5 user 16 critic

Shepherds and Butchers (2016)

2:44 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $4.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

A lawyer takes on a case of a prison guard in South Africa who is traumatized by the executions he's witnessed.



(novel), (adaptation)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 


Genius (TV Series 2017)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A series which explores how patent clerk Einstein could not get a teaching job or doctorate in his early life, yet managed to go on to solve the secrets of the universe.

Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Johnny Flynn, Nicholas Rowe
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Berlin, 1940. Working class couple Otto and Anna Quangel receive the news that their only son has lost his life in the battlefield and decide to resist the Nazi regime in their very own way. Soon the Gestapo is hunting "the threat".

Director: Vincent Perez
Stars: Emma Thompson, Daniel Brühl, Brendan Gleeson
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An All-American college star and his beauty queen wife watch their seemingly perfect life fall apart as their daughter joins the turmoil of '60s America.

Director: Ewan McGregor
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning
Detour I (2016)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young law student blindly enters into a pact with a man who offers to kill his stepfather, whom he feels is responsible for the accident that sent his mother into a coma.

Director: Christopher Smith
Stars: Tye Sheridan, Emory Cohen, Bel Powley
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s.

Director: James Franco
Stars: Nat Wolff, James Franco, Vincent D'Onofrio
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A psychologist who begins working with a young boy who has suffered a near-fatal fall finds himself drawn into a mystery that tests the boundaries of fantasy and reality.

Director: Alexandre Aja
Stars: Jamie Dornan, Aiden Longworth, Sarah Gadon
Miss Sloane (2016)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. But when taking on the most powerful opponent of her career, she finds winning may come at too high a price.

Director: John Madden
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw


Credited cast:
Kathleen Marais
Johan Webber
Deon Lotz ...
Warrant Officer Rautenbach
Leon Labuschagne
Pierre De Villiers
Julian Koberman ...
Matthew Dylan Roberts ...
Investigation Officer
Marcel van Heerden ...
Justice J.P. van Zyl
Condemned Man
Justin Munitz ...
Eduan van Jaarsveldt ...
Pedrie Wierda
Nicola Hanekom ...
Dr. Schlebusch
Rob van Vuuren ...
Prison Medical Officer
Liesl Weber
Tennis partner


SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS follows a jaded lawyer, John Weber (Steve Coogan), who takes on a seemingly hopeless multiple murder case and uncovers scandalous shortcomings in South Africa's capital punishment system as he mounts a defense for a prison guard traumatized by the executions he took part in.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing and violent content | See all certifications »



| |



Release Date:

23 March 2017 (United Arab Emirates)  »

Also Known As:

The Hangman: Shepherds and Butchers  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(edited VOD)


See  »

Did You Know?


Steve Coogan liked to keep people guessing minute to minute as to what accent he would do next throughout the film, South African, or his normal accent. See more »


Written by Barry Gibb, Stephen Gibb and Ashley Gibb
Performed by Vusi Mahlasela and Barry Gibb
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Richly filmed, compelling courtroom drama
25 June 2016 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland) – See all my reviews

This beautifully filmed drama, set in apartheid era South Africa manages to be at once brutal and sensitive. Steve Coogan and Andrea Riseborough face each other in the trial of a psychologically broken prison guard, accused of a multiple murder. Graphic and harrowing at times, delicately picking an unconventional course to its conclusion. Effectively a period piece, convincingly set in 1980's Pretoria, filmed in Cape Town in pleasing detail. Centred in the courtroom, but repeatedly flashing back to the accused's past as a prison guard on death row and following Coogan's progress through the trial in his defence. The prison and execution scenes play out in sickening detail, with a host of convincing supporting actors. The courtroom too has several well observed characters, from the judge to the bereaved relatives. The accused guard is well played; too, too young, and a mental and emotional shell of a man, opening up painfully slowly during the piece. Coogan though is the star; at first reluctant, then intrigued and finally quite determined as the defence counsel. The camera holds him close in this very convincing portrayal. The whole film is beautiful, cleverly lit and stylish, with great attention to all the details of the time and the place. The Afrikaaner Warrant Officer quietly chilling, the courtroom relatives, glorious. A genuinely emotional and thought provoking film, touching on several aspects of the capital punishment debate. It alternately brought to mind Oscar Pistorius' trial and Billie Holiday's 'Strange Fruit'. Be prepared for mixed feelings at the end!

27 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: