The Kid review

This biopic spends too much time wallowing to be uplifting...

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

If you’re going to make a biopic about an abused child who grows up to be a bare-knuckle boxer, it might help to hire an actor who looks like he can actually handle himself in a scrap or two.

Not Telstar director Nick Moran, though, who hands the role to the pasty-faced Rupert Friend in a downbeat hard-luck story that desperately wants to be Britain’s answer to Precious.

The miscasting doesn’t stop there thanks to Natascha McElhone’s outlandish turn as Rupert’s mother, a screeching fishwife who looks like she’s stepped off the pages of Viz.

Yet the real flaw here is The Kid’s crunching lack of subtlety, Moran turning Kevin Lewis’ autobiographical tell-all into one long, lurid wallow in society’s dregs.

Freelance Writer

Neil Smith is a freelance film critic who has written for several publications, including Total Film. His bylines can be found at the BBC, Film 4 Independent, Uncut Magazine, SFX Magazine, Heat Magazine, Popcorn, and more.