Brimstone (2016) Poster

(2016)

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7/10
As dark as it gets
Daniel Bertrand22 March 2017
I have read a few reviews regarding this movie and all of them have said it's dark, violent and not for the faint of heart. Those definitions are fine, however I still do not think this is enough to describe the tone of the movie. I would describe it as ruthless and depressing. This does not mean I didn't enjoy it, as you can tell by my rating, however the point of a review is to warn a potential viewer of what they are getting themselves into and this movie is as dark as I have seen. It is unlike any western that I have ever seen as it is not traditional. It's so unique that I would have given this a bit of a higher rating if it wasn't so hard to watch. I do not want to ruin any of the plot as it made the movie more interesting for me just based on what I had seen in the trailers. I can see why it was set in the western time period due to the realism of the material. A movie like this set in our times would have been impossible to make, and if they did it would not have been executed as well as this. The acting was quite impressive. It truly feels like each actor really threw themselves in their roles, which is incredible for some as there are some twisted characters in this film. Which brings me to Guy Pearce who played the role of 'The Reverend'. He plays such an awful man that I have no idea how he would have been able to shake this off after filming was completed. I cannot remember the last time I hated a character as much as a despised him. Dakota Fanning was also amazing in her role. She was convincing from start to finish with many different emotions throughout the movie. She also needed to use facial expressions more than dialogue in the movie, which cannot not be an easy task to complete, but she nailed it! When I had first seen the length of the movie I was concerned it would have major passing issues, it did not. The story grabs you from the beginning to the end, I couldn't stop watching. I had no idea how it would end and could not wait to find out. The most impressive part is it really did not have a lot of action, just characters that grabbed your attention whether good or bad. It was well written. So if you are not of the faint of heart and can handle a very dark, ruthless, depressing story that is still entertaining from start to finish see this movie, you won't regret it.
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A super powerful film that depresses deeply
Gordon-1111 April 2017
This film tells the story of a woman who cannot speak many years ago in a small town in the United States of America. She endures the many horrors that life has put her through, and it all started because of a priest.

The long runtime put me off watching it for​ a few weeks, but I finally got myself to watch it. I can honestly say that every minute of the film is worth watching, and every minute of the film affected me right to the core. I won't spoil any of the plot, so all I'll say is that. I cannot imagine so much misfortunes can be bestowed upon a person, yet the presentation of this horrid story is so very believable. It feels like I'm watching someone's life up close, and what happens to her makes me sick right to the core, right from the start to the end. The events portrayed are truly horrifying, and I'm still paralysed by Shock and disbelief minutes after watching it. Acting is great by Dakota Fanning and Guy Pearce, they make their characters shine. I cannot imagine a monster as sick as this character in the film. I am still having headache and palpitations from the evil character. I honestly can't remember when was the last time I felt so sick because of a film.

Watch this film if you have the chance, but watch it alone and when you feel strong enough for a very depressing emotional challenge.
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7/10
Great but horrible
melina-7758712 December 2016
This movie was a good movie in my opinion. The story was well- constructed, the themes were relevant and compelling and the acting was extraordinary, especially the reverent and Dakota Fanning (saw her in American pastoral too the other day, she is a force to be reckoned with in the acting world). So yes, this is a good movie.

But would I recommend watching it to any of my friends or family? No, probably not, because although it was a good movie it made me feel horrible afterwards (as in crying in the bathroom horrible), and this is coming from someone who has seen her fair share of horrors and thrillers throughout the years. I don't know why, but there was something so incredibly heart-wrenching about this movie for me that i have barely slept last night. It was not because of the graphic violence per se, although it didn't help of course, but just because of the atmosphere created throughout the movie.

