Netflix review: Animal Kingdom (2010)

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How do you search for movies on Netflix? Me? I search by actor. So when I searched for Guy Pearce and saw that he was starring in an Aussie crime film with the likes of Joel Edgerton and Ben Mendelson, I knew it was going to be a great watch.


And I wasn’t wrong.

Set in Melbourne and based on the 1998 Walsh Street police shooting, this movie follows a young mans initiation into his extended family after his mother dies of a heroin overdose.

Warning: this movie is very graphic and should only be watched once the kids are tucked well in bed.

What I liked about this film… seriously, if you blink you will miss a death of a main character. I love a daring film who isn’t afraid to kill of the people that the audience love.

And the mother/ grandmother. Played by Jacki Weaver, she takes you on such a journey, and at the end your really not sure whether you love her, or hate her- but no matter how you feel you can’t help but hope that everything works out for her in the end.

But my absolute favourite part of this film in James Frecheville’s portrayal of a young boy adjusting to his new world. His character is so unpredictable and he wears that blank 17 year old expression so well!

What I didn’t like… Uncle Pope!!! Okay, sure you are supposed to hate him. But DAYUM, he is the shittest bloke. Every scene he was in had me sitting on the edge of my seat, I had no idea what he would do next. And whilst I know he was written this way, I think they could have taken a small step back with this character.

Also, this movie just kind of began, and ended. I know this is classic Australian cinema, but I think a little bit of context could have gone a far way with certain characters in this film. For example, why were the cops watching the family so closely and why did they want Pope so much? I mean, their desire to lure him out motivated the main storyline of the film. But why did they want him so much?!? These questions, they haunt me!
And the ending… yes it left an impact. A huge impact. But I needed just a little bit more. And what happened to Nicky’s family?

Overall, this is a great representation of Australian film. The characters develop so much, but just don’t learn a damn thing.  It’s not a film I would sit down and watch over and over again, but I really cannot get it off my mind and i LOVE movies that make me think.

Four and a half stars, I will be recommending this one to all of my friends.

The plot according to wikipedia: 

Animal Kingdom is a 2010 Australian crime drama written and directed by David Michôd, and starring Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce, James Frecheville, Luke Ford,Jacki Weaver, and Sullivan Stapleton. David Michôd’s script was inspired by the Pettingill family of Melbourne, Australia, who in 1991 saw the acquittal of brothers Victor Pierce and Trevor Pettingill (along with 2 others, Anthony Leigh Farrell and Peter David McEvoy) in the 1988 murder of two Victoria police officers.


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