This movie reminds me of so many movies about troubled or runaway kids, but it's unique in that it humanizes the criminal elements he comes in contact with. The kid does't have a father and the gang who adopts him from the street actually care about him. But what can they teach him about life except to become just as they are? While they have some power and control over their lives, the criminals try to keep the boy from doing evil...even as they teach him how to steal. The depiction of the morals of those who inhabit the underbelly of society is shown by a compassionate heroin addict who fancies himself a Robin Hood. Very compassionate movie with a sense of foreboding throughout because one suspects trouble is afoot.
If you're a compassionate viewer who doesn't easily close off your heart to the oppressed in society, and if you like young adult stories or coming-of-age flicks, then this film is for you. If you hate commiserating with people, whether they are bad or good or young or old, then this movie is not for you. It has its slow moments but it's a movie I would recommend for film-lovers, students, teachers, as a warning about life...and about the little occurrences that can happen in one's life to turn one toward good or toward evil.