The Bone Man (2009) Poster


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Austrian cinema at its best
albert999914 March 2009
One awaits a crime thriller that closely follows the book by Wolf Haas and has many intelligent gags but the the viewer is then overwhelmed by a great masterpiece that works on many levels - a sarcastic thriller not unlike Fargo, dark humour, amazing photography that reveals some Austrian reality, an intelligent plot with cool twists, great acting, ironic social criticism etc. This movie is in a row with the Kottan series, Indien, the other Brenner-movies of course, Slumming etc. and reassures one that although Qualtinger is dead his humour is not gone. When viewing this film one gets almost sad by realizing how good Austrian cinema can be, but there is not much support for filmmakers in Austria. I have no idea if this movie can work in a translation, but its worth a try.
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Great performances and Austrian dark humor
thomaszangerllux9 September 2013
The great thing about crime novels is that they can take all the liberty they want to portray the problems of a society without being perceived as heavy handed, too intellectual or unpatriotic, as they can conveniently embed their criticism in the context of the crime story.

Wolf Haas' novels are by no means any exception to this rule. At a constantly high quality he manages to tell his detective stories drawing a bleak portrait of a hypocritical and morally rotten Austrian middle class with the cynical humour typical for that nation.

As with all Wolf Haas film adaptations so far, the acting in this one is first rate. Especially Josef Hader pulls off an even better version of the likable but chronically downtrodden detective Brenner. However, also some side characters such as the Löschenkohl impress with their performance.

As for the film itself, it unfortunately has a few deadbeat moments and some dialogues that move too slowly and are on the fringe of getting boring. Some scenes might also be considered as being more violent than necessary. Certain characters such as the Russian mobsters are too stereotypical to be really enjoyable.

However, the movie also features great dark humour throughout and finishes off with a furious and really enjoyable ending. Overall, I'd highly recommended it if you are into cynical society satire.
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The Problem
werpu5 March 2011
If you watch this movie and use subtitles only is that this movie is a very dark comedy with lots of word puns in between which are close to being untranslatable, hence the rating differences we can see here. Overall an excellent movie but if you watch it as a foreign speaker with subtitles only you miss out the subtile humor in the dialogs which probably then results in some weird subtitles like constant yes and nos which probably resmble the local Austrian dialect word Eh which is not quite the same and if applied in the correct situations and Haders down to the bottom intonation quite humorous. This is probably one of those many things which are lost in the translation. As for the main actor Josef Hader he is actually a comedian and one in the dark austrian humor tradition which is close to the English humor. He has done a handful of movies and all of them are worth watching. This movie is the third of a series of criminal movies. The first one being komm süsser tod - come sweet death, and the second one being silentium. The first one is the one which could be considered to be the most humorous of the three, while the secod one being the one with the least humor. Der Knochenmann - the bone man is somewhere in between those two but with the most extreme things going on.
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Very funny, very tense
Horst_In_Translation31 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Der Knochenmann" or "The Bone Man" is the third entry to the crime franchise starring Austrian actor Josef Hader. The director is Wolfgang Murnberger as always and the script comes from Wolf Haas, also as always. The first film came out back in 2000, the latest installment was released last year. But back to this one here. I truly enjoyed the watch and this film was just like all crime thrillers should be. First of all, there is lots of subtle comedy in here, from start to finish, which helps a lot in the movie not taking itself so serious. The title refers not to Hader's Brenner, but to the main antagonist played by Josef Bierbichler. Bierbichler is a complete scene stealer here and in my opinion,, he felt as much of a lead as Hader. Both are excellent actors of course and carry this film nicely, even if they do not really have that many scenes together. Bierbichler plays a butcher and restaurant owner, who gets in trouble with some scary guys, but finds his very own way of dealing with the issue. A touch of "Delicatessen". Enough said.

One perfect example of how this film combines comedy with thriller is when he goes off to get his chopper or cleaver in the end and Brenner says something like "No point in going away." as he obviously has no clue yet what Löschenkohl (Bierbichler) has on his mind. The script oozes creativity in the most absurd way, also with the way we find out in the end what happened to Horvath. I also really loved the contrast between the scenes that were shown at the same time: the wild party with loud music and everything that was going on at the slaughter room. It's a bloody film and there are some scenes that some may find disturbing, but I found it just harrowing in the most positive sense. One example would be the camera looking inside the car when we hear Löschenkohl approach with his car pushing the car wreck into the water. Great directorial effort there.

I have seen the first 3 films (including this one) a while ago already, but the fact how much I enjoyed this movie here and its characters and its story and its comedy motivates me a lot to give them a new watch and also watch the newest installment. I can only say that I wish more crime films were like this. Austrians sure have their very own approach to the subject and it's a wonderful one. Little downside, you may need subtitles even as a German as the accent is sometimes so thick that it's almost impossible to understand the dialogs. However, if you let this keep you away from watching the film, it is definitely your loss. 2 hours of great crime entertainment. Certainly grew on me upon rewatch, highly recommended.
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A Whimsical Yet Marvelous One
hippo_hooray-545-4763342 December 2012
This is the real dark comedy. The only one movie where I can laugh in the moment that I should have sad or cry. really tricky and play our emotions, with unpredictable ending! If you think you would never laugh in the middle of saddest moment or ironic circumstances, you probably wrong. this movie proved the opposite, where laugh can find in the most ironic moment! this story is about a debt collector who must confiscate the belonging of debtor, in this case i car. When the protagonist sick of this job and decided to quick, his boss asked him to do the last job to take the car from Mr. A (i forget the name, lets say that's his name), in a country motel. none workers at the motel admitted they know Mr. A, but the protagonist said, he saw his car, so there is no way he's not here, but the he find out the car was missing. And, from that moment the story begin. Be ready experienced the weirdo script without confusing you. never thought before i will love this kind of movie. highly recommended for those who want taste new flavor of film. Happy watching! :D
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Bone to pick
kosmasp16 April 2018
An austrian thriller that is quite off beat, but also very good. If you like your thriller to let you figure things out, but also have believable characters that are also very weird, you could do worse than this. Actually Josef Hader has quite a fan base, because of his dry style and humor.

This movie cherishes in that. You can't be squeamish either with this though, and while it has a glimpse of nudity, it also has cold blooded violence in there too, which you might find more disturbing (no pun intended). Then again, the movie does not shy away from trying to shock you, but only sporadically. Which works better, because it is rather slow paced and feels like it's holding back ... until the punches reign in.
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Not bad
dusan-2222 April 2010
Nice thriller for your movie nights. It has high class acting above all, especially of the lead role and some very convincing moments, pretty scary. Movie has a problem with very long shots and too trivial dialogs. Movie plot has been made in a completely tense rhythm but then we have slow pace dialog scenes where characters are telling YES or NO for several times. I am not sure if this is the nature of the language or local dialect in that particular part of Austria, but when reading the foreign subtitles that looks pretty dull. I might go and try to find some other films of the main lead cause I think he is pretty good. All in all, I would recommend this film.
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