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Animal Kingdom [Blu-ray] [2010] [US Import]

James Frecheville , Guy Pearce , David Michôd    Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: James Frecheville, Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton, Bryce Lindemann, Paul Smits
  • Directors: David Michôd
  • Writers: David Michôd
  • Producers: Bec Smith, Libby Sharpe, Liz Watts, Vincent Sheehan
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Jan 2011
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003Y5H4RA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 174,167 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The title leaves no doubt about the nature contained in this Australian crime picture: the law of the jungle prevails, and it's kill or be killed out there. That's the belief within the Cody clan, anyway, the Melbourne criminal family whose exploits give Animal Kingdom its fire. The central character is something of a deliberate vacancy, a blank slate for the movie to write on: 17-year-old Joshua, known as J (James Frechville), is taken in by his grandmother after his mother dies of an overdose (a memorably chilling opening scene). Grandma (Jacki Weaver) is known as Smurf, but don't let the name fool you: she's the Ma Barker-like matriarch of a brood of sociopaths, none more lethal than oldest son Andrew, known as the Pope (a blood-curdling performance by Ben Mendelsohn). Luke Ford and Sullivan Stapleton play her other sons, and Joel Edgerton (The Square) is on hand as an outlaw associate. The way J is brought in and tested in this world of blood-spattered machismo is director David Michod's subject, and even if the film has a few heavy-handed moments along the way, the overall effect is tense and unsettling. J's journey comes up short compared to a contemporaneous study of another unformed youth learning the ropes of crime (Jacques Audiard's A Prophet), but its portrait of amorality thriving in a somewhat ordinary-looking urban landscape is effective. Bonus: Guy Pearce's role as a detective who tries to catch J on the course of his tragic trajectory, a rare glimpse of humanity in an otherwise chaotic zoo. --Robert Horton

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Growing pains... 13 Jan 2012
Crime sagas often work well when they're told from the point of view of someone on the periphery of the main action. In this case, it's 17-year-old Josh who's just become an orphan and turns to his grandmother and uncles for support. Unfortunately for him, they're heavily involved with violent crime, which compels him to have to decide the direction in which he wishes to take his own life. Punctuated by several surprising twists and refreshingly devoid of cliches, Animal Kingdom strikes an admirable balance between cranking up the tension and presenting an engaging character study. James Frecheville as Josh and Jacki Weaver as the inscrutable matriarch are quite superb, as is the evocation of the Australian setting. A triumph.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing, nail biting affair 27 Aug 2011
I almost had to seek assistance in wrenching myself away from the settee following the conclusion of this film, such was the degree to which it had me throughly gripped in anticipation and treidation for the plight of the lead character. Y'know theres cinematic apprehension that you get with films such as 'the departed' and then theres films like this that are so realistic in their portrayal of events and the subculture that they seek to represent that the suspense factor is simply jacked to the max. Some sublime performances from the cast throughout, particularly from the young lead actor. Proof in the pudding that you can be unhollywood without being arty and pretentious.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm All Out Of Love 14 Mar 2011
David Michod, the Director and Screenwriter of 'Animal Kingdom' had given us a terrific film. Filmed in Melbourne, Australia it is akin to Scorsese's criminal New York or Boston.

We meet the storyteller, Josh Cody, played by James Frechevile, watching television while a woman next to him looks asleep. A few minutes later the emergency squad arrives, and we learn this is J Cody's mother who has died from a heroin overdose. J calls his grandmother who he has not seen in many years. Smurf Cody, as played by Jacki Weaver, is the grandmother, and she is one of those loving psychopaths that give you the creeps. She has come to get Josh to bring him into the bosom of her criminal, psychopathic family. His uncles, Pope, played by Ben Mendelsohn, is so unnerving that is was difficult to watch him. Darren is played by Luke Ford and Craig is Sullivan Stapleton. This is a group of people who steal, deal in drugs and murder at the drop of a hat. Josh enters the family and though he is not part of the criminal activity, he is part of the family. Pope has been on the lam, and enters the family via the back door, literally. He is to be avoided at all costs. Smurf, the Granny, kisses all of her sons on the lips and lingers a little too long for comfort. What has gone on in this home? Smurf mentions to Pope that maybe he should start taking his meds again. You think? No one is safe and after two innocent policemen are killed, the law is after the Codys. Josh in the middle is innocent, but one particular detective, played by Guy Pearce, seems to think he can save him. Nothing works, and Josh realizes he need to look out for himself, and he has a plan. At one point in the film, Air Supply is seen and heard on the television playing their song 'I'm All Out Of Love'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family Business 25 Aug 2012
A good tight plot, plenty of very good actors and we are in business. This tale of a cadet branch of a Melbourne crime family and its run-ins with rogue (and otherwise) police is a grim one without the sentimentality that can appear in Hollywood films. There are plenty of twists, and the tongue-tied acting of the lead is right on the money. Good stuff.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Australian Crime Drama 18 Nov 2011
By Keith M TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Animal Kingdom is David Michod's feature directing debut, and what a debut! Certainly one of the best Australian films I have ever seen along with, say, Lantana, The Proposition and the Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith. I guess the difficulty now for Michod is following it up with something of comparable quality.

Animal Kingdom charts the experiences of 17-year old Joshua Cody, as, following the death of his mother from a drugs overdose, he finds himself being 'adopted' by his near family, who (unfortunately for him) happen to be part of the criminal underworld, led by his maternal grandmother Janine Cody and her three sons. Michod directs with surprising assurance (given this is his debut) and has produced a slow-burning, brooding thriller whose main themes are misguided family loyalty mixed with near psychotic bursts of behaviour.

The cast is outstanding with three particular standouts for me. Ben Mendelsohn as Andrew 'Pope' Cody, the psycohotic 'leader' of the family gang is disturbingly convincing in what is a remarkably underplayed, brooding role. Jacki Weaver as the grandmother Janine Code is absolutely superb as the 'kindly' matriarch who has the best interests of her family at heart, but just happens to be completely deranged at the same time - she was deservedly nominated for an Oscar for this role. Finally, James Frecheville, in only his second film, puts in a very promising performance as the innocent grandson Joshua, who is totally convincing as he attempts to make very difficult moral judgements.

Great stuff, and essential viewing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Recurrent cast
Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 days ago by Angela Smith
1.0 out of 5 stars Bleakness misery porn is really dull
Bleak, predictable, no story, awful dialogue. Making the viewer miserable is just boring.
Published 6 days ago by carl pitman
4.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing and brilliant
Harrowing and brilliant
Published 1 month ago by james thackray
5.0 out of 5 stars A sublime example of an offbeat crime thriller.
With remarkable performances from a clutch of Australian actors who rarely get Hollywood credentials, Animal Kingdom revels in its own nuance, cutting a claustrophobic Melbourne... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tim
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Rubbish, ended turning it off after half an hour, put it in the charity shop.
Published 2 months ago by Ann Overton
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film from Down Under
Every once in a while you come across a surprisingly brilliant film - so well done no wonder the cast are all becoming famous in their own rights
Published 6 months ago by Cazziek
5.0 out of 5 stars oh dear
The wife saw on a trailor of another film so muggins had to buy it arrived well just wish the film was as good as the packagin
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Australian gangster movie
I purchased this movie on the basis of reviews on Amazon. I thought it was a good watch, I've viewed it twice and will probably watch it again. The mother is very believable.
Published 8 months ago by GaryC
3.0 out of 5 stars Grisly goings-on in suburban Australia
Guy Pearce provides star quality in this grim tale of small-town seediness, corrupt police, drug peddling and sudden brutal violence. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth
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