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Animal Kingdom [DVD]

55 customer reviews

Price: £5.74 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: James Frecheville, Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 11 July 2011
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004P9MUUK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,479 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Following the death of his mother, 17-year–old Joshua 'J' Cody (James Frecheville) moves in with his hitherto–estranged family, under the watchful eye of his doting grandmother, Janine 'Smurf' Cody (Jacki Weaver), and her three criminal sons--the Cody boys. Eldest son and armed robber, Andrew 'Pope' Cody (Ben Mendelsohn) is in hiding from a gang of renegade detectives. Middle brother Craig (Sullivan Stapleton) is a successful but volatile drug dealer, whilst the youngest Cody, Darren (Luke Ford), naïvely follows his elder brothers' lead. Just as Pope's business partner and best friend, Barry Brown (Joel Edgerton), decides that he wants out of the game, recognising that their days of old–school banditry are all but over, tensions between the family and the police explode. J finds himself at the centre of a cold–blooded revenge plot that turns his family upside down and which throws him directly into the path of senior homicide detective, Nathan Leckie (Guy Pearce).

Writer and director David Michôd’s brutal and captivating depiction of Melbourne’s criminal underbelly heralds the arrival of an intense new voice to contemporary Australian Cinema.

Extras:
  • Interviews (David Michôd, Guy Pearce, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Jacki Weaver, James Frecheville, Laura Wheelwright, Sullivan Stapleton, Luke Ford)
  • Audio commentaries with David Michôd and cast
  • Making Of
  • Trailer

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD
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 psychotic 'leader' of the family gang is disturbingly convincing in what is a remarkably underplayed, brooding role. Jacki Weaver as the grandmother Janine Cody 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. J. Everett on 27 Aug. 2011
Format: DVD
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 By THE MOVIE GUY on 2 Sept. 2013
Format: DVD
17 year old Josh's mother dies from an OD which forces him to move back into his crime family. His grandmother (Jacki Weaver) is the Ma Barker type in that she stereotypically loves her boys perhaps a little too much in an unhealthy way. The beginning of the movie is filled with a lot of Josh's first person narration which introduces the characters as well as give us Josh's fatalist philosophy that is well beyond his age and maturity.

His new family teaches him things he didn't learn living with his mother like: Washing your hands after you use the restroom, playing pull my finger, and using a gun for road rage. As a "crime family" they are rather unimpressive. Selling cocaine seems to be their major source of income and they have help with an inside man to do that. Josh wants out, but doesn't know how to do it.

The film at times moves slow but is never dull. It is more drama than action. Josh (James Frecheville) is the main character and is seldom far from a scene.

F-bomb. No sex or nudity.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Aug. 2012
Format: DVD
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 By nigel p bird on 17 Nov. 2012
Format: DVD
You have a pretty good idea of where you are within the first minutes of Animal Kingdom.

The credits appear over images of an armed robbery and the story opens with a young man sitting next to an unconscious lady. Deal Or No Deal's on the box and it looks like a normal day in a boring life. Normal, that is, until the paramedics turn up and set to work on the woman who had OD'd on heroine.

The young man is Joshua Cody. He calls his estranged grandmother to ask for help with the funeral arrangements and ends up moving in with her.

Joshua's mother kept him away from his extended family in the hope that he wouldn't get mixed up in their crime syndicate of robbery and drug pushing. Now that he's in the arms of his Grandmother, Smurf, things don't look good.

Smurf is a matriarchal lune. She has 4 crazy sons, 3 living at home and the craziest of them all, Pope, who's in hiding. For the set-up, think Cody Jarrett in White Heat, here; it's unlikely that the choice of name for the Animal Kingdom family is purely accidental.

The Cody family is in trouble because the lawless drug enforcers in police uniform are watching their every move in a bid to find Pope.

The film is stark. It's often static and claustrophobic. The characters are brutally real and easy to get to know. There are no bells and whistles to distract from the story's tension and uncomfortable quality. The performances are superb and the whole piece fits together like apple, sugar and pastry. Pope would have fitted well in to Blue Velvet and the main character Josh is played in a deadpan way that suggests the actor James Frecheville is going places (if he hasn't already).

There's no doubt that this is one to watch.

I'd also like to appeal to fans of Australian cinema to point me in the direction of more similar movies should there be many of them around.
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