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Animal Kingdom

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Australia · 2010
Rated R · 1h 53m
Director David Michôd
Starring James Frecheville, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce
Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

After the death of his mother, J moves in with his cousins and grandmother, who runs a criminal enterprise. He must navigate volatile players and shifting loyalties as police surveillance of the family stokes internal tensions in this brutal and epic crime drama that never stops ratcheting up the tension.

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What are critics saying?


Time Out by Joshua Rothkopf

The strength of Animal Kingdom is its slow-building fatalism; the criminals' luck runs out, but then finds depressing extension via an out-of-left-field collaborator. It's a movie that has very little faith in authority, not even in Guy Pearce's righteous detective. The only law here is Darwin's.


The Hollywood Reporter by Kirk Honeycutt

A naturalistic drama rich in psychology and attention to details. There's no glamour here, but one false move by anyone can result in death, so tension fills nearly every scene.


Village Voice by Michael Atkinson

Michôd wants a Greek epic but doesn't have the material. Animal Kingdom is a work of obvious ambition, and seeing a debut filmmaker swing for the fences like this is its own kind of moviehead satisfaction.


Movieline by Michelle Orange

Because Animal Kingdom is so richly suffused with atmosphere and style, you could almost float right past the deficiencies in its story in an admiring trance.


The A.V. Club by Noel Murray

Animal Kingdom joins in the tradition of brutally unsentimental Australian crime dramas like "The Boys," in which the stakes are low, except to the people staring down the barrel of a gun.


Observer by Sara Vilkomerson

Among the most gripping, well-paced, acted and directed, and generally thrilling of anything that I've seen (yet) this year.

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