Critics Consensus

Tyrannosaur is a brutal, frank, and ultimately rewarding story of violent men seeking far-off redemption.



Reviews Counted: 83

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,582


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Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.9/5

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Movie Info

Joseph (Peter Mullan) is an unemployed widower with a drinking problem, a man crippled by his own volatile temperament and furious anger. Hannah (Olivia Colman) is a Christian worker at a charity shop, a respectable woman who seems wholesome and happy. When circumstance brings the pair together, Hannah appears as Joseph's guardian angel, tempering his fury and offering him warmth, kindness and acceptance. As their relationship develops, Hannah's own secrets are revealed - her husband (Eddie Marsan) is violent and abusive - and Joseph emerges as her unlikely savior. With striking performances and a deeply felt story, actor-turned-writer/director Paddy Considine's film is a stunning debut about the emergence of grace and redemption from the least likely of places. -- (C) Strand Releasing

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Critic Reviews for Tyrannosaur

All Critics (83) | Top Critics (25)

  • The movie is cruelly frank about the ways damage cascades down to the powerless, but while it's not for the fainthearted (or for animal lovers), rewards are there.

    Mar 1, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • The principals are superb, with Mullan and Colman doing a masterful job of inhabiting their separate but equal prisons.

    Jan 27, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • You won't find two finer performances in recent times than those by Mullan and Colman, who in a perfect world would each have received Oscar nominations this week.

    Jan 26, 2012 | Rating: 3/4
  • If the script ultimately seems a bit extreme (are there no immediate consequences for Joseph's tantrums or the criminal outbursts of Hannah's abusive husband?), it's often surprisingly successful in pushing the limits of British kitchen-sink drama.

    Dec 8, 2011 | Rating: 3/4
  • Paddy Considine's first feature as writer-director comes off like a playwriting exercise, with familiar characters taking every opportunity to wage messy, cathartic arguments or exhume traumatic memories.

    Dec 1, 2011 | Full Review…
  • The acting - particularly the moving performance of Olivia Colman as a battered spouse living in a grim corner of Leeds, England - is fierce and committed. So why doesn't its impact linger?

    Dec 1, 2011 | Rating: 2/4

Audience Reviews for Tyrannosaur

A devastating, emotionally exhausting film, directed and acted with such humour, sadness, and terrible beauty. A really unforgettable film. Paddy Considine is fantastic.

Louis Rogers
Louis Rogers

Super Reviewer

The shocking, gut-wrenching first 60 seconds continues on through the end. What makes it bearable to watch is that all of the aggressors are just as horrified by their own actions. There is no redemption found here, just a coping self-awareness of the controllable contributing factors.

Matthew Slaven
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

Absolutely NOT for the faint of heart (or children, for that matter). Be warned - for those who rely on the US Motion Picture Rating scale to prepare them for a film - this is a clear "R" for language, violence, and adult themes. This movie goes way beyond dark, and gritty. Opening scene: angry drunk walks out of a bar and takes out his frustrations on his dog..badly. The rest of the story is just as about as pleasant. However, it is so well done that it's really hard to judge how you feel about it all by the end...

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

'Tyrannosaur'. Two destructive personalities?one less inwardly so than the other, but to far greater consequences?find some semblance of peace through each other. Fine performances from both leads, and great little moments of humour to break up the bleak tone of the film, especially the explanation of the name, 'Tyrannosaur'! A day later, in retrospect, I do question whether Joseph's violently destructive motivations and character were sufficiently conveyed to the viewer. Did I miss something, or did he get this way just because [and I don't mean this lightly] he lost his wife? If so, the message seems to be about glamourising rage in Joseph's case, for no real just cause, whereas at least Hannah garnered some level of sympathy and was almost driven to it.


Super Reviewer

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