The Vicious Kind - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Vicious Kind Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 24, 2012
I haven't really seen Adam Scott in anything, but his turn in this dramatic role is indeed vicious but also vulnerable. Caleb's insulting outbursts cut with vitriol, and his blubbery apologies pour with nonsense that he can't quite understand himself.

I'm not really sure of the movie's premise - the only way Caleb knows how to protect is brother is by hurting him and that's why he sleeps with his brother's girlfriend...? The motifs of desperate need and succumbing to attraction because of the other person's attraction to you are all interesting, but the ending shows no real aftermath of that behavior.
Super Reviewer
March 20, 2011
Secrets and lies unfold in a troubled family when a man develops a lustful fascination with his brother's girlfriend when the latter brings her home for Thanksgiving.
Adam Scott's performance in this deftly constructed family drama is everything I've heard it was and more. His crying scenes are as convincing as his most vicious outbursts, and Scott conveys an emotional truth that is rarely seen but always enjoyed. In many dramas we see characters say nasty things to each other, and not seconds later, they either apologize or give that regretting look, which is supposed to convey to the audience that even though this character just did something we should disapprove of, we should still like him/her. It's false and performative, but I've learned to put up with it. When the script calls for such moments, Scott's strength is he makes such moments work, incorporating them into the manically depressive nature of Caleb; other times, Scott doesn't care if we don't like Caleb.
Brittany Snow manages to be both alluring, vulnerable, and strong, while Alex Frost is perfectly douchey. And who knew that J.K. Simmons could handle drama with such emotional range and dexterity?
The script starts off very well. The ways in which information is hinted at and slowly revealed are quite deftly carried, and most of the characters are finely drawn. However, by the end of the film, there were a few bits so ridiculous that writer/director Lee Toland Krieger deliberately aimed for laughs in the most awkward places. Also, the film's penultimate moment was so subtle that it slipped into obscurity. The last ninety minutes were leading up to this moment, but we don't know enough about what goes through the character's head to get a fair idea of what happens in these characters' lives after the film has ended. The smile, if it is a smile, is too enigmatic to hinge the entire film on.
Overall, this is an excellent film with just a few minor flaws and what should be a star-making performance by Adam Scott
Super Reviewer
½ June 3, 2010
Kind of odd and offbeat, but it was enjoyable to watch. Very interesting chemistry of characters.
Super Reviewer
May 23, 2010
CAST: Brittany Snow, Adam Scott, Alex Frost, J.K. Simmons

DIRECTED BY: Lee Toland Krieger

SUMMARY: Caleb Sinclaire is a bitter construction worker whose life is turned upside down one Thanksgiving weekend. Estranged from his family, Caleb lives an isolated, but contented, life. Following a difficult breakup, he becomes scornful toward women and wears his disdain as a badge of honor. Caleb's resolve is tested, however, when he meets his younger brother Peter's new girlfriend, Emma. Immediately distrustful of her, Caleb warns Peter that she will only end up hurting him. Despite his efforts to protect his brother, he finds himself drawn to Emma and surprised by his growing attraction. Caleb's unexpected feelings force him finally to confront the vulnerability he has struggled so long to conceal.

MY THOUGTHS: I love these types of dark comedies. I am just drawn to them. I've found that you find really good acting in independent movies, that's why I like them the best. They always have great stories and good acting. This was a bit of a complicated story and I also found it to be a bit sad. Loved Adam Scott in this, he really gives a great performance in this film. His charater Caleb is very twisted in a sense cause of his dark humor. But he's also just a sad individual who's been wronged by the one's he cared the most about. He has this inner torment of good vs. evil and seems to be struggling with that. I happened to like his smart-ass attitude and found it funny. Brittany Snow was also good in this and I liked her darker look. J.K. Simmons was great as always and had some great one liners. If you like films that are more about the story and the characters, then you will like this one.
Super Reviewer
½ April 27, 2010
Peter: Are you not sleeping again?...Is it safe for you to be driving?
Caleb: I'm gonna be honest with you. No.

