1 February 2013 4:11 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

This thriller about a steroid-boosting farmer lost in the moral maze of Belgium's mafia underworld is a stylish, meaty treat

Jacky Vanmarsenille (Matthias Schoenaerts) is the Bullhead, a farmer plugged into the mafia underworld of Flemish Belgium. Jacky fattens his livestock with gallons of illegal hormones and steroids, saving just enough to tonk himself up to powerhouse proportions. He's a brute so big his breath's got muscles, but under all that beef there's a beating, feeling heart. Schoenaerts, who filmed this before hooking up with Jacques Audiard for Rust and Bone, is standout fantastic as the minotaur in director Michaël R Roskam's mud-slicked moral maze. Jacky, haunted by a gruesome act of violence in his past, huffs and butts through a rogues gallery of gangland Belgium, and Roskam draws a parallel between these dumb brutes and the animals they are farming. They're all juiced up – on greed or power or regret. »

- Henry Barnes

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