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Animal Kingdom 2010

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4.0 out of 5 stars (63) IMDb 7.3/10

Scorsese meets Melbourne in this stylish debut film about the Codys, a bunch of evil grown-up brothers living with their mother. When 17-year-old-nephew Josh moves in with them, he's caught between family and the law after his uncles avenge the death of a pal by killing two policemen.

Starring:
Guy Pearce, Ben Mendelsohn
Runtime:
1 hour, 48 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Crime, International
Director David Michod
Starring Guy Pearce, Ben Mendelsohn
Supporting actors Joel Edgerton, Luke Ford, Jacki Weaver, James Frecheville
Studio Studiocanal
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love australian cinema and this film doesnt disappoint . This shows a real crime family , far removed from the british cartoon rubbish . All the actors are excellent , Jacki Weaver amazing [ a real woman actress , unlike so many of the fake botox americans] and ofcourse Guy Pierce is once again brilliant . This is an adult film so its not always pleasant but it had me on the edge of my seat .
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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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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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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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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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Animal Kingdom wasn't even on the radar when I stumbled across it, looking for new films. Reading reviews, I thought I'd found a hidden gem, but it wasn't as good as I'd hoped.

Don't get me wrong. It's OK. I mean, it's a good film - but reading some of the reviews on here I thought I'd found the next A Prophet or Scarface or something, but it's not in the same league.

Although, as an example of style and film making it's very well executed, it just lacked any Va-Va-Voom. It was a very slow film which built tension rather than let off steam and excitement.

It's taken me a few weeks to get round to writing this review because the main star gave a (intentionally) totally emotionless and flat performance throughout; this, combined with a lack of any real action throughout, left me feeling exhausted and deflated. It was a very grey, grim and dismal experience. The film dose well in creating a not very nice atmosphere throughout and this kind of rubs off on you and stays with you after watching.

There is a twist, of sorts, but that was spoilt for me too as one of the other reviews on here starts by blowing that - so careful what you read if you're thinking of buying this.

There's no denying that Animal Kingdom was well executed. I'm just not sure watching it was an experience I really enjoyed. Lifeless, dreary, lacklustre, featureless, droning, emotionless, glassy, impassive: these are all words I could associate with this film.

I'm unsure whether or not to give it 3 or 4 stars but I think I'm going to go with 3. It's well made, well acted and creates tension well - but I thought it just lacked... something. To me it felt monotonous.
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