2010, War/Mystery and thriller, 1h 24m52 Reviews 2,500+ Ratings
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Driven by a uniquely stark mood and propulsive direction, Essential Killing excels due to an unrelentingly visceral performance from Vincent Gallo. Read critic reviews
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Critic Reviews for Essential Killing
It's great screen acting, as [Vincent] Gallo expressively uses his body to make it part of the film's overall design.
Essential Killing goes so far out of its way to avoid political commentary that the commentary that remains is slim, reduced to a familiar, though occasionally striking, statement on man's animal nature.May 5, 2020 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
The religious-themed inserts are incongruous in a project that so studiously sidesteps political markers and prove an unwanted distraction in the cinema.
The violent perversity of some of the man's actions throws things off to an extent and, ultimately, [Jerzy] Skolimowski's bag of narrative tricks is not ample enough to fill out even the brief running time.
Despite skillful assemblage, the script's plausibility issues increasingly undermine engagement, even with the generous argument that the pic is a parable and operates according to more poetic laws of realism.
At times engrossing and not without palpable suspense, it nonetheless amounts to a provocative doodle.
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