Adam Scott is an actor I've come to enjoy seeing on screen. His two types of roles differ between being a smug, snarky but likable guy and a huge dick. In Step Brothers for example, he's a huge dick, while in the amazing, but little known TV series Party Down, he's the likable, but somewhat snarky loser type character. In this film, he plays an insomnia suffering, confused, dickish guy, who is somehow an entertaining protagonist.

Scott stars as Caleb, a bitter guy living an isolated life back home, away from his father, played by J.K. Simmons. He has recently been cheated on by his girlfriend and is now tasked with giving a ride to his brother Peter and his new girlfriend, played by Brittany Snow, to their father's house for Thanksgiving. Trying to protect his brother, Caleb tries to dissuade him from dating Emma, who he is suspicious of, but is also strangely drawn to her.

J.T.: You alright Caleb? I've never seen you throw a hammer like that.

Its a weird but simple structure for this darkly comedic indie drama, but the fact that the actors seem to get what they are working with helps. Its a tough and confusing role that Scott is given, but he delivers pretty well here. J.K. Simmons has pretty much elevated to my list of supporting actors I'll always enjoy, so that's enough for me there. The butt of the film is the character of Peter, played by Alex Frost, who pretty much goes through the film not knowing any of the drama in any of the other characters lives.

By the end, this film has come out in a quirky way to show off some interesting characters.

