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Netflix’s gritty new movie The Kitchen is like Blade Runner meets Top Boy

Published Jan 15th, 2024 5:17PM EST
The Kitchen on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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The biggest movie on Netflix in the US right now is the newly released heist drama Lift, another stinker from Kevin Hart (with a 28% Rotten Tomatoes critics’ score) that’s best avoided like the plague. No disrespect to Kevin, but as I’ve said before he’s basically become the kiss of death in terms of Netflix movie quality — thanks to others like Me Time and The Man from Toronto, in addition to Lift. Fortunately, the streaming giant is going to rectify this situation in very short order, in the form of The Kitchen — an absolute gem of a new movie coming later this week from first-time director Kibwe Tavares.

The movie, which hits Netflix on Jan. 19, is set in a dystopian, futuristic London, where a high-tech aesthetic meets the kind of urban desolation we saw in Netflix’s Top Boy. The year is 2044, a near-future when the gap between rich and poor has been stretched to its limits. “All forms of social housing have been eradicated,” the movie’s logline explains, “and London’s working classes have been forced to live in temporary accommodation on the outskirts of the city.

The Kitchen on NetflixImage source: Netflix

“The Kitchen is the first and the largest of its kind, it’s London’s last village (harboring) residents that refuse to move on and move out of the place they call home. It’s here we meet Izi, a resident of the kitchen who is desperately trying to find a way out and 12-year-old Benji who has lost his mother and is searching for a family. We follow our unlikely pair as they battle to survive in a system that is stacked against them.”

The cast is led by actor and musician Kane Robinson, who plays Izi following his recurring starring role in the Top Boy series. Tavares, meanwhile, has already made a name for himself even before his directing of The Kitchen. He was awarded the Sundance Special Jury Award for his animated short Robots of Brixton, in addition to his nomination for the Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize for Jonah, starring Daniel Kaluuya. Additionally, he executive produced the acclaimed sci-fi drama Noughts & Crosses for the BBC.

The Kitchen is very much a love letter to London, the city that has defined my childhood and ultimately my identity,” Tavares said in a statement released by Netflix about the movie. “It’s set in an extreme version of our current world. Our characters have little choice but to let the city take over them.

“Through Benji, a 12-year-old in need of care, we explore what we as society lose in the ever-changing and shifting patterns of life, of our cities. I’m incredibly honoured to be able to explore a father-son relationship in this setting that is as personal as it is universal. This is a film for my father and all the fathers and sons out there, who are working it out. And to all the communities out there that are trying to take care of each other.”

Check out a trailer for The Kitchen below.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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