King Jack (2015) Poster

(2015)

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10/10
I didn't think I'd like it, and I was right. I *LOVED* it. Not bad at all.
darian-caplinger14 August 2016
Jack has had a hard life. He lost a father who adored him (offscreen), and finds himself the victim of a bully who himself used to be the whipping boy of Jack's older brother Tom. Jack's mother has a sister with of psychiatric problems, and it's inferred she attempted to commit suicide, and the husband of the sister calls to see if Jack's family can care for Jack's 12 year-old cousin, Ben.

At first, Jack is pretty cold towards Ben, but they soon warm to each other and even manage to have a little fun before the bully interferes. What comes after is a pretty decent flick with an ending that will leave a smile on your face.
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8/10
Well made and authentic
wilkinsonalan1 July 2016
I understand that this is the Director's first outing. I feel the movie is impeccable. It is empathetic and authentic. In the majority of movies, there is a protagonist that you fundamentally like. It takes the entire movie to get to this point and is comparatively brave in this regard.

Whilst it pulls few punches, it is sensitively undertaken and I feel it could be watched by a comparatively young audience.

If you have never been bullied, you are extremely fortunate. If you are being bullied - you need to discover a strategy that works for you that counters that desolate feeling of victimisation.

A small. well-crafted, well-acted, well-photographed movie. A fabulous first outing for the Director.
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One Trick Pony or ... NOT?
bboyminn25 September 2016
This movie features the kid (Charlie Plummer) from "Granite Flats" (TV Series), where he did a brilliant job as a nerdy very polite kid. - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2624370/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_6

But, as fantastic as he was in Granite Flats, I couldn't help but wonder if this kid was a One Trick Pony. That is, is the nerdy kid all he can play.

After watching "King Jack", I can assure you this kid is NO One Trick Pony. His performance in King Jack was brilliant. I expect very good things from him in the future.

The movie itself, which I found very enjoyable, was short of perfect. But I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves Indie Film.

A dark story about a kid trapped in poverty, in a less than desirable neighborhood, with a family which I will generously describe as dysfunction, and his struggle to simply endure.

Charlie Plummer is an actor to keep an eye on as I expect very good things for him in the future.
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8/10
Stellar indie-drama
Seth_Rogue_One26 May 2016
A well acted drama about life in a American small-town for a teenage boy outcast.

What I like is that it holds nothing back, the characters feel very much real and the dialog is explicit and the darker themes are portrayed as ugly as they are in real life.

So although it is a movie about kids, it's not necessarily FOR kids. In fact some scenes are rather disturbing and of adult matter so one could argue the complete opposite.

The style of the movie is a bit reminiscent of David Gordon Green's indie-dramas and it will be interesting to see what the director Felix Thompson will do next, hopefully this movie will be his big break, it's certainly worthy of attention.

Good soundtrack as well.
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Really sensitive and effective
Red_Identity24 July 2016
This is definitely another one of those realistic, quiet independent dramas that surfaces around. Just like many of those dramas, this one is really good. The actors at the core are really effective at bringing to life their characters and succeed at not making them walking stereotypes. It helps that they have a really good script to work with, one that doesn't gloss over many of the issues that plague childhood but also a director who is very aware of these problems and just how the cycle of bullying can continue on, and where it may originate from. Really good film, definitely recommended for many of those fans who already seek out films like this
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3/10
Nothing to redeem it
ekeby15 November 2016
I went into this expecting something really good from the high Netflix rating. What a disappointment. This might be a realistic-looking slice of life, but we don't experience much that is truly original or valuable. It's kid-on-kid violence (emotional and physical) and not much more.

Life can be brutal but I don't particularly want to watch it, unless, of course, it's great art. The Japanese masterpiece The Human Condition (Ningen el Joken) is a trilogy of films that depicts the worst aspects of human brutality, but you can take it because you are also aware that you're experiencing something profound. With King Jack I watched a kid get bullied and then finally learn to "take it like a man." It's trite and frankly a little disgusting.

The film wants to impart a message of some kind. I think the scene at the very end is supposed to be seen as a happy ending. We're to believe Jack has evolved emotionally and overcome--or started to overcome--unbelievable obstacles in his life. It feels flimsy and tacked on and I didn't buy it.

I understand why many people liked this film. It has a seductive quality, the actors are good, and the action looks real. And it's pitched as an art movie. But it isn't a good one. If you were sucker punched into liking this movie, I can only suggest you expand your cinematic horizons to find out how much you've been missing.
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5/10
Unrealistic tripe
Dying-Atheist25 April 2019
A couple of good bits, but really just one of those movies that becomes more unreal as it goes along its typical, tiresome path.

Deprived kid, depressive surroundings, unrealistic characters, oh sure it happens, but give me a break. I know areas and neighborhood can be tough, been there done that. But you know what isn't real? People don't get beat up, and hours later, they are miraculously wandering around beating other people up.

At least TRY to make it real. It's not 1930, I have sen what a couple good punches to the face does to a guy. I know that being kicked the the ribs really hard, feels like, a couple of groans putting a shirt on, then off for a pleasant bike ride, doesn't happen.

I had family that grew up poor and in the projects, you have good people and a few really bad folks. None of the scenarios in this film work. Writers need to be able to tell a good story not just make everyone look like a criminal or a thug.
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10/10
A perfect film about about coming not just of age but of mind.
goaheadslicedbread24 July 2016
36 minutes in and King Jack is one of those movies that encapsulates youth so well that you feel like you just entered a time machine. It's so much more real and stressful than I actually remember it, but it's true. It's a movie that I hope never ends. It's this transporting nature of cinema that makes me obsessed. Movie magic isn't making the old look young or explosions with cgi robots, it's the way a movie can make you remember and forget at the same time. A gateway to what is real and universal about the human experience.

After the film finished I couldn't help but thinking that the acting, cinematography, the editing, pacing, and music were all in perfect harmony. The movie guides you through itself with such ease you forget you're being lead. So often films like this romanticize the aimlessness and chaos of youth. But everