Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 84


Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,587
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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 (84) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (69) | Rotten (15)

  • 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

  • Jan 25, 2014
    Such violent manifestations, be them emotional, physical or psychological, most often carry a complex troubled background, and they are the most immediate remedies our soul can find to externalize our inner demons. When one is in such alarming state, the person becomes extremely dangerous to society, that same society that gave him/her birth. It is, therefore, impossible for that person to cope and to find an ideal place, because the state of mind is doomed to be volatile and destroyed. For such a person, it is equally easy to inflict violence just like it is easy for the soul to cry when you hear God's calling. Peter Mullan stars as Joseph, a man with no family and no valuable or healthy friends to help him fight against his inner demons. On the contrary, they contribute to his downward slowping spiral in a more subtle manner. But the world is the world, and it shall stay like that. The only options we have are either to stay strong, or to fall, like the song "Sing All Our Cares Away" by Damien Dempsey says. His counterpart is Hannah, a Christian owner of a charity shop. This is not a religious film. Rather, one of the topics present is how people stick to their believes and fight against any possible source that questions them. It also touches briefly how we are experts at judging the entire lives of people that we have never known with very little evidence. Truth is, we do not know anything about anybody. We do not even ourselves perfectly. We are a puzzle that we do not understand. That is why we need others, but most importantly, God. Paddy Considine directs a short array of characters in an extremely depressing film. The film is honest and very real, so those looking for an idealized story proceed with caution or stay away. Nevertheless, a proper emotional balance is created halfway through after the sequence of events have punished audiences enough, with a soothing scene that represents one of the few moments of joy in the film: <i>Michael's out of work Feels he's sinking in the murk He's unshaven and a mess Finds it hard some days to dress Stevie smashed the delf Cos he can't express himself He's consumed by rage Like his father at his age Rita's little child Has a lovely little smile But this means nothing to her father Because he's never even seen her We sing Sing all our cares away We'll live To fight another day Yeah, we sing Sing all our cares away Yeah, we'll live To love another day We grow strong from it all We grow strong Or we fall We grow strong!</i> 74/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 26, 2013
    A devastating, emotionally exhausting film, directed and acted with such humour, sadness, and terrible beauty. A really unforgettable film. Paddy Considine is fantastic.
    Louis R Super Reviewer
  • Jan 05, 2013
    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 S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 01, 2012
    Originally designed as a short, I can't help but feel it would of been better that way. The feature length 88minutes (although still short) begins to feel irksome. The performances were good and the script was an interesting, very subtle idea, but it could only go so far before I felt as if I stopped caring for the unlikeable, miserabalist characters. As most films of this genre have the cinematography was designed to feel realistic and increase the feeling of verisimilitude, it felt a bit like 'Snowtown' in that sense, but not as well done. 'Tyrannosaur' does have some interesting things to say but at some points you will just want it to shut up.
    Cameron S Super Reviewer

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