Les Diables review

The devils in question are 12-year-old Joseph (Vincent Rottiers) and his autistic sister Chloé (Adele Haenel), two tearaway tots who've spent their childhood on the run from foster families. Angry, deeply troubled and convinced that returning home will make his off-kilter sister right in the head, Joseph's ready to fight anyone who gets in their way. Then his real mum turns up with some shocking news and his plans fall to pieces.

Plenty of icky sexual fumblings, blood-soaked punch-ups and a glimpse of France's harsh, unforgiving care system help this uncomfortable social drama turn pre-teen hormones into a powder keg just waiting for a spark. True, the story's all-too familiar, but the performances are something else: tiny little Rottiers swaggers around like he wants to be in La Haine when he grows up, while Haenel steals the movie with her faultless portrayal of autism. Teenage kicks were never supposed to be like this.

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