Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 69
Fresh: 60 | Rotten: 9
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 20
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 2,687
Domineering cattle farmer Jacky Vanmarsenille (Matthias Schoenaerts), constantly pumped on steroids and hormones, initiates a shady deal with a notorious mafioso meat trader. When an investigating federal agent is assassinated and a woman from his traumatic past resurfaces, Jacky must confront his demons and face the far-reaching consequences of his decisions. -- (C) Drafthouse Films
Feb 17, 2012 Limited
Jun 26, 2012
Drafthouse Films - Official Site
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Some of the dialogue is overloaded, but the formidable cinematography, by Nicolas Karakatsanis, envelops us in an ever-darkening world.
Many terms applied to action movies - muscular, animalistic, testosterone-fueled - are literally true of Bullhead.
Despite the unlikely setup, this Oscar-nominated thriller proves that where illegal substances are concerned, one line of trafficking is as deadly as another.
Even though the crime story winds up overwhelming the proceedings, it's the characters that make Bullhead so powerful and so unique.
[It] has enough strands of story for an epic tale. But Roskam appears more interested in trying to combine genres that don't easily cohere.
Tough, gloomy and quietly powerful, it's effective as a bruising gangster drama but stronger as a tragic character study. Another bruising turn from Schoenaerts, although it isn't nearly as interesting when the story moves away from him.
Roskam hooks us like a master and leads us where he needs to and wants to - on HIS terms and those that the story demands.
Roskam has created a convoluted but airtight plot involving undercover investigations, betrayals and revenge, it doesn't go in the direction one might expect.
Its centre holds, largely because of Schoenaerts's capacity to elicit our sympathy despite everything.
It's compelling, and Schoenaerts is a treat as this taciturn knot of angst and muscle tone, but Michaël R Roskam's film is short on humanity and dash.
It looks fantastic, boasts an unusual storyline and Schoenaerts is as compelling as a young Marlon Brando.
Dark and involving, this shocking Belgian drama not only earned an Oscar nomination but propelled its director and leading man into much bigger movies.
This thriller about a steroid-boosting farmer lost in the moral maze of Belgium's mafia underworld is a stylish, meaty treat.
Bullhead becomes dark, minatory and coruscating in ways not light-aeons distant from Büchner or Scorsese.
Powerful, hard-hitting and deeply upsetting, this is an emotionally engaging, Oscar-nominated Belgian thriller with a riveting central performance from Matthias Schoenaerts, though it rambles a little whenever he's offscreen.
Between Nicolas Karakatsanis's agile camerawork and an uncanny deployment of silence, Roskam teases open bare, fluid spaces in which Schoenarts' intense performance can really writhe.
Michael R Roskam's first film is not purely about Jacky, and that's a pity, because no-one else is as good as Schoenaerts ...
Bullhead more than deserves its run at the big screen. So does its star.
Director Michael R Roskam makes a decent fist of drawing his weighty elements into a cohesive whole.
[It] displays plenty of visual imagination, but this overcooked film is in sore need of streamlining.
Roskam shows the most confidence when things are unsettling and different from the genre underworld in which the plot resides.
- Jacky Vanmarsenille: You don't have any balls!
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