So if you are planning on watching keep in mind that it is not for the faint-hearted (I feel like Albus Dumbledore warning about the Triwizard tournament lol)
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9/10
A film that packs a punch.....and then some. If you can stomach it you'll love it.
prestonmick14 April 2017
My advice is don't watch this before bed because you probably won't sleep, but if you do sleep, expect nightmares! You think I'm joking, I'm not!! After saying that you'd expect a bad review but to be honest I thought this was a great film with a fantastic story, it's just very hard to watch. What can I tell you other than you won't find it enjoyable because it's deeply unsettling, disturbing, brutal and savage, but it's still extraordinary and Dakota Fanning especially is mesmerising. I didn't watch a trailer before embarking on this journey into hell but I had read a couple of reviews but it still didn't prepare me for what was to come so be warned. Saying that don't think there is gore and brutality thrown about as a shock factor. It's all very relative to the story and makes it so powerful. An excellently made film , a gripping tale expertly told, incredibly acted out by a great cast.
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8/10
A brutal and harrowing Western
brchthethird15 April 2017
Brutal. Harrowing. Unforgiving. Just a few words that come to mind that succinctly describe the experience of watching BRIMSTONE. If you like/don't mind the unsavory and uncompromising in your entertainment you'll probably enjoy this. If you like languidly paced art films, then you'll probably enjoy this. Otherwise, you might lose your patience. The narrative unfolds slowly and methodically, but the payoff is mostly worth the time taken to get there. Aiming to keep this spoiler-free, a brief synopsis is that a new minister (Guy Pearce) comes to a small Western town, and this puts a mute woman (Dakota Fanning) on edge, especially after a miscarriage puts her at odds with her fellow townsfolk. One further important detail is that the film is divided into four chapters, and the first three of these unfold in reverse chronological order. The movie centers around Dakota Fanning and Guy Pearce's characters, and the narrative structure allowed the director to withhold key information until the right time. Of course, like many other films with unique narrative devices, remove it and the film wouldn't be nearly as effective. That being said, there's plenty of stuff that goes on in nearly two and a half hours. A little indulgent? Sure, but all of the narrative elements are good enough to not make this much of a deal-breaker. I will say that the pacing, though slow, was steady and I never got bored. Thematically, Martin Koolhoven (the director) was able to use the period setting effectively to portray a world of religious coercion and the lengths men will go to justify oppressing women. Guy Pearce's character was basically evil incarnate, and it was a scarily brilliant performance. Dakota Fanning also did well, certainly better than I've seen out of her before. Kit Harrington also had a small role as a man that Dakota Fanning's character secretly nurses back to health, and who also teaches her a valuable lesson. From the more technical side, I greatly enjoyed the beautiful cinematography, and the haunting score by Tom Holkenborg (aka, JunkieXL). All things considered, this is one of the best films I've seen in a while, Western or not. For some reason, Europeans seem to do a better job nowadays tackling this genre, and BRIMSTONE is no exception. As long as you're a somewhat patient viewer, and not easily offended, I can highly recommend this.
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10/10
This is why we go to the movies.
hugokeijzer3 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Howard Hawks once said that a good movie is "three good scene and no bad ones". That would make Martin Koolhoven's Brimstone beyond good - great even.

You know you're watching a masterpiece when not three, not five, but nearly every scene is a work of art. A powerful combination of character, conflict, beauty and above all truth. And Koolhoven's truth is in the details, the blocking of a scene, the poignant rendering of a back lit saddle creating a striking metaphor or even the empty gun pointed at an whore-abusing coal miner - helping him to climax by the very thought of violence. This is what makes cinema different from theater or television - its power to tell story through images and action rather than words. How fitting that the lead character has no tongue to speak with - but still manages to steal the show.

Fanning and Pearce are true gems and shine bright in this dark epic. It's not a film for the faint-hearted or god-fearing - but I truly hope my generation will be able to appreciate a thing of beauty like this and not be disappointed at the absence of Tarantino-like crowd pleasers. This is not a self conscious meta western, but a real story about human's struggle with religion, violence and above all man's fear of women. Koolhoven has given us in the Netherlands something to be proud of again - Cinema with balls that confronts and provokes.

