Even after watching it, I still have no clue.heh.

    All I can say is this movie is messed up.LOL. There were a lot of parts of the movie I didn't understand, what was up with the women twins (were they running a thieving ring made up of children?). Then there is the scene portraying a church and its congregation in some metallic looking warehouse all wearing eye pieces (they are referred to in the movie as Cyclops, but what were they?). The odd man stealing all the children and his weird family (composed of a few clones, an odd-looking woman, and a brain encased in a box filled with liquid and a megaphone so it can "speak").

    This movie was a mix of plots all jumbled together and here's the movie for you! There was no coherent plot-line that I could easily follow and that added to my confusion and not understanding what was going on. I suppose it's appropriate to portray in a strange, surreal dream-like quality in keeping with the story in the movie, that of a man who can't dream.

    Oh well, it is crazy, confusing, disturbing, vivid, and just what you'd imagine your dream or nightmare would look like if put to film. IMO, I didn't think the movie was that great, I thought it a little weird, but if you're still curious just rent it. ...more info
  • A French Fantasy Feast For The Eyes! From Amelie's Director
    Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Delicatessen, Alien Resurrection & Amelie) and his 1992 directing sidekick from Delicatessen, Marc Caro brings the dark, dank, rat-infested "City Of Lost Children" to life! All with the likes of one side-show travelling troupe strong-man, Mr. One played excellently by Beauty & The Beast's Ron Perlman, evil, pilfering, child corruptors and Fagin-like Siamese sisters joined by a third leg affectionately referred to as "The Octopus", and a manmade man who lacks the ability to dream called Krank who kidnaps the toddlers and smallchildren of the fictional city to hook them up to weird and wild machines, all to steal their dreams and make them his own.

    Mix these colorful characters in with a band of homeless, criminal children a la Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist style, pet fleas that inject drugs, a talking brain in a tank named Uncle Irvin, a midget named Mademoiselle Bismuth and her six cloned sons, and finally a group of blind people called Cyclops who eat children and you have a marvelous mixture of fantasy, horror, sci-fi, comedy, action & adventure all rolled into one strangely odd film.

    The visual effects are stunning and the costumes by Jean Paul Gauthier are breathtaking. The young, Judith Vittet turns in an especially wonderful performance as Ron Perlman's sidekick and heroine of the story, Miette! Incidentally, Ron Perlman was the only American in the cast and spoke all of his french lines expertly!

    This film is subtitled in English or you may choose to listen to the English dubbed version on the menu of available audio tracks.

    I highly recommend this film! I have never seen anything like it before!

    Happy Watching!



    ...more info
  • The Best Movie I've Ever Seen!
    This is a classic, even if it's not widely known in America. I loved it. I saw the original, French version. I do wonder what it's like seeing the English version... You'll get used to the subtitles, and it becomes second nature to read them. I recommend this movie to anyone that is looking for something different from the norm....more info
  • Sir Adam's Micro Review: City of Lost Children
    City of Lost children is an original, zany, beautiful masterwork that captured my imagination with every frame. The cover design on the American release is bland and deceiving. Even in its darkness is remains uplifting and extremely funny at moments. The film makers were flat-out gutsy to make it, and I am grateful. Rewatch Factor: 4 and 1/2 Stars...more info
  • Different
    This film isn't your typical movie! Althought I didn't like it, I know many people who love it. I'm glad that I did watch it b/c the characters are very interesting. The movie is frightening and made me think way too much!...more info
  • Might be overrated.
    I liked this movie but I wouldn't recommend buying it. Rent it or find someone who has a copy to borrow. I just didn't think it was as entertaining as everyone says it is....more info
  • Pure Genius!! Just give it some time.
    At this very moment, I'm watching this film for about the 20th time to gauge on whether or not it has withstood the test of time. I can honestly say that it still ranks in my top 10 all time favorite films (although I'm not sure what the other 9 are).

    Reading the review by herstory and her pathetically ignorant "It should have been made in America" statement angered me enough to write my first review of this since I saw it in the theater 10 years ago. Being from the states, I'm ashamed at the level of ignorant ethno-centrism prevalent among many from the US. I absolutely love this movie as it is unmatched in artistic vision, unless of course you count Gilliam, Burton, and Jackson (Heavenly Creatures before LOTR).

