Critic Reviews

83

Metascore

Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
It's a remarkable film: A gritty, gut-churning, crime thriller based on a true story. Its greatness lies in its unwavering fidelity to human nature and the unstoppable laws of the wild.
100
Wall Street Journal
A phenomenal debut feature with a terrific title, David Michôd's Animal Kingdom is both a study in Darwinian survival-in this case survival of the shrewdest-and a group portrait of ruthless predators in the underworld of Melbourne, Australia.
91
Don't be fooled: In this unpeaceable kingdom, the den mama is also ready to eat her young.
90
First-time writer/director David Michod reportedly worked for eight years on his screenplay, deepening its tale of a violently dysfunctional family until its gangster conventions feel as if they're in the service of a modern-day Greek tragedy.
88
Like "The Square," the startling Down Under noir released a few months ago, Animal Kingdom explores the down and dirty side of human nature, fraught with greed, suspicion, and betrayal.
88
Animal Kingdom moves with a brisk efficiency - Michôd trusts the viewer and doesn't waste time with unnecessary back story - and the plot twists and turns at brutal speed.
88
All of the performances are skilled, and yet it's Weaver (a veteran screen, television and stage actress in Australia) who, in a smaller role, creates the character who stays with you.
80
Most crime stories are content to simply exist, wallowing in their own base violence. But David Michôd's fierce debut takes the genre apart, finding a reason for the madness that propels it.
80
A naturalistic drama rich in psychology and attention to details. There's no glamour here, but one false move by anyone can result in death, so tension fills nearly every scene.
75
Writer-director David Michôd catches you in a vise and squeezes - hard.
75
Because Animal Kingdom is so richly suffused with atmosphere and style, you could almost float right past the deficiencies in its story in an admiring trance.

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