I'm sure many people will be offended, disgusted - and so should they - the world is not as depicted in the Marvel universe, where no action has real consequences. In this time of populism and mass manipulation we need people like Martin Koolhoven who are willing to spend years perfecting their craft - creating fiction that reveals the truth our reality obscures. Go and see for yourself - Love it - Hate it - Ten years from now we'll still be talking about this film.
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9/10
Best movie of LFF this year
Marc Sp17 October 2016
Critics have compared this movie to The Night of the Hunter, which makes sense, because of the scary reverend and it quotes some of the same biblical texts, but to me this movie felt much more like a mix between Cormac McCarthy's 'Blood Meridian', Garth Ennis' Preacher and Jodorowsky's El Topo, yet in a completely original way. While these three stories are very muscular, Brimstone's leading characters are female and the film even has a feminist message. Because stories like the ones mentioned before are violent, some people will have a problem with this. But in the end, Brimstone seems to show the world as it probably was and maybe even still is in some parts. Impressive writing, acting and film making skills.
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8/10
Portrays the dark side of the religion while maintaining the suspense until the end
biosterminator29 December 2016
I am so glad I took the chance to watch it before premier. This movie may not have "the most unexpected ending"-factor like other top thrillers.However, the great acting and the setting manages to keep that thrill alive until the end.

As pointed by others, it is not suitable for faint-hatred and you may encounter some violent scenes which may make you feel utterly disgusted but this makes the film more realistic and leaves you craving for justice.

If TV-series like Game of thrones, Outlander, West World intrigues you this will as well.
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10/10
Easily the single best film of 2016
pckq2 April 2017
This film is absolutely amazing on so many levels. And i totally agree with those who said that BrimStone is the best film of 2016. It accomplishes that with ease even.

And lets say for a moment even if this film would not nonchalantly offend alt-right and religiously delusional hypocrites a like, purely from a cinematic standpoint BrimStone is a stunning piece of work.

I found that the characters, the story, the dialogue, the camera and lighting was so well crafted that the the sum of it all quickly pulled me in. BrimStone has that mesmerizing quality that lets you forget everything else around you while watching. The main villain was the most detestable character in a very long time. No spoilers here, but wow...

The classical music is absolutely beautiful and fits the theme, emotions and story extremely well. Somewhere i read that this film was 5 years in the making. And it shows every well crafted moment.

We watch films for emotional connections. And this film does connect so masterfully. And if you are unable to accomplish such, or find it hard to follow a simple story, there are still plenty of explosions and leather clad superheroes to brighten your day in other recent productions.

Don't watch the trailer. Ignore the insecure alt-right internet crap storm. And jump straight into this film without any spoilers. That way BrimStone is the most enjoyable experience. BrimStone is a classic,essential drama, in every sense of the word. Don't miss it!
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10/10
Simply AMAZING
didierlambrey25 March 2017
How to put it in words? I haven't been left so overwhelmed by a movie since the 2006' illusionist. This is a Masterpiece. This is Cinema. Everything in this movie is perfect: the script is amazing; the filming and editing are beyond words; the acting is perfect. Obviously as as been written, the movie is violent but i would't say that it is not easy to watch: the violence is just there, as a part of the world and its protagonists and no concessions are made in showing it. For me, probably one of the very best movies I ever saw; along with 1986' 8 million ways to die and the 2006' the illusionist. Simply amazing.
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1/10
Can't get any worse
langtengerfi-119 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
*** Full of spoilers! ***

It is a horror movie. False advertisement.

No point, no purpose, no message, there is nothing else just pure evil violence against women; who make retarded choices when their life depends on it.

The plot only exists to deliver the brutal mindless violence, killing & raping.

Except the evil villain, nobody is in control of their life. Everything just happens to them, they have bad luck, they make painfully stupid decisions. The evil villain is supernatural. He can teleport, mind read, sharpsoot in a blizzard and sometimes can see the future

At some point I was thinking if the villain is the devil himself. That would at least explain the weird story. But even that kind of twist couldn't save this movie from being terrible and pointless.

There are too much continuity errors, plot holes to the point that it is just an insult. Let me give you the best example:

The first scene takes place in a small town, that has a new priest arriving. Obviously the main character knows him, but she fails to warn her husband about the following facts:

1. He is her father, who was beating up and torturing her mother to the point that she hanged herself 2. He murdered her first boyfriend that she loved 3. He raped her 4. He was searching for her all over the country for years to rape her again 5. He murdered her friend/colleague 6. She was the one who inflicted the cuts on his face and throat while she was fighting for her life

And she failed to mention ANY of the above. I mean what the heck? Seriously? At this point I wish the producer, director & writer of this movie would be shot in the head.

This movie is only entertainment for people who like to torture others. (That would explain the high score rating of this movie.)

Unfortunately I can't un-watch this garbage. If you are not completely devoid of emotions, the movie just leaves you feeling anger and sadness.

I don't recommend. Go and watch anything else. It can't be worse.
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2/10
Definitely not what it says on the label
iempje_female28 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I just got back from watching Brimstone and it made an impression, in fact I'm rather upset for wasting 2.5 hours and now having vivid flashbacks of sickening scenes. So, where to begin... First mistake that I could not believe had been made this day and age: a person with part of their tongue cut off cannot speak or make any vocal sounds...seriously?! *Unnecessary sign language ensues for dramatic effect*

It was supposed to be a "western, mystery, thriller" which seemed interesting. Unfortunately the plot line on this site was the only mystery about this film. A thriller then? Not unless you find endless amounts of mostly pointless violence thrilling. I generally don't mind violence when it serves a purpose to the story, as the here imitated Tarantino is such a master of. There is so much of it and so graphic that it's shocking (as probably intended) at first, but not that much further down the line you just shut off and wish this pile of misery ends quickly... which it doesn't. It seems endless. The story is simple and could easily have been told in 1.5 hours, so why did it have to be so ff-in long?! If I had to describe the genre: drama, with western and horror elements. The variety of violence was the only surprising thing about this film, just when you wonder whether this or that kind of torture will be graphically portrayed it's provided. #spoiler# There's no subtlety or nuance to be found anywhere. I find the characters over the top, the story line boring, motives and background story lacking and no real sense of purpose with the time-line mix-up and unnecessary scenes. The moment she sees the reverend you know it's going to end with her killing him - by the by, how did he get himself into that position and how on earth does he keep finding her?! Nothing makes sense-. The anti climax of our main character FINALLY setting fire to- and shooting the baddie is only worsened by her anticlimactic death soon after: this film's final lash to the viewers raw back. No sense of the promised sweet revenge or a sense of well earned peace after a lifetime of misery. No. Just our heroine giving up after some douchebags come to claim her because "her past has run up with her". This film will leave you feeling abused; don't watch it. If you're looking to feel sad at the end of a gripping drama with a feminist message and star cast, go see Million Dollar Baby. If you want violence, blood and gore with a great cast, story line and wittiness, go watch a recent Tarantino.
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1/10
A perfect Waste of Time
bland-kevin675 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the dumbest movies about a father wanting to marry his daughter because his wife will not carry out her wifely duties. The premise is stupid, the epic sweeping of the tale told in chapters is also insulting to the viewer. Not sure what the director was so entranced with the script/story about. Guy Pearce played a reverend who must have been special ops in Sweden and was perfect for pursuing his poor daughter. The ironic tale is plain dumb and tries to pass itself off as artistic but miserably fails. The resolution made me regret watching this stupid tepid movie. I can see the point the movie was trying to make about the absence of women's rights back in the day but it was more of a showboating technique with no real depth. If the mute woman knew of the treachery of her father then why would she attend a church he was the pastor of with her family. Why would she not tell her husband about the stuff this dude did before? This movie questions the intelligence of the viewer and tries to sensationalize the absurd!
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7/10
The less you know, the more this movie will catch you unawares
myignisrules11 May 2017
While Brimstone would register to most, as a Western (and for the most part it is), the horror elements cannot be denied. The gruesome kills and vicious shark-like nature of this movies protagonist, played terrifyingly well, by Guy Pearce, will keep you glued to your screen, even with the long run time of 2hrs plus.

Dakota Fanning is at the top of her game here, in a role that requires her to show, not tell. She and Guy Pearce are the main reasons why Brimstone is as good as it is, while young actress, Emilia Jones, also delivers.

It's a slow burn, so for those with a lack of patience, this movie might seem tedious, but for myself , the performances, the unexpected brutality and the strength and tenaciousness of our heroine Liz, makes Brimstone a must see.

If you enjoyed, Bone Tomahawk, you'll find a lot to like about Brimstone.
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5/10
Less is More; More is Less
sacha_brady26 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I have never seen a film like this, one split into two very distinct dichotomous halves.

Acts one and two are good, bordering on excellent. The plot is thoroughly intriguing, suspenseful and well paced, neither painfully slow nor hurriedly fast. I really liked the foundation being laid out both in terms of what and how.

Fanning's character comes across as genuinely vulnerable in a refreshingly original way and it is clear Joanna is a woman with a difficult past. Pearce's character, the reverend, is the polar opposite, giving his character a real sense of menace with a skillfully understated performance.

At the mid-point, I thought 'Wow! This is like "The Crucible" meets "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." I was thoroughly gripped. And then...

In the second half, all the good work is undone. The story verges on the ridiculous at points as the film tries to explain how the characters had ended up at this point and thrusts us towards a pantomime resolution. There is a sense of overkill about all of this and I began to feel disorientated because of expedient plot and role twists. I am not exaggerating when I say I was speechless as the credits rolled.

I wish I liked this film more, for the sake of all those involved in its making. If anything, the story of the making of this film seems far more dramatic and interesting than the film itself. It's such a shame.
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1/10
Worse than bad
sjtbiz18 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
What a load of tripe. There is a higher chance in getting me to believe in Demons from Outer Space than the story-line in this abomination. Beyond finger down the throat vomit--grotesque and disgusting for effect without moral or meaning. Time sequences that are a physical impossibility, such as the nemesis getting ahead on foot to that of a horse drawn carriage within the same night (maybe 7 hours) to kill a Ram, have the ram cool off enough to be covered with snow, then put in the path of the (now behind him) carriage as to cause the carriage with the protagonist to run over it and falter--and that same person sitting in a snow and fog treeline with (out of nowhere) a scoped long rifle and kill a target completely obscured by dense fog. Just completely and brazenly stupid and unbelievable. The constant infliction of pain and suffering on countless people in this flick who cold easily have escaped same, or ended their repression. JUNK, sensationalized junk, better watching reruns of the Flintstones, it would be historically more correct than this steaming pile of movie mush. And the ending? For what, another never would happen event. I really want my 2 hours back.
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10/10
Wowzee
vousanna31 January 2018
In the beginning I thought this movie was about a preacher coming to town and doing some reformation...no no no. I don't understand the current rating 7,1 or something, I almost didn't watch the movie. I am glad I did, I think this movie deserves a far better rating. The movie has a story (refreshing) and I love how it is pieced together. It has some violent scenes but, if you have the stomach for example the movie seven, the scenes will not upset you. One of the best in a while.
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9/10
WoW! How impressive...
Rsprong-186-76767821 January 2017
This is my first review, I strongly felt that I have to give my opinion about this movie. Especially because of some bad reviews below which I don't agree.

You know Brimstone is a cruel film and anti women. It takes place in a time when women means very little towards men. So if you don't like this, you should not see this movie.

The movie is divided in 4 periods in time. After each period you know more about the characters. Every period contains a lot of violence and is most of the time very anguished. The actors are really great, especially Pearce and Fanning, and how the movie is filmed is also special. For example the angles from above.

There is a lot of violence in the movie and I really could not see some scenes but it is a movie where you think about for a long time. Really impressive, I only know a few movies that give you this strange feeling after the movie. You have different emotions.

Even though the movie is a bit slow this is not disturbing. I didn't see the movie as a real western, especially because of the role of women in this movie.

Sorry for my English because I am Dutch. I am a woman of 45 Years. I recommend this movie to everybody who can see a mix of violence and religion especially towards women.
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5/10
Due to deleting forums
VEd (snexstudio)11 March 2017
7.6 on IMDb vs 44 out of 100 on metacritic tells you about 95% of everything you need to know. Notably named stars in cast for a lower budget project that seemingly comes from more indie centric studio/writers/BTS that historically are hit and miss in terms of producing something enjoyable. YMMV on this specific instance as its an already niche western on top of that indie-ish backbone.

