Rundskop (Bullhead)

Critics Consensus

Anchored by Matthias Schoenaerts' searing performance, Bullhead is a grim and gripping thriller with the cinematic sinew to match its domineering star's physicality.

86%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 73

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,877

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Movie Info

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

Cast

Matthias Schoenaerts
as Jacky Vanmarsenille
Jeroen Perceval
as Diederik Maes
Barbara Sarafian
as Eva Forrestier
Jeanne Dandoy
as Lucia Schepers
Tibo Vandenborre
as Antony De Greef
Sam Louwyck
as De Kuyper
Baudouin Wolwertz
as Jonge Diederik Maes
Erico Salamone
as Christian Filippini
Philippe Grand'Henry
as David Filippini
Kris Cuppens
as Jean Vanmarsenille
Sofie Sente
as Irene Vanmarsenille
View All

News & Interviews for Rundskop (Bullhead)

Critic Reviews for Rundskop (Bullhead)

All Critics (73) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (10)

  • Its centre holds, largely because of Schoenaerts's capacity to elicit our sympathy despite everything.

    February 1, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • This thriller about a steroid-boosting farmer lost in the moral maze of Belgium's mafia underworld is a stylish, meaty treat.

    January 31, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Henry Barnes

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • There's not quite enough in here to justify a second sweep.

    January 31, 2013 | Rating: 2/5
  • It's one of those films you have to reconstruct in your mind.

    March 1, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Some of the dialogue is overloaded, but the formidable cinematography, by Nicolas Karakatsanis, envelops us in an ever-darkening world.

    February 27, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Many terms applied to action movies - muscular, animalistic, testosterone-fueled - are literally true of Bullhead.

    February 24, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rundskop (Bullhead)

  • Oct 25, 2014
    Initially starts as an atypical gangster flick on an unusual setting, with a very bleak and confusing atmosphere but quickly transforms into a deep character study of a very flawed person. A very engaging ride that still takes a few back steps, namely the out of place humor and some weak secondary characters. Also, a better pulled ending could've helped things a bit.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer
  • Oct 21, 2013
    In "Bullhead," Jacky(Matthias Schoenarts) has not only been using steroids to build up his bulk, which in any case comes in handy when using less than gentle persuasion on recalcitrant customers to stay with the family beef business. Of course, they might have reason to stay away, considering the hormones that are injected into the lifestock. That also leads to a cop being killed, with David(Philippe Grand'Henry) and Christian(Erico Salamone), a couple of mechanics, given the tough job of deposing of the evidence. All of which has Diederik(Jeroen Perceval) on edge, which is no surprise considering his being a police informant. "Bullhead" is an intriguing and realistic, yet flawed, take on 'Beauty and the Beast.' That's not the only split here, as this is filmed in Belgium, a country that is divided(I had no idea there was an actual language line but apparently so) in more ways than one. Still, the Belgian hormone mafia sounds only a little more threatening than the Belgian waffle mafia. As Jacky wonders if we are only animals capable of little more than instinct or more complex beings, the movie does give him one answer by taking the story and his destiny really out of his very large hands which also works against it by removing its interesting lead character from center stage for so long.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 03, 2013
    A truly brilliant performance from Matthias Schoenarts anchors this impressive film, which has a startling back story that ties into the present, making for an immersive and original film.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2013
    As a child, cattle farmer's son Jacky (Schoenarts) suffers an attack which renders his testicles irreparably damaged, leading him as an adult to develop an addiction to illegal growth hormones and testorone supplements. The perpetrator of the attack was never punished as the father of Jacky's best friend Diederik (Perceval) refused to allow his son give evidence against the son of a local gangster. As adults, Diederik and Jacky have separately become involved in the illegal hormone trade and are reunited, bringing back uncomfortable memories and setting Jacky off on a path of vengeance. Inexplicably, 'Bullhead' won much praise last year on the festival circuit. With it's deathly slow pace and rather crass use of flashbacks it's a struggle to stay engaged with Roskam's film. The only aspect of the movie I found interesting was the level of animosity between French and Flemish speaking Belgians. The plot is poorly developed, relying on far too many backroom meetings for the sake of exposition. Schoenarts, seen recently in 'Rust & Bone', has been winning accolades but, frankly, I'm stumped as to his appeal. Here, as in Audiard's film, he comes across as a one-note charisma vacuum.
    The Movie W Super Reviewer

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