Animal Kingdom - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Animal Kingdom Reviews

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April 23, 2017
When a teenage boy's mother overdoses, he moves in with her family who are essentially a criminal gang. He starts out naively enjoying the thrills, but when he finds himself caught between the police and his own family's lethal intentions, he has to figure out how to maneuver his way out. A dark and cynical flick buoyed by amazing performances all around, particularly Ben Mendelsohn as the most psychotic family member. Largely familiar material handled very skillfully and offering a few surprises.
January 29, 2017
What a fantastic movie - gritty and understated in that uniquely Australian way. Can't believe I waited this long to watch it.
December 31, 2016
Some good performances dogged by average ones.
October 18, 2016
I love this film. It's beautiful, poetic, and powerful. I think the characters are portrayed perfectly and the dialogue is spot on. This is easily one of my top 5 favorite films of all time.
September 1, 2016
A little slow at times, but nice character development. Intense and gritty at times. Solid ending that doesn't leave you feeling unfulfilled. Ben Mendelsohn is great in his native tongue.
August 28, 2016
An intense, gritty depiction of a family whose life is dominated by crime and drugs inside of an Australian crime family associated with bank robbery and the young man who is thrust head first into this life so unlike what he is used too.

One of Australia's Best movies.
Excellent film with a strong message. Shocking to the core.

8.7/10 Stars!
July 26, 2016
The sort of movie that one admires more than one enjoys
June 5, 2016
A well constructed story in which a kid just needing a place to stay with family inevitably gets mixed up with the criminal nature of his uncles. No matter how indifferent his attitude towards their behavior was, the environment prevails.
May 22, 2016
Elenco em forma extraordinßria e um roteiro genial.
February 4, 2016
Animal Kingdom is an angry and brutally made film by David Michod. Michod has captured the Australian slum life perfectly and the degenerates that swarm it. Joel Edgerton and Guy Pearce are fantastic in their roles, but the rest of the cast are mediocre in theirs. This dark atmosphere with moments mixed with anticipation, suspense and dread really make this film an Australian jewel. It is one of the few that stand on its own and present characters blooming with personality. Animal kingdom leaves jaws dropped.
January 25, 2016
hopefully a sign of great Aussie movies to follow
½ January 23, 2016
Good Australian movie of a "bad" family.
Super Reviewer
½ January 10, 2016
Damn fine Aussie crime drama
December 31, 2015
In Hawaii. Dark and shitty - very slow and just not good!
½ November 7, 2015
The No Father.
A gritty Australian crime drama based on Melbourne's history of tough fatherless crims and corrupt police squads.
October 31, 2015
David Mich˘d's directorial debut, that about the fall of a closely-knitted criminal Melbourne family, is bold and confident but the artful storytelling is also frustratingly uneven and ambiguous.
½ October 23, 2015
Refreshing and original filmmaking. A
October 6, 2015
"A kingdom of wounded and dying animals - that is, animals of the most vicious, dangerous kind - is what director David Mich˘d portrays here, and this is maybe the nearest we're going to get to an Australian GoodFellas."
September 9, 2015
David Mich˘d's screenplay for Animal Kingdom is a clear example of the Institutionalized story type forwarded by Blake Snyder. (Snyder 28-29) Our protagonist, Joshua 'J' Cody provides us entre to the hierarchy of the Cody family and the institution we are to navigate through his perspective. Whether or not you agree that James Frecheville's performance as J was overly reserved or bluntly nuanced, I found his take to be a mature approach to a character that could've been overwrought. Upon initial viewing, I was unimpressed with the movie but found a gained appreciation through a subsequent viewing. It was through this second viewing that I was able to assess the elegance of the performance by Frecheville, especially considering the orbit he gets pulled into.
From the first image, we are given a very sympathetic introduction to J as he placidly sits and watches the Australian version of Deal or no Deal next to his overdosed mother. Through this tragedy, he reaches out to his grandmother for help. We have just been unwittingly introduced to the arch-criminal of the entire Cody family through the wholly unassuming, stellar performance of Jacki Weaver as Janine 'Smurf' Cody, the matriarch of the Cody family.
Upon entrance to the family dynamic, J is pulled into the fold. Despite the na´vetÚ of J, he is given an irrevocably choice to display his dominance and take his place in the pecking order as he first interacts with archaic life of the Cody clan. J wades into the criminal pool and is gradually led in over his head by his uncles and grandmother. In Screenwriting 101 by FILM CRIT HULK!, the author states, "Cause and effect are the linking of your chain. They make a story a story," this especially relates to the way Mich˘d brings J along through the story by including him through the links between the uncle characters and the plot. (HULK and Wright 35) He is conspicuously missing from all of the real violent scenes until he decides to fulfill the commitment to violence he made in act one which seems to connect him to all of the links of the chain forged by his family.
The violence surrounding the Cody family is an all-consuming storm that J finds himself at the eye of throughout act three and the fateful finale. Though J seems to be a listless teenager at times, he is unremittingly forced to become an active protagonist while being dragged along by his family and Mich˘d. J shows little empathy throughout the film but Frecheville portrays him in such a way that we assume his good intentions through his innocence, we are witness to innocence lost and we must come to terms with J's actions in the finale.
J seems to be pulled along in the story and given little choice but to resort to violence in retrospect. He could very well have chosen to leave Pope to succumb to his own ineptitude and downward spiral while choosing the path of peace. Of course, he would still have to deal with Smurf and her machinations. Seeing that he would still have to deal with the most sinister of adversaries in his own grandmother, he must choose to be ruthless.
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