Fish Tank - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Fish Tank Reviews

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February 28, 2017
Fishtank is that rare kind of film that leaves an impression on you. Maybe, I can relate to grotty, lower socio-economic areas and the kind of indolence and vice that can be found in them? The cast are very real and believable and even though the young female lead has a passion, that doesn't mean she will have the drive and ambition to match. In a way, this sort of drab suburban life while repellant, can also be a comfort zone. Now, I don't want to sound sexist but seriously, that young girl's aloof, indifferent mother, sizzles up the screen and has my vote for Best British MILF in an Indie Movie. Just saying...
½ February 11, 2017
A top notch British film about a girl struggling to get out of an Essex estate. Realness. Excellent this and some really superb acting all round.
½ January 27, 2017
In May of 2016, Andrea Arnold's fourth feature film American Honey won the Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize (pretty much the celebration's third place). However, this wasn't the first time she had a film entered at Cannes. It wasn't even her first time winning the Jury Prize there. Arnold's second feature, Fish Tank, earned this distinction as well back in 2009. Because I liked American Honey so much (#11 of 2016), I figured I might as well check out Fish Tank since it was streaming on Netflix.

Fish Tank is the story of Mia, a reckless fifteen-year-old living in a downtrodden neighborhood outside London with her borderline wicked single mother. Mia aspires to be a dancer one day but really seems to take more pleasure into fucking shit up for now. There's not a ton of plot for most of this film, just a lot of meandering about town, but it does have some really touching moments in the second half. Michael Fassbender, before he became big swinging dick Michael Fassbender, is great in a supporting role. I have to assume Quentin Tarantino saw this film before making him one of the breakout stars of Inglorious Basterds the next year.

Fish Tank has much more in common with American Honey than just Cannes accomplishments. They are both coming of age films. They both star a young woman with zero prior acting experience (Fish Tank's Katie Jarvis was discovered while having a fight with her boyfriend out in public). Lastly, they both feature astounding, hip-hop leaning soundtracks (Nas, Eric B & Rakim, Gang Star, and Bobby Womack are playing throughout the film on various radios and TV's).
January 20, 2017
Andre Arnold sure knows how to capture the feel of urgency and the nuances of urban life.
December 6, 2016
Great little gem. Reminded me of the Vagabond on more than one occasion.
½ November 17, 2016
Katie Jarvis and MIchael Fassbender are awesome. That was my main thought as the story gets more tension and uncomfortable leading to a last act that twists enough to have you watching intensely to see just how bad it will get.
October 25, 2016
Tour-de-force in your face, pure british suburb trash. As it should be raw and harsh, no easy survival. Suddenly a flash of love, of course its false. Pain, hate and regret, pure blossoming of uncontrolled feelings getting empowerdly overcooked.
September 17, 2016
A heartbreaking coming-of-age film that commits to exposing Mia's grimy surroundings in their entirety. The plot has an arc, but the main thing that changes as the film progresses is her level of awareness.
Effective, but it is not for everyone.
June 6, 2016
a lot of people really love this film because it's a great "coming of age" film -- or whatever verbiage you prefer... but i think i'm one of the people that found it kind of depressing. definitely a drama. nothing good really happens. i feel extremely sad for those kids.
May 19, 2016
Briliant cast. M. Fassbender great as always. Raw K. Jervis. 35mm. Low-class realism at it's best.
April 15, 2016
Gripping - can't get it out of my mind a week later
½ April 11, 2016
Boring and sad. What is the purpose of this movie...other than to drag on for over two hours while watching a bored,under-educated, directionless young lady who lives in the slums in England? The "reality" of this film has no redeeming social value. Do not waste your time on this sad film.
March 24, 2016
A deep teen drama like the life itself.
January 22, 2016
A deep and often heavy film all indie dramas should aim to be.
Super Reviewer
December 17, 2015
It has been a while since I've reviewed an independent British film, and I'm kinda disappointed in myself for that because, to me, there's a lot of really fucking talented people in that scene. From Sally El Hosaini, Steve McQueen, Shane Meadows, Andrea Arnold, among many others, it's clear that Britain, at least as far as I'm concerned, has some incredible independent filmmakers. This film serves as proof of that, at least in Andrea Arnold's case. I've only see two of her films, Red Road and this one, and it's clear that she knows how to put together a movie with compelling characters with complex motivations and ideas. The film, much like Red Road, retains the realistic acting and believable situations. Though, to be fair, I can see this as the kind of movie that a lot of people simply won't be patient enough to sit through, due to the misguided belief that nothing is really happening. I think the movie gives off that appearance, but I think there's a lot going on in the film that's so subtle and understated, how things usually are in real life, as opposed to giving you a more heavily dramatized and unrealistic portrayal of Mia's troublesome life. I'm not saying it reflects the real situation a lot of teen girls from low-income families go through, but it's closer to the real thing that most other films. The film sees Mia's world turned topsy-turvy after meeting her mother's, a charming and charismatic man named Connor, played by the always excellent Michael Fassbender. The thing about Connor is that while he brings about positive changes in Mia's life, from her mother treating her better, to Connor boosting her self-esteem, to her house actually being tidied for once, it's obvious that there's something off about Connor. Not that he's a murderer or anything, since that would be out of place, but you can tell that not all it seems and you can never quite put your finger on what his intentions actually are with Mia's mother or even Mia herself. It does add a little bit of intrigue to the film and it's rewarding to see where it's heading, even if you are able to figure out what Connor's secret is fairly on, as I did. The film benefits from a committed performance from Katie Jarvis, who, I believe, had never acted before this film and, obviously Michael Fassbender. Their chemistry is believable and there's clearly something there between the two and how the film plays with that is one of the more intriguing things about it. The film, as it should be expected, is realistically shot. It's got a bit of grit about it that definitely adds to the film, its structure and its tone. I thought the film's third act definitely went to some interestingly unexpected places and, thankfully, the film doesn't really give in to what others would look at as an easily exploitable situation, at least as it relates to drama. The film maintains its focus. So, yes, I thought this film was excellent. If you're into more casual films, then this movie simply won't be for you. But its believable story, complex characters and excellent acting make this film worthy of recommendation.
½ December 6, 2015
Pitifully slow, boring and mindless all to go nowhere. Wish I had my time back. Not advisable even if you have half a wit.
Super Reviewer
½ November 3, 2015
Even though not really original or insightful, the winner of the Cannes Jury Prize in 2009 is a realistic and deeply sad British coming-of-age drama that relies on two terrific performances by Katie Jarvis and Michael Fassbender.
Super Reviewer
½ September 27, 2015
Loses its footing a few times but not enough to derail it.
½ September 10, 2015
A well-made but almost completely unenjoyable acting showcase. The universe is fully engulfing and the performances are charismatic and menacing. However, the imagery is heavy-handed (dying horse? Really?) and the ending feels dishonest and pandering...Slow, heavy, and WAY overrated.
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