Shane Palamara’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’m currently on vacation in Rome so it felt like a good time to check out this class Italian film. I like how national Bicycle Thieves feels. This is just one man’s story, but it could be about any of the background characters around him. It really puts you in the mental space of Italians after World War II, like other Italian Neorealist films do, where all hope feels lost. I also liked how the bicycle plot slowly turns into a father-son character study. Antonio loves his son, and Bruno wants his father to succeed with his job. Even so, the divide between them is clear. Bruno becomes a lower-priority for Antonio compared to finding the bicycle. There are many dangers for Bruno in the film which are there to remind us that post-war Italy is not a safe place for children.
The film overall is very simple in story and style, but it’s so powerful in expressing the charm of everyday life. Above all, it’s a character study rather than any propaganda piece about the war. Presenting life as it was at the time. This is a film that everyone should see at least once and I consider it to be one of the greatest films ever made.