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VINE VOICEon 21 February 2012
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
With a small, talented cast, this film was written and directed by a man who had been under my radar for ages - Paddy Considine. I first discovered him as the lead in Shane Meadows', 'A Room for Romeo Brass'.

The plot in a nutshell: An angry, disturbed alcoholic, alone since the death of his beloved wife roams from dole office to pub in a never ending cycle of aggression and confrontation. He discovers Hannah, a middle class, kind Christian lady, with a secret. She may live on the pleasant side of town but her life is a circle of physical and emotional abuse by her husband.

Tyrannosaur did not immediately capture my interest, however, as a testament to the quality of the writing and production, I reached then end without taking a break once. The story of Joseph a troubled alcoholic played by the excellent Peter Mullan, finds solace in a vulnerable Charity shop worker, played by the popular Olivia Coleman.

A slightly crass observation perhaps, but the usually attractive Olivia Coleman (actually 38) does not look a day under 45 in this film.

As the film gets going, we see an extremely familiar face of British realism/gritty drama, Eddie Marsan, a man who crops up in virtually ever British drama these days. For a good reason, he is a superb character actor. He plays James, the violent, repulsive husband to Coleman's character Hannah.

It's a difficult watch because of the fact that real people are living these identical lives every day on any street or housing estate.

It was probably not necessary to include some of the scenes of animal abuse, it makes the film especially difficult to watch. The overwhelming theme that is woven into the fabric of the plot is about hopelessness, poverty and depression. Sad people living troubled lives. The issue of child abuse, while upsetting, is handled well.

Paddy Considine knows what he is doing - this is clear from the fascinating extra features in which he provides a commentary and discusses deleted scenes. Another Shane Meadows? Most definitely.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 February 2012
Some films thrill you, some scare you, some make you laugh. You choose which one depending on how you want to feel. Tyrannosaur is a fantastic movie, but you have to be in the mood for it. It's not a feel good type of film. It's gritty, nasty, dark, but ultimately uplifting (in a sad sort of way).

The main character, Joseph, is introduced to us as he kicks his beloved pet dog to death, smashes a Post Office window and gets into a fight with some youths in a pub. And he's our `hero' - he's the guy we're expected to root for. If you don't like the sound of him already, you're probably not going to enjoy his tale. He's not the most sympathetic of characters. Olivia Coleman (best known for her comedic roles, such as `Sophie' in Peep Show) is outstanding, showing just what a versatile actress she is.

Some people have criticised it as `yet more British miserablism.' That's a fair comment. It is pretty miserable. That's why if you're looking for something cheery, it's not for you. However, if you're willing to see just how depressing some people's lives are, you'll be glad you did - I'm guessing not many people are as trapped in such a downward, self-destructive spiral as the two central characters. If nothing else, you'll be glad you're not them.

Oh, and don't get your hopes up about seeing giant dinosaurs - it's a metaphor - Jurassic Park, this isn't.
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on 10 July 2012
It is a paradox of life that the most sensitive people appear to be brutally insensitive. Sometimes, in order to live in a mean world you must develop a hardness. As each thing that can hurt you is relentlessly hunted down and exploited by those around you from an early age, you must either learn to hide your weaknesses under a carapace of hard armour or to join the baying pack. Witness the pit-bull terrorist who tears a boy's teddy bear to pieces as the owner and his friends laugh. To show sensitivity to the boy would mean risking exclusion and the possibility of being the next target.
The magic of this movie is that it shows a depth of characterisation not often seen in cinema. The depths and weaknesses of people who live in a world that is often mean and impossible.
When we talk about poverty in Britain it is not always the want for things - it is the want for culture and meaning (a sort of spiritual poverty). After all, we are not talking about the old cohesive working class but an under class living in a fractured community.
I can imagine this sort of movie becoming an important social document because it has a sort of veracity.
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on 11 March 2012
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having heard of this film through its many award nominations, and having no knowledge of it being in the cinema when it was initially released, my curiousity got the better of me.

