A detective (Guy Pearce) tries to use the grandson of an Australian matriarch to bring down the woman's criminal empire.
" You probably won't see a better directorial debut this year than David Michod's Animal Kingdom, [a] coiled rattlesnake of a family-crime drama... "
" Marries heightened emotionality with cool contemporary style to illustrate one of the oldest of genre truths: "Crooks always come undone, always, one way or another." "
" Michod, in his feature debut, wonderfully creates a tribe where hope is lost and life is about getting what you can get, never mind who's lost along the way. "
" Dark and mesmerizing. "
" Writer-director David Michod creates a densely textured moral universe that makes good on his metaphoric title. "
" 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. "
" Animal Kingdom is a lean, patient crime thriller about one kid's transition from prey to predator. "
" It's a distinctive, ominous and hypnotic work of cinema. "
" A naturalistic approach to an underworld story from Down Under is a welcome relief from exaggerated Hollywood fare. "
" Step up for a pulverizing Aussie crime drama that cuts to the dark heart of the killing machine known as family. "
" Seethes rather than burns in its first hour as the banality of evil settles in like mildew. "
" The film establishes a menacing, unsparing mood that never wavers. "
" This strong, assured Australian crime tragedy takes the time to dig into characters who would race past us like blurs in a stock thriller, endowing them with a rare depth and emotional truth. "
" It's not unique, but as a distillation of a well-worn genre, it's admirable. "
" Writer-director Michod demonstrates an eerie virtuosity for someone just getting into feature films after apprenticing in award-winning shorts. "
" The naturalistic style Michod employs adds to the sense of dread. Is there no way out of this existence? To whom would it appeal? "
" Animal Kingdom explores the down and dirty side of human nature, fraught with greed, suspicion, and betrayal. "
" A criminal procedural tilting to Greek tragedy. "
" The story meticulously unfurls like an apple carefully peeled in one long ribbon to reveal its rotten core. "
" It's a remarkable film: gritty, gut-churning, thrillingly acted. "
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