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Only the Animals(Seules les Bêtes)

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

France, Germany · 2019
1h 56m
Director Dominik Moll
Starring Laure Calamy, Denis Ménochet, Valeria Bruni‑Tedeschi, Damien Bonnard
Genre Crime, Drama

In this mysterious thriller, Evelyne, a Parisian socialite, goes missing, and her car is found abandoned in a remote mountain village after a snowstorm. As the police try to discover what happened, the stories of those who knew Evelyne hold the key to understanding the truth.

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What are critics saying?


CineVue by Christopher Machell

Only the Animals remains a highly satisfying and gripping thriller that, like the best of them, finds the time to properly contemplate the depths of its dominoes as they are arranged before the capricious hand of chance gleefully knocks them down, one by one.


Time Out by Dave Calhoun

What unites the interlocking stories are their flashes of love and longing – often painfully, tragically unreturned. The film’s emotional side is well-handled, helped by strong performances across the board. But it’s the storytelling puzzle – the pile-up of different perspectives and gradual reveal of the facts – that makes it most worthwhile.


The Irish Times by Donald Clarke

Few will complain about the delicious perplexities of the opening hour. The film’s focus on the sadness of remote lives – everyone here seems alone – adds satisfactory emotional ballast.


Screen Daily by Fionnuala Halligan

Moll is a director who is adept when it comes to loading the screen with tension; actors swerve in from the side of the frame, silhouetted against the plateau, all playing characters who are clearly not walking a straight line mentally.


The Hollywood Reporter by Jordan Mintzer

Moll crafts a seemingly simple plot that gets increasingly tangled as it jumps from one character to another, taking some rather surprising turns but managing to make sense of it all by the last scene.


The New York Times by Manohla Dargis

The multiple viewpoints are just a clever, self-satisfied device to deliver stale goods and familiar ugliness with a soupçon of glib class politics.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

Moll has given us this audacious, witty and absorbing mystery thriller, a tale of adultery and amour fou with a gamey touch of the macabre.


Los Angeles Times by Robert Abele

If it sounds critical to say that the resolution of the murder at the center of the narrative is the least interesting aspect of the movie’s intrigue, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.


The Telegraph by Tim Robey

The film’s addictive patterning draws us into its cycles of obsession as hungry observers: each part dispenses only as much new information as Moll wants to give away.


The Observer (UK) by Wendy Ide

This is film-making that really tests the elasticity of its story strands, but it largely manages to keep the audience from teetering into disbelief. For the most part, that’s thanks to persuasively solid characters and casting.

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