It's easy to jump to conclusions about the lead character because of what happens in the first few scenes of the film, but as the story unfolds and we get to know him, he does show that there is a heart in there....somewhere...

The film is full of grit, profane language and a smattering of violence for good measure, but none of this is gratuitous, out of place or attention seeking. It is just matter of fact - this is life in this part of the world, and this is how we deal with it.

I found the film incredibly engaging and as such, it deserves the viewer's full attention (unlike some of the fluffy films which you can get away with multi tasking during). It is a really rewarding viewing experience and incredibly well made...but I won't be watching it again for a good while because it isn't pretty. It's honest, and this isn't always easy to swallow.

Recommended unreservedly.
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on 20 February 2012
This contains the most realistic and engaging acting I have ever seen - its no wonder the main characters won so many awards for it.

Its a seriously dark film, well beyond anything Shane Meadows has done. Its a difficult watch at times no kidding but is an unmissable film. If you like gritty realistic drama like This Is England then this film is for you.

Just be warned its full on and unflinching.
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on 16 January 2012
Within the first ninety seconds Peter Mullan's character kicks his dog to death. It's that kind of film. You knew that already. Peter M is outstandingly convincing as a character who could detonate at any second. It's a quiet film. It tells a simple story, very well. Imagine if Nil By Mouth was a bit more outdoorsy and had fewer characters and was slightly less oppressive. Halfway through this film I felt it was pretty obvious where it was going. But I was wrong. I'm a crybaby and I did get a bit choked up at the ending. It sure aint a comedy - but I did laugh once - at our first sighting of Eddie Marsan (in the wedding photo). For a film directed by someone more famous as an actor, this is the total opposite of that recent Tom Hanks-directed thing - in a totally brilliant way.
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on 8 June 2013
It was a frightening look at how hope can overcome the most desolute circumstances. The acting was powerful and moving, the charactures and settings all too real. A must to see.
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on 10 August 2016
I have to say the writing, acting, editing, cinematography, atmosphere and everything about this film is great. However, I recommend avoiding this film if violence upsets you. Perhaps too brutal, this film does test its boundaries. However, you must consider why it does this as it clearly does this for a reason. With a protagonist that is easy to hate in the beginning, to one that is clearly trying to redeem himself and understands his flaws it can be a little difficult at first to sympathise with his plight. The lead female's story is tragic and heart wrenching, she is a victim who is ultimately punished for facing her monsters.

TL;DR - Great film, would recommend to avid film enthusiasts. Although contains sensitive and violent topics, wouldn't recommend to people who are easily shocked by such things.
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on 20 February 2012
An excellent but hard to watch and grasp Brit film, undoubtedly Meadows-esque and as gritty, real and dark as they come. Considine directs impressively, the film is well shot and paced and features excellent acting contributions from an odd placed Olivia Colemen (from Peep Show fame), Peter Mullan (Neds director) and Eddie Marsen (many films).

Fans of dogs may wish to avoid.

Plot - A drunken widower's path crosses with an abused wife's in this grim, dark and brutal tale about unhappy existences, in the North of England.

Padd Considine is obviously talented when it comes to films (acting or directing with this his first) having learned from the excellent Shane Meadows, it will be interesting what he does next!

Fans of this should try out 'Dead Man's Shoes', 'Fish tank', 'Submarine', 'Neds' and 'This is England'.

'The film is an expansion of Dog Altogether, a short film for Warp Films that Considine wrote and directed, which won the Best Short Film BAFTA and BIFA awards as well as the Silver Lion award at Venice in 2007. Mullan and Colman also appeared in the short film, playing the same roles. Popplewell was also in the original short, but in a different role.' (Wikipedia)

The film is set in an unspecified town in the North of England. Although much of the film was shot on location in residential areas of Leeds and Wakefield.

The DVD features include deleted scenes, a mini behind the scenes and short story.
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on 11 January 2017
I agree with most of the other reviews. It is a very dark, deeply disturbing movie. But it is real. A lot of important issues (domestic abuse, poverty, loneliness, social divides etc.). If you are sensitive, you may not be able watch it. But it seems hard to deny it is an excellent movie.
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