    Admittedly, I didn't fully appreciate this movie the first time. After the third of fourth viewing, the story began to make much more sense. Most negative reviews have noted that there are holes in the plot, but I strongly disagree. Give it a few more viewings and I'm sure you will agree that the open-ended aspects are much more intentional that you previously thought. Every great song, film or piece of art takes needs time to marinate in order to fully appreciate every dynamic layer. This is no exception. ...more info
  • What I thought
    The music in this video is amazing, not to mention the story, I like it for the fantasy theory as well as the "tripyness" of the plot. The charactors played their parts well, and I will watch it again and again....more info
  • ............
    this movie stinks.the french seriously do not know how to make movies.For me to go on about the movie would be a total waste of time.junk!...more info
  • Sort of Popeye meets Oliver in French Sci Fi
    The technology here is all pre-World War II: an analog tale of orphans, kidnapped children and captured dreams.
    It reminded me of the Lemony SnicketLemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (Widescreen Edition) movie, but better done and in French. A gang of children are a theft ring run by a conjoined twin monster of two women. The kidnapping of children is being done by a strange cyclops religious sect for and off shore island group of clones.
    For their dreams the very young children have their brain-waves captured and transfered to a very evil clone Krank.
    The ex-sailor circus strong man saves the day while rescuing his brother
    with the help of a very resourceful orphan girl.
    It is a wonderful movie that most people wouldn't take their children to?...more info
  • A WORK OF ART. Not for the simple minded, or lazy.
    This is a beautiful film, a surreal fairy tale, with a quite interesting metaphorical story. It might be necessary to be a bit of a linguist to fully understand all of the subtleties in this film, but even if you're not, you should be able to understand something deeper is going on besides a "weird" or "pretty" movie. The cinematography is brilliant, as is the music and acting. What is most fascinating is the writing- It takes a simple story and with subtle clues and symbols, tells another story.

    Big Brother, (named One), is looking for little brother, Denree, after he has been kidnapped by the Cyclops. One and Miette (a street wise orphan) set off an an adventure to leads them to Krank (whose name means 'sick' in German). Krank and the Clones have been working closely with the Cyclops to kidnap children so Krank can steal their dreams.

    If you are simple minded, stick to Hollywood action flicks where they spell everything out for you. If you enjoy thinking a bit, watch this movie. You'll be amazed at the clues and hints in the language, the characters names and events... (If you think 'One' and 'Krank' are weird names, start pulling out your dictionaries and looking up the others!) and how they are metaphorical for something else......more info
  • Movie Flaw
    Both times I viewed this Dvd it Skipped midway through viewing and the screen was frozen for about a minute. Besides this it played well the rest of the way through. ...more info
  • Sir Adam's Micro Review: City of Lost Children
    City of Lost children is an original, zany, beautiful masterwork that captured my imagination with every frame. The cover design on the American release is bland and deceiving. Even in its darkness is remains uplifting and extremely funny at moments. The film makers were flat-out gutsy to make it, and I am grateful. Rewatch Factor: 4 and 1/2 Stars...more info
  • Quiet! You vegetable!
    The City of Lost Children gets two platinum stars and also moves up to one of my top ten favorite films of all time. This is a confusing story, from beginning to end it expands your mind, reaches into your nightmares, and creates a story that is part Dark City and part of a novel called "The Golden Compass" by Phillip Pullman.

    Yes, this film was everything and more. Not only visually beautiful, but the creative and symbolic meaning of the actions and words of the characters are "jaw dropping". Also, there are so many sub-stories in this film that reminded me of the style that Run Lola Run was done. This is the style that due to a connection of unrelated events something extraordinary happens. Let me give you an example from this film: There is a scene where the girl and One (Ron Pearlman-also a very biblical name) are trying to escape from the two women who want their jewels. There are events that lead from a dog finding its female companion to a boat almost hitting/splitting the women in half. Wild coincidences...imagine this times ten, and you have this film.

    Keep in mind this is a French film with English subtitles, so you are not only getting the true voice of the film, but seeing the darkness of the cinematography without any American input. This really shows the purpose behind making this film, it really takes you to a new place so dark and dreamlike that you the viewer actually feel like you are in the picture itself. A movie about dreams and nightmares that takes place in a world of dreams and nightmares.

    Overall, a heavily religious and symbolic film, The City of Lost Children should be put at the top of your foreign film list. Put it in your DVD player, open your mind, and be ready for a wild and intense ride!!

    Grade: ***** out of *****...more info
  • Beautifully Haunting; A Flawless Film
    Put aside the fact that the great Ron Perlmen is in this movie and put aside the fact the the director of Amiele nad Delecatessen directed this film; those two facts are enough for you to see this movie. But the fact that it is so incredibly dark and beautiful is another reason.
    I am sad to say I don't own this film; it is one of those I keep forgettig to purchase. When I add it to my collection it will surly be one of the crown Jewels and that is saying a lot.
    I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS FILM....more info
  • La Cit¨¦ des enfants perdus
    A frightened child sits helplessly in his crib while numerous, ghastly Santa Clauses invade his home, through the chimney of course. This then segues into the maniacal and senseless screams of six identical men and one seriously demented senior citizen. Only the slaps from an angry, albeit caring, female midget can bring them back to their senses. This is no flashy introduction meant to grab the attention of the viewer; much of the film is just as surreal and inventive.

    The City of Lost Children is a French film released in 1995. CoLC is a film noir which takes place in a fictional Victorian era port city in France. While this film is a bit confusing, and certainly bizarre, the viewer will find himself emerged in a richly detailed fantasy with endearing characters and a thought provoking story line. The complexity of the film in fact makes repeated viewings more rewarding. Also to the film's credit are its many endearing and original characters.
    We are introduced early on, to Krank, an evil-genius who kidnaps children and uses an anachronistic device to monitor and enter into the children's dreams. Irvin, a brain submerged in an aquarium, informs the viewer that his motive for doing this is because he cannot dream, and thus he is growing old at a highly expedited rate.

