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Only God Forgives

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Denmark, France, United States · 2013
Rated R · 1h 30m
Director Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm, Rhatha Phongam
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller

American expatriate Julian runs a Muay Thai kickboxing club with his brother Billy in Bangkok as a front for his families drug dealing. When his brother is killed, his mother orders Julian to track down and kill the man that is responsible for his death.

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


The New Yorker by Anthony Lane

However mystifying, or downright boring, you find the result, rest assured that the Refn faithful will swoon. Peace be with them.


Time Out London by Dave Calhoun

Style over substance doesn’t really tell the half of it: you can bathe a corpse in groovy light and dress it in an expensive suit, but in the end that rotting smell just won’t go away.


The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

Refn has consistently delivered films that have subverted our expectations, and has proven himself a master at stylistic self-reinvention, but this feels like the first time he’s gone back to any particular well.

50 by Jordan Hoffman

There’s no way to overstate the gorgeous look of this film, but the mannered dialogue and deliberateness of pace becomes less of an homage to Asian revenge films than a parody.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

Only God Forgives will, understandably, have people running for the exits, and running for the hills. It is very violent, but Winding Refn's bizarre infernal creation, an entire created world of fear, really is gripping. Every scene, every frame, is executed with pure formal brilliance.


Variety by Peter Debruge

The wallpaper emotes more than Ryan Gosling does in Only God Forgives, an exercise in supreme style and minimal substance.


Time by Richard Corliss

The collision of violent spasms and art-film ennui leave the viewer’s brain bloody but unfilled.

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