Emma: I think you owe me an explanation.
Caleb: I don't think you understand how awkward this is.
Super Reviewer
April 1, 2010
A powerfully dark tale of obsession, lust, and betrayal that plays out over a Thanksgiving weekend, somewhere in the Northeast. The bleak scenery fits the story, highlighting the barrenness of the characters and physically affecting the viewer. The cast and script are superb, with each character fully fleshed out and enough back story to make the tale completely accessible, without becoming tedious. Adam Scott as the older brother, Caleb, deserves special mention in that regard. This viewer was blown away by his performance as the deeply disturbed older son with psychological wounds hanging out all over him. There is a subtlety in the way things unfold that require the viewer to have to work to understand the dynamics. This is not all wrapped up in pretty paper with hearts and flowers, but delves into the psyche of the four main characters, the two brothers, the girlfriend, and the boys' father. In the end, we are not left with the feeling that things will work out very well for the two young lovers. There is no fairy tale ending, but there is opportunity for growth and healing, and in that there is a glimmer of light.
Super Reviewer
½ February 17, 2010
Fascinating and frustrating, this atom-deep character study of a true misanthrope would probably fail if not for the utterly fantastic central performance by Adam Scott. The writing is difficult to say the least - hairpin character turns in emotion and intent (not always remotely believable) and a truly unlikeable guy to boot. But Scott is flawless moment after moment. Though his talented cast members are sometimes undone by these shifts, Scott is thoroughly, magnetically mesmeric, and I can't wait to see what he does next.
Super Reviewer
July 28, 2010
Adam Scott enters the role of his career...The Vicious Kind is a peerless venture shrouded in, literally, lusterless packaging. The old adage ānever judge a book by its coverā? becomes quite literal here as well.
Super Reviewer
October 2, 2010
The story revolves around Caleb (Adam Scott), an embittered misogynist with a fervent belief that "all women are whores". While giving his brother Peter (Alex Frost) and his new girlfriend Emma (Brittany Snow) a drive home for Thanksgiving, he develops ambivalent feelings for her. On the one hand, he repeatedly warns her not to cheat on his brother. On the other, he can't quite leave her alone.
Only after seeing her can he get some sleep; an insomniac, he seems to be hurtling toward self-destruction, saying awful things and then apologizes for them sincerely. He gets into fights and treats people like dirt. Caleb is the lovable anti-hero and we find ourselves, against our better judgment, rooting for him and sympathizing with his spiraling depression as he's dealing with a heartbreaking break up and having to be reminded of it based on the fact that his younger brother's girlfriend looks so much like his two timing ex. Veteran actor J.K. Simmons puts a great performance as the father who has issues of his own and Brittany Snow is brilliant as the confused Emma who perfectly illustrates that women are attracted to 'bad boys' and not wimps.
Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2012
The greatest thing about "The Vicious Kind" is Adam Scott, who has the all around best portrayal of a misanthrope I have ever seen. His character is cruel, threatening, and a real downer of a person, and to say that Scott nails his role would be an understatement.
June 28, 2014
An indie drama which can be summed up thusly: a woman-hating man spends his every waking hour trying to sleep with his brother's new girlfriend just because she reminds him physically of the woman who just broke up with him. This yawner stars the talented Brittany Snow.
May 5, 2013
Good. I just wish these indies more often showed us how we should handle difficult situations than just always replaying the terrible decisions we often make.
March 12, 2013
Despite the great cast, this is far from being a great film. Really, the viewer just spends most of the movie wondering when everyone is going to stop talking about their drama and actually do something about it. Sadly, they pretty much never do. Decent acting, terrible plot.
½ February 5, 2012
I was pleasantly surprised by this indie comedy-drama. I applaud the first-time director for eliciting stellar performances from the cast - I didn't expect such dramatic chops from Adam Scott, and Brittany Snow was a revelation as well. The plot is rater simple but "less is more" works perfectly well here. Overall, a satisfying character-driven drama.
March 6, 2011
Difficult but rewarding. When people hurt us, do we stop loving them? Do we stop loving the people we have hurt?
April 19, 2010
if you laugh at awkward moments then you'll love this movie, its stands on a thin line between completely tragic and completely hilarious. i was surprised on how good everyone acted besides J.K. Simmons, i never saw these actors with much range, i was surprised its a great movie
September 28, 2014
Adam Scott is incredible and the movie itself is really really good. It's a must see for anyone movie buff.
March 31, 2015
Adam scott proves he can play serious, even though hes playing a dick which is what he does best. This is one of the movies where i like the story but the characters just make some choices i cant relate to which makes it less believable. we also have an unlikable protagonist so there's nobody to root for. I was still engaged the whole time and appreciated a lot of it even though its not fun.
½ June 11, 2014
This film was a wonderful reminder to me of why I love independent films so much; it's not only a deep character study, but a magnificent reminder that movies don't need big budgets to look beautiful. The Vicious Kind details the life of Caleb Sinclaire, a psychologically troubled construction worker suffering a recent break-up with his girlfriend. Caleb soon finds himself attracted to his brother's girlfriend Emma, and so our dark story filled with family drama, romance, and growth begins. Adam Scott is the heartbeat of this movie, and his performance is nothing short of magnificent - after seeing him in so many comedies, it was nice to see that he possesses an incredible amount of range. At times terrifying, he's a broken character when we first meet him, and it's beautiful to witness his growth throughout the film as he finally confronts his past and his mistakes. Opposite him, Brittany Snow is also fantastic, although she does not quite have as much to work with; likewise, Simmons and Frost are fantastic, but they aren't given as much screen time as Scott. For me, this wasn't an issue, though, as I felt that Caleb Sinclaire was rightfully the emotional center point of this movie. The plot is admittedly simple, as is the script, but the actors truly elevate the material. Scenes that could be laughably awkward and bad appear natural and, frankly, damn good. The music is mostly used to great effect throughout the film, and the cinematography is (while nothing revolutionary) quite good, too - The Vicious Kind definitely earns its art house movie label. To me, this is a special movie because of its characters and the actors that play them. It's great to see that you don't need millions of dollars to make an utterly fantastic and moving film - you just need a story to tell and actors willing to make the story come to life.
May 20, 2014
a pretty good movie and extremely good character studies.
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