    In another burst of events One, a circus strongman, finds his boss murdered. Before he can even properly mourn his dead, he finds his `little brother,' Denree, kidnapped by the Cyclopes, a quasi-religious cult that is napping the children for the evil genius. The Cyclopes, though blind, have been granted artificial sight from Opticons, another of the fantastical mechanical devices found in the film. He finds some unexpected help from Miette, a young, street-smart girl from a local orphanage. Although more realistically minded than One, a man many years her senior, Miette can't help but feel sorry for him after hearing his story and decides to join him, even tough doing so means leaving the orphanage and angering the Octopus, a pair of Siamese twins that run the orphanage, adding yet another enemy to the duo's list.

    All this is a shock to the senses and can be a bit too much for the first time viewer. CoLC is a rare experience in lieu of the by-the-book filmmaking that makes up the film industry today. Therefore, when the unexpecting viewer mentally assaulted by these images, it is expected that he will emerge with mixed emotions. This is certainly how I felt when I first experienced it. The images, though, stuck with me and I knew I had to buy the DVD and watch it again. The cinematography is undoubtedly breathtaking. A gritty urban setting is the stage for most of the film's events. Other aesthetic locations are the inside of the Scientist's laboratory and the cloud covered night Sea that our heroes must traverse in a rowboat to reach it. The CG special effects are also nice to look at and are used sparingly and in unconventional and inventive ways.

    The movie has a bit of a controversial aspect in the fact that ultimately the movie is about the love that develops between the two mismatched characters, the little girl and the strongman. While their relationship is certainly platonic and mostly alluded to, the ambiguity of the film can lead to less innocent interpretations. Of course within the zany context of the film it barely seems out of place. Other plotlines involve the interrelations of a trio of sinister organizations - the genius and his underlings who need the children, the Cyclops who are kidnapping them for him, and the orphanage that forces children to steal for them.

    The film is filled with the fascinating, yet fictional, Victorian inventions that are ubiquitous in Steampunk: clockwork, steam, and analog devices. Besides the aforementioned Optacons, other inventions include: mirror security cameras, sound amplifiers, cloning tubes, scuba gear, and many others.
    The music is a beautiful and original classical suite of music composed by Angelo Badalamenti. The score perfectly fits the dark and rarely cheerful world of the film.

    CoLC is the brainchild of French directors Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, whose work also include the experimental film, Delicatessen. Jeunet has since moved on to direct the international hit Amelie. The two started work together on short films, cartoons, and advertisements after meeting at a film festival in 1974. They perhaps worked well together due to a shared dark outlook that is signature to their films. After the relative success of Delicatessen, the two were able to make CoLC, the masterpiece that they had wanted to make for some time. Sadly, these films were the only two feature length films the two produced as a team. They did however work together to a lesser extent on Jeunet's Hollywood film, Alien: Resurrection. Their teamwork is reminiscent of that of another pair of experimental filmmakers - Luis Bu?uel and Salvador Dali.

    CoLC is available on DVD with three language tracks and subtitles. Also included is a commentary by Jeunet and Ron Perlman, trailer, and some concept art. The film is rated R but for little reason. There is not really any nudity of profanity. The occasional violence is mostly responsible. Certainly appropriate for children, although they doubtfully would understand it.


    ...more info
  • All I can say is "Wow" !!!
    I work at a video store , and I would see people rent this movie once in a while . Finally , I decided to rent it , and ( with no expectations except that it would probably be wierd ) watch it on my day off . What I watched was one of the best movies I have ever seen . It is a perfect mix of a fairy tale and a nightmare . A dream cocktail , if you will . Incredible cinematography and equally great acting . I can't believe that I , being the movie geek that I am , hadn't seen this already . I am sure glad I did though . I highly recommend you do the same ....more info
  • story will hold youre breath
    ive played the game in 1997 n playstation , now i watched the movie , amazing story line , great atmospher , wonder if they will remake it , itll be good hit for bluckbuster , ....more info
  • A feast for the eye and mind
    There is a plot here, but it almost doesn't matter. This movie is a visual spectacle, and an exercise in the bizarre.

    The people are a big part of it. The evil twins (they're both evil), the cyclops crew, Bismuth, and especially Krank, they are all comic-book exaggerations but also real actors. The city is a maze of alleys filled with grit and smog, stairs, and bridges (over what?) - another big part of the atmosphere. The gadgetry goes over the top, somewhere between steam-punk and tech noir, with a menacing complexity that would have Tim Burton sobbing in envy. The rubbery nightmare sequences are good, but serve mostly to focus attention on camera work elsewhere that distorts scenes to ominous effect. There are some amusing moments - the best is near the end, a roller-coaster ride of cause and effect, triggered by a teardrop.

    That's about it, really - an amazing visual experience, like the dark side of a comic book, but done brilliantly.

    //wiredweird...more info