Big Bad Wolves Image
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: The father of the latest victim now out for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the boundaries of law, and the main suspect in the killings - a religious studies teacher arrested and released due to a police blunder. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Dec 10, 2013
    100
    Featuring superb performances by the principal actors, Big Bad Wolves is mesmerizing from start to finish.
  2. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Jan 15, 2014
    87
    A masterfully queasy blend of dark humor and darker humanity.
  3. Reviewed by: Nigel Floyd
    Dec 10, 2013
    80
    Big Bad Wolves requires a high tolerance for pain, but its wicked humour and oblique satire rip open Israel's paranoid, militarised system like a jagged saw blade.
  4. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jan 23, 2014
    70
    Occasionally the film seems as if it will make a political statement (the value, or lack thereof, of torture, for instance). But it doesn’t really follow through. But they keep us occupied with twists, well-played, and some of the laughs are genuine, if uncomfortable and guilt-inducing.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jan 16, 2014
    60
    Keshales and Papushado have great filmmaking chops—as Israeli imports go, this is as far from the austere norm as it gets—but there’s a hollowness at the core of Big Bad Wolves, a creeping sense that they have no clear perspective on they mayhem they’re presenting.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike McCahill
    Dec 10, 2013
    60
    The actors lend it a sick heft, and there are droll, region-specific footnotes...but one senses the sniggering film-makers playing variably funny games with our phobia of pedophiles, rather than having anything lasting to say about it.
  7. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jan 16, 2014
    20
    Is there a point? All the filmmakers seem interested in is the ugliness of the main Israeli characters.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Mar 2, 2014
    10
    Thriller with a good story, great atmosphere of Israel, and made in "tarantinian" way (lot of humor). The Best Movie of 2013. Finally, you can see: pedophiles, Jews, aArabs, iPhones, thriller and a black comedy in one film. Expand
  2. Jul 2, 2014
    10
    I am giving it a ten as I am sick of pretentious critics who repeatedly state, "What is the point?"..."I kept waiting for the message" and so forth.... listen Westerners of endless pretentiousness (I am a westerner too)... just get a grip and stop thinking that every film-maker has to 'teach' us something when you basically state what you know what that statement will be if they make a statement, but obviously you think you are smarter than us so we need to be hammered with it.
    American cinema may have to 'have a message' (even if this comes in every movie including the Transformers movies, Scary Movies, and all the other dull as mud sh** the USA produce) but the rest of us are informed, educated and worldly, at least comparatively, so we already know most 'messages', we just want to watch a fu**ing movie and have our intelligence respected. Messages for the sake of them, as part of some formula, are superfluous and condescending.... that is not the good aspect of most American film-making, it is the weakest. Movies need only be entertaining and/or engrossing..... not educational. Critics... if you were masters of film-making and thought outside the box, you'd be fu**ing making these movies right? And making them properly since you know everything, right? Funny that is not the case though - for any of you.
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  3. Apr 28, 2014
    7
    Magnificent film to see with your family
    Magnificent film to see with your family
    Magnificent film to see with your family
    Magnificent film
    to see with your family
    Magnificent film to see with your family
    Magnificent film to see with your family
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  4. Feb 7, 2014
    6
    It's difficult until the very end to see if there is a comedic rationale for the plentiful gore. If you're annoyed but unanswered questions, this movie will disappoint. But the acting is superb and the story suspenseful enough to keep you engaged. Expand
  5. Jun 7, 2014
    6
    Directing duo Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado's second feature "Big Bad Wolves" is their follow-up to the darkly comic "Rabies" (2011). Once again they attempt to create a genre-savvy thriller that blurs the lines between horror and political satire. Papushado's and Keshales bloody tale does a fine job mounting the tension, however the movie never fully clicks as a gritty revenge thriller or as a dark comedy. In regards to Quentin Tarantino's full-throttled endorsement of "Big Bad Wolves" as the year's best film is an absolutely ridiculous claim that sells his own work short.

    There's a serial killer loose, and he's raping, torturing and decapitating girls, whose heads he then hides, mainly, it seems, to give this otherwise generic setup some needed flair. As the police futilely chase clues, a motley triangle emerges: a suspended cop, Micki (Lior Ashkenazi); a religious teacher, Dror (Rotem Keinan); and a mourning father, Gidi (Tzahi Grad). In time, the three converge in an isolated cabin that turns into a chamber of horrors as they play a psychological game to extract the location of the missing head from our killer.

    "Big Bad Wolves" begs to be read as a metaphor, and the directors are taking dead aim here: Israel's own ugly history of torture and its ramifications. But their point soon wears itself out, and what remains is merely cheap shocks and an increasingly tiresome sense of black humor that neutralizes its attempt to increasing intensity.The film fails to deliver by suffering from irregular tonal shifts, a paper-thin story line, and a lethargic second act that stumbles into an incredibly underwhelming conclusion.

    "Wolves" is a well made film beautifully shot in widescreen and technically impressive. It has its moments of wit with humor, and on occasion, it does get its desired effect. However there is just not nearly enough of it. "Big Bad Wolves" huffs and it puffs, but it doesn't blow the house down.
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