The City of Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus) (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

The City of Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus)1995

The City of Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus) (1995)



Critic Consensus: Not all of its many intriguing ideas are developed, but The City of Lost Children is an engrossing, disturbing, profoundly memorable experience.

The City of Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus) Photos

Movie Info

In a futuristic city, a daemonic scientist named Krank kidnaps children to tap into their dreams.

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Dominique Pinon
as The Diver/The Clones
Jean-Claude Dreyfus
as Marcello, the Flea Tamer
Mireille Mosse
as Miss Bismuth
Serge Merlin
as Cyclops' Leader
Odile Mallet
as Octopus 2
as The Peeler
Ticky Holgado
as The Ex-Acrobat
Marc Caro
as Brother Ange-Joseph
Alexis Pivot
as Tadpole
Leo Rubion
as Jeannot
Ham Chau Luong
as Tattoo Artist
Hong-Mai Thomas
as Tattoo Artist's Wife
Daniel Adric
as Cyclops
Cris Huerta
as Father Christmas
Lorella Cravotta
as Woman at her Window
Philippe Beautier
as Double Clone
Marc Amyot
as Double Clone
Cyril Aubin
as Double Clone
Bruno Journee
as Double Clone
Dominique Chevallier
as Tied-up Guard
Rene Pivot
as Glazier
Michel Smolianoff
as Awake Tramp
Djamila Bouda
as Stripper
Raphaele Bouchard
as Meitte (age 15)
Babeth Etienne
as Miette (age 37)
Rachel Boulenger
as Miette (age 43)
Nane Germon
as Miette (age 82)
Buster Verbraeken
as Krank (age 4)
Jeremie Freund
as Krank (age 12)
Joris Geneste
as Krank (age 36)
Michel Motu
as Krank (age 45)
Gaetan Bouyala
as Schoolchild
Mickael Bussinger
as Schoolchild
Jonathan Gatinois
as Schoolchild
Joshka Kaufmann
as Schoolchild
Morgan Mariac
as Schoolchild
Caroline Marsily
as Schoolchild
Geoffroy Morange
as Schoolchild
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News & Interviews for The City of Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus)

Critic Reviews for The City of Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus)

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (19)

Few films have captured the spirit of steampunk with as much peculiar daring and imagination.

November 29, 2021 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…

Jeunet and Caro have distinctive signatures like nobody else's.

November 20, 2013

On visual terms alone, The City of Lost Children is something of a masterpiece, using state-of-the-art physical, optical and digital special effects to stretch cinematic boundaries.

November 20, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Essentially, The City of Lost Children is a macabre fairy tale, and while its tentacled comic-book plot and freak-show cast narrow its appeal -- this isn't a work of any allegorical depth -- Caro and Jeunet have pulled off a cinematic delight.

November 20, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

The City of Lost Children gets so caught up in its own weirdness that it all but shuts out the viewer.

November 20, 2013 | Rating: 2/5

An empty triumph of overkill set design and weirdo casting.

November 20, 2013 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The City of Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus)


When a scientist kidnaps a brute's sister, he must join a group of urchins to retrieve her. Jean-Pierre Jeunet, one of our most imaginative and interesting filmmakers, throws all his cards on the table in this film. At each turn, Jeunet's world unfolds, and it's a dark vision in which a mad scientist can steal children's dreams, clones vie to be the Original, and a muscle-bound, monosyllabic tough finds his heart of gold. The film is an experience - a convoluted and occasionally hard-to-follow one, and I can imagine some people finding this film to be a collection of gimmicks, but I found it compelling and interesting. Overall, Jeunet is a unique filmmaker, and good or bad, his films are always interesting.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

This lumpy steampunk dark fable is a perfect example of too much style over substance, offering us astonishing visuals, a beautiful soundtrack and spectacular plot devices (like the chain of events originated by a teardrop) but not so able to use all that in a more meaningful narrative.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

02/01/2011 (DVD) A very strange but interesting watch. The performances are outstanding by both adults and children and what a weirdly but fantastic world. It was like a silver-screen flick with updated visual effects which made this film feel unusual and different. Wow. The setting is art, I mean the ideas and the artistry compliments the story giving it depth and darkness. What had me drawn was the background, it was very darkly, futuristic for its time and Gothic yet the people were from the 1950's so it seemed, very cool indeed. It's probably not everyone's cup of tea but it's definitely the type of tea that has an unusual blend that one learns to enjoy. The special effects were not overly done but it just had the right amount for taste and the clones just look so real, like they were real individuals rather than camera tricks, just so cool. It's definitely a strange one in my opinion but no doubt a watchable feature. I did notice that "Hell Boy" speaks in tongues? Did not know that.

EightThirty .
EightThirty .

Super Reviewer

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