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Animal Kingdom (2010)


Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 151
Fresh: 146
Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: With confident pacing, a smart script, and a top-notch cast, Animal Kingdom represents the best the Australian film industry has to offer.

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 28
Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: With confident pacing, a smart script, and a top-notch cast, Animal Kingdom represents the best the Australian film industry has to offer.


Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 28,500


Movie Info

Welcome to the Melbourne underworld. It's the Wild West, played out on the city's streets. Armed robber Pope Cody is on the run from a gang of renegade detectives who want him dead. His business partner and best friend, Barry "Baz" Brown. wants out of the game. Pope's younger brotherCraig Cody is making a fortune in the illicit substances trade, whilst the youngest Cody brother, Darren, naively navigates his way through this criminal world -- the only world his family has ever known. And into … More

R (for vioence, drug content and pervasive language)
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
David Mich˘d
In Theaters:
Jan 18, 2011
Box Office:
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Animal Kingdom

All Critics (154) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (146) | Rotten (5) | DVD (9)

It's not unique, but as a distillation of a well-worn genre, it's admirable.

Full Review… | February 23, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

The film establishes a menacing, unsparing mood that never wavers.

Full Review… | September 10, 2010
Miami Herald
Top Critic

The naturalistic style Michod employs adds to the sense of dread. Is there no way out of this existence? To whom would it appeal?

Full Review… | September 8, 2010
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Dark and mesmerizing.

Full Review… | September 3, 2010
Detroit News
Top Critic

It's a remarkable film: gritty, gut-churning, thrillingly acted.

Full Review… | August 27, 2010
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Writer-director David Michod creates a densely textured moral universe that makes good on his metaphoric title.

Full Review… | August 27, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

David Mich˘d's sensational directorial debut Animal Kingdom (2010) reinvigorated my faith that Australian cinema is capable of truly profound complexity.

Full Review… | May 25, 2014
2UE That Movie Show

...the sort of movie that one admires more than one enjoys...

Full Review… | November 26, 2013
Reel Film Reviews

Seldom is a debut feature handled with such assurance and intelligence

Full Review… | November 13, 2013
Film Comment Magazine

Seldom is a debut feature handled with such assurance and intelligence

Full Review… | November 13, 2013
Film Comment Magazine

Ben Mendelsohn steals the show. This man portrayed the most subtle creep I've seen on film in years. Animal Kingdom is a must see.

Full Review… | August 28, 2013
Gordon and the Whale

Gets under your skin and in your head.

Full Review… | January 27, 2013
Movie Nation

Animal Kingdom is frequently shocking - not just because it makes Air Supply's 'I'm All Out Of Love' sound cool.

Full Review… | September 28, 2012

Just as the protagonist announces from the outset that crime doesn't pay, in Animal Kingdom grime doesn't play.

Full Review… | July 11, 2012

A diverting conceptual fictional crime family pic.

Full Review… | January 12, 2012
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

An intimate portrait of a criminal family that resembles the Mafia in virtually no way.

Full Review… | August 15, 2011
Cinema Sight

Animal Kingdom has been dubbed an 'Australian GoodFellas'. Director David Mich˘d isn't as flashy as Scorsese, but his portrayal of the violent downfall of a dysfunctional family of criminals shows that he's a master at building slow-burning tension.

Full Review… | July 18, 2011
Movie Talk

Mich˘d takes familiar material and approaches it with less emphasis on the sensational and more on the surreal atmosphere of accepted dread.

Full Review… | April 8, 2011
Window to the Movies

Writer/director David Mich˘d pumps the plot full of tension through layers of increasingly dangerous and volatile characters until it's almost unbearable.

Full Review… | March 1, 2011
What Culture

An ambitious and effective thriller.

Full Review… | March 1, 2011
Sight and Sound

Animal Kingdom is skilfully lit and edited and the performances are remarkable.

Full Review… | February 28, 2011

A brooding Australian thriller that marks director David Mich˘d as a talent to watch.

Full Review… | February 28, 2011
Daily Express

It includes enough localised details about the changing nature of crime and the debilitating bonds of family to give it a distinctive voice all its own, ensuring it never feels like a Hollywood rip-off.

Full Review… | February 28, 2011

Writer/director David Michod handles his material with great confidence, allowing some powerful acting.

Full Review… | February 25, 2011
This is London

Animal Kingdom shocks, surprises and amazes but never seems false or unreal. A great film.

Full Review… | February 25, 2011
Electric Sheep

A ferocious, uncompromising drama that feels like a shot of gin before breakfast.

Full Review… | February 25, 2011
Daily Mirror [UK]

Audience Reviews for Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is engrossing, unsettling and pulls no punches - exactly the right criteria for the perfect crime film. The Cody family display traits of violence, unpredictability, ignorance and cold-heartedness, led by the distinctly sweet and deliciously evil Grandma Smurf who orders the murder of her own grandson with a smile on her face. The realistic way this is filmed only adds to the uncomfortable but engrossing entertainment value, it's edge of your seat but peering through your fingers stuff. It's a great debut from David Mich˘d and the young James Frecheville should get credit for playing the dumb silent teenager brilliantly. It deserves the praise it received.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer


An intense, gritty depiction of a family whose life is dominated by crime and drugs, and how the youngest of the bunch (James Frecheville) is unfortunately faced with turning his uncles in after they commit a violent crime in retaliation to a corrupt police force. A cold-blooded Aussie thriller that features some powerful acting, especially Jacki Weaver as the matriarch of the bunch, and Ben Mendelsohn as one of the brothers who possesses a psychotic streak. It is a film that contains a lot of interesting twists and subtlety, as well as some pretty violent actions that successfully catch the viewer off guard. A simply riveting film that remains arresting throughout, with one of the more shocking endings I can recall.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer


One of the better opening monologues I've seen, eminently quotable and providing not only a snapshot of all the characters we'll meet, but also a voice for the film. Here's a taste:

"Mom kept me away from her family because she was scared. I didn't know it at the time, but they were all scared, even if they didn't show it [...]. Even if they didn't know it, exactly. Even if they were having to do what crooks do all the time, which is block out the thing they must know - they must know it - which is that crooks always come undone, one way or another. [...] All this seemed strange to me, but not strange, either, you know what I mean? Kids just are wherever they are, and they just do whatever they're doing. This is where I was, and this is what I was doing."

Josh's mom has just died of a drug overdose, and he tells us all this over the opening ten minutes, punctuated by a few telling conversations, as we see the family that he has no choice but to move in with, and the crimes he won't be able to help getting mixed up in. With the die cast, the stakes remain high, as this coming-of-age story has an angle like few others; as opposed to having to prove himself in the world of crime, Josh needs only to survive. Tense and well-acted, sincere but gritty, it's got several surprises and most importantly, comes across as a story that could be true. An unconventional crime flick that you must see.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer


An intriguing tension filled film, 'Animal Kingdom' is a strong debut feature from David Michod that draws you in with its darkly brooding characters. The film itself felt like a mix between 'Snowtown' and 'The Wire'. It was similar to 'Snowtown' with its central idea and setting but the constant feeling that no one is safe is reminiscent of 'The Wire'.

The film is shot rather conventionally but is filled with imagery revolving around the title. Although the idea isn't original what is original is Animal Kingdom's spin on it, relating a criminal family to a pack of lions.

Overall, although unoriginal 'Animal Kingdom' is a worthwhile watch with strong performances and an interesting spin on a much used subject.

Cameron Sherwell
Cameron Sherwell

Super Reviewer

Animal Kingdom Quotes

Joshua 'J' Cody:
After my mom died, this is just the world I got thrown in.
– Submitted by Zbigniew Z (2 years ago)
Janine 'Smurf' Cody:
[crying] I'm having trouble trying to find my positive spin. I'm usually very good at it. Usually it's right there, and I can just have it. But I'm having trouble finding it now.
– Submitted by rob g (3 years ago)
Andrew 'Pope' Cody:
It's a crazy f*ckin' world.
– Submitted by John C (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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