Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 97 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Tells the story of seventeen year-old J (Josh) as he navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. It's a remarkable film: A gritty, gut-churning, crime thriller based on a true story. Its greatness lies in its unwavering fidelity to human nature and the unstoppable laws of the wild.
  2. Don't be fooled: In this unpeaceable kingdom, the den mama is also ready to eat her young.
  3. The film's depiction of the raw fear lurking below the brothers' braggadocio is the most pronounced emotion in a movie whose focus on the personalities of its criminals suggests an Australian answer to "Goodfellas," minus the wise-guy humor.
  4. 83
    Animal Kingdom joins in the tradition of brutally unsentimental Australian crime dramas like "The Boys," in which the stakes are low, except to the people staring down the barrel of a gun.
  5. The strength of Animal Kingdom is its slow-building fatalism; the criminals' luck runs out, but then finds depressing extension via an out-of-left-field collaborator. It's a movie that has very little faith in authority, not even in Guy Pearce's righteous detective. The only law here is Darwin's.
  6. 75
    The film is shaky as a procedural, and the level of official corruption seems more Moscow than Melbourne. Yet as a fable of power, vengeance and betrayal it exerts a quiet, increasingly wicked pull, equivalent to that of the wrinkly but ruthless grandma.
  7. Michôd wants a Greek epic but doesn't have the material. Animal Kingdom is a work of obvious ambition, and seeing a debut filmmaker swing for the fences like this is its own kind of moviehead satisfaction.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Sep 11, 2010
    Crime thriller from Australia is one of the best movies ever. Riveting performances from Ben Mendelsohn and Jacki Weaver and an amazing debut for James Frecheville, plus a decent turn from Guy Pearce should make this film a major awards contender at the end of the year. Definitely deserves lots of Oscar consideration, for best picture and acting for the three leads. If you like gritty, heart-pounding drama, do NOT miss this film. Expand
  2. Sep 4, 2010
    I rarely give films a score of 10, but I feel compelled to with this one as it is probably one of the best crime movies I've ever seen. The plot was rich, complicated and fast paced with well placed and not to over the top action/violent scenes that keeps you at the edge of your seat. At the same time, there was extremely good character development for a good number of the cast--rare and difficult to accomplish with more than one or two people--but Animal Kingdom does it for about 4 or 5 of the characters. Best movie of the year--yes, it is better than Inception! Expand
  3. Apr 13, 2011
    Relentless, powerful and utterly compelling - without a doubt the best film I've seen all year, this film is Shakespearean in its ambition and in the tragic arc of the story, featuring an incredible performance by first-time actor James Frecheville in the role of a young man dropped into the heart of a criminal family which is about to be torn apart. The characters are beautifully, yet economically drawn; the cinematography is precise, the action evolves with intensity, there's humour and there's despair. Music is used sparingly but effectively, and the key actors' performances are often low key but always true. Expand
  4. Jan 1, 2011
    Brilliant crime drama. The closest thing I can compare it to is The Sopranos. A family is at the heart of the story but there is so much going on under the surface in every scene. Jacki Weaver and Guy Pearce are great but James Frecheville steals the show on his debut. That the writer/directior is also making his debut with work of this quality makes David Michod a name to look out for in future. A must see film that shows how much great work is being done outside Hollywood. Expand
  5. Aug 15, 2010
    I was incredibly impressed with this movie. It was very dark. The script was very well pieced together. The cast had chemistry, Jackie Weaver played a sensational role which demanded the audience's attention throughout the feature. Guy Pearce stood up and showed the class he has as an actor. Favorite film of the year so far. Expand
  6. Nov 8, 2012
    Has moments of greatness, despite a weak premise and some boring stretches. The performances are also excellent, especially from Jacki Weaver as the mother. Expand
  7. Jun 26, 2011
    I WISH I had THAT 2 hours of my life back!! What in the WORLD were the majority of those leaving reviews here actually watching? Did they merely review the trailer? Poor character development, lacks the basis of a plot, drags on and on and on, and....pretty much....Sucks! The ONLY reason to watch this is to continuously wonder "what's going to happen next?". Well...let me spoil it for you...Nothing! NOTHING happens with the exception of a twist during the last 10 seconds of the movie. Since you won't develop a fondness for the characters anyway and you'll be wondering to yourself "what's the point?" throughout the film, if you must watch this film; watch the first 10 minutes and the last 10 seconds. This movie was ALMOST as thrilling as Blair Witch. Certainly not as entertaining as Snatch, Kill The Irishman, or The Usual Suspects but this turd (I'm sure) received better reviews than any of those films. Just because it's a "Directorial debut" doesn't mean a film should be wholly lacking. Expand

See all 30 User Reviews


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