Realistically its an average effort, nothing horrendous, but then again nothing remarkable either.

_____________________________

Public Feedback platform required: This is not so much a review as it is the result of IMDb deleting the very vital function of forums that individual users are able to discuss a project. Its an inappropriate function but what other alternative has IMDb left available now? I encourage everyone to do the same so they realize how counter productive and bad an idea this was.
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1/10
Not stirring nor shaking anything
Motherspot22 February 2017
This film was hailed as a masterpiece here in the Netherlands. I can tell you it's far from that. The director called his work 'Koolhoven's Brimstone'...like to underline that this is his ultimate, monumental work. It's laughable. Wow..i'v heard so much about it in the press over here..like this is a must see masterpiece. Well, it's awful..barely watchable...all clichés so common in dutch filmmaking pass by... I'v heard that this is a huge movie about violence against woman and that woman prevail in the end. The story is obnoxious.. stupid scenes like a guy who gets blasted trough a window 'cause of a bullet hitting him. Over the top & silly scenes...the pace is awful it leads to nothing..the acting of the cast is merely mediocre...especially Guy Pierce's role is sooo unconvincing. I'v heard promising stories of the shocking scenes that would keep you awake at night..so horrendous. I never saw one scene that came close to such an emotion. It's a long and boring feature...that holds a very unoriginal approach and filled with (dutch) movie clichés. A film that shows why the majority of mainstream dutch movies suck! It lacks every hint to originality and never rises above the level of a high school movie project. It's a disaster
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1/10
One of the worst movies
lindarosenstand11 March 2017
Don't waist your time watching this movie. Really unrealistic, poor Terrantino wanna be. The evil one can do anything and be everywhere all the time and every one else acts with the IQ of a sheep. The only thing this movie is about, is making violent, disgusting scenes to shock the viewers. And this is not working very well, and the story is without direction or meaning.
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1/10
Not as advertised
sgardner-7348411 March 2017
Is it possible to "un-see" a movie? I wish I could erase the last couple of hours from my memory. Have you sat through the first fifty minutes and are hoping it's going to get better? It's not. You're at 1 hour 20 and still hoping? Give up. This is not Tarantino. It's not building up to something monumental. It's just awful, soulless. Bleuh.
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10/10
Enjoyable don't listen to the bad reviews
Smishsmosh3321 April 2017
I was a bit dubious at how this film would be but I thought it was fantastic. I loved the chapter ideas and the acting was great. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed watching a film as good as this. It has gotten quite a few bad reviews but each to their own. It does get a little gory but the ending was unexpected which is good to find in a film as so many these days are predictable.
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10/10
Stellar Film, But Be Warned. A very Dark Tale
kevandeb19 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Yet again I find myself questioning the right of the feeble minded to give a 1/10. The story alone warrants a higher score. The acting was amazing, yet the monkeys with guns vote 1/10.......Rant over and so to the film....... Told in 4 chapters it is an extremely dark, yet compelling tale of what appears a mystery cum horror but as the tale pans out it is actually a supremely told tale of an abusive husband/father. A sick example of how aligning oneself with religious beliefs gives the abuser carte blanche to carry out heinous acts upon others, especially those closest. Inconceivable? Just think of the catholic priests abusing children. I cannot stress enough that you need a strong constitution to watch some of the abuses carried out. Guy Pearce in his best role since Momentum is compelling in a role that you cannot turn away from, in fact like a car crash, you cannot avert your eyes to his evil deeds and Dakota Fanning clearly demonstrates her ability to transform from a child actor to female lead in her own right. I gave The Revenant 10/10 and genuinely I enjoyed this more so a 10/10 is a given. Even the child actors showed maturity beyond their years to make this a faultless, absorbing story. The ending, which I have no issue with, is a little Hollywood, with an effort to try and tie up loose ends. I pray for the day when Hollywood realises that not all films have to have a happy ending or a solution. Minor gripe, stellar film and acting.
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7/10
Disgusting
boomi363 April 2018
A very disgusting movie . Done well but the reverent is a sick man
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