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Animal Kingdom (2010)

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A seventeen year-old navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him.



2,499 ( 549)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 38 wins & 54 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bryce Lindemann ...
Paramedic #1
Paul Smits ...
Paramedic #2
Anthony Ahern ...
Armed Robbery Detective
Detective Randall Roache
Hood #1
Chris Weir ...
Hood #2
Sarah Nguyen ...
Lucia Cai ...


Despite being no saint herself, Julia Cody has shielded her seventeen year old son, Joshua "J" Cody, from her Melbourne-based criminal relatives who they have not seen in years. After Julia dies in front of J's eyes from a self-inflicted heroin overdose, J, who is slightly detached from life, feels he has no choice but to contact his maternal grandmother, Janine "Smurf" Cody, the family matriarch, for a place to live. Smurf rules the family with a borderline incestuous love over her three sons, the quietly menacing Andrew "Pope" Cody, the hyperactive Craig Cody, and the barely of age Darren Cody. Pope and his best friend, Barry "Baz" Brown, are armed robbers, with Darren their up and coming apprentice, while Craig is a mid level drug dealer. Melbourne's Armed Robbery Squad is after specifically Pope, who is hiding out. But when the standoff between the Codys and the Armed Robbery Squad is brought up a notch, an all out war ensues, with some casualties and J caught in the middle. The ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A crime story.


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, drug content and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 June 2010 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Carstvo životinja  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


AUD 5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$61,968 (USA) (13 August 2010)


$1,043,798 (USA) (11 March 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Writer/director David Michôd said he often relented to Ben Mendelsohn's request for additional takes of his scenes because his respect for the actor's 'wild, unpredictable' contributions. In fact, the very first scene featuring Mendolsohn's 'Pope' character took about 15 takes. See more »


[after the death of Craig]
Leckie: You know what the bush is about? It's about massive trees that have been standing there for thousands of years... and bugs that'll be dead before the minute's out. It's big trees and pissy little bugs. And everything knows its place in the scheme of things. Everything... everything sits in the order somewhere. Things survive because they're strong, and everything reaches an understanding. But not everything survives because it's strong. Some creatures are weak, but ...
See more »


Referenced in At the Movies: 25 Years of Margaret & David (2011) See more »


Sitting in Limbo
Written by Jimmy Cliff and Guilly Bright (as Guillermo Bright-Plummer)
Performed by Jimmy Cliff
Published by Island Music Limited
Administered by Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd
Under license from Universal-Island Records Ltd (UK)
Licensed courtesy of Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Great crime story
7 June 2010 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

After his mother dies, 17 year old J comes to live with his estranged grandmother and uncles, a family of felons. He enters the animal kingdom of suburban crime and stumbles through a minefield of sociopaths, cops and lawyers, all claiming to protect him. J soon learns though that trust means nothing when people are desperate.

This is a dramatic, well-made film that haunts the mind. Highly cinematic, meticulously crafted, thrilling and poignant in equal measure. The director emphasises realistic dialogue, multi-dimensional characters and underplays violence. Still, the film is palpably tense, there are scenes that will leave you shaking, even where there is no bloody payoff. As the body count builds even a car slowly reversing down a driveway becomes a menacing sight. The ending is satisfying.

The film is very well acted, young Frecheville keeps it natural and holds his own amongst titanic performances from veteran Aussies. Mendelsohn as Uncle Pope is particularly brilliant, dressed at Christmas from Lowes, this dorky suburban thug bullies the weak (including his passive younger brother Darren, unhappily entrenched in a life he cannot escape from), and who's confrontational behaviour springs from a deep well of paranoia. His maladjusted moral compass so skewed he frequently crosses into psychopathic territory. And yet he remains all too human, he's a mundane monster. Weaver too, leaves a memorable impression, where revelations abound in the film's third act.

My only complaint is that I would have liked to have seen a courtroom scene that is left to the imagination, we see corrupt police in action, why not a demonstration of hypocrisy in the justice system too? But this is a minor whinge in the grand scale of this ambitious story.

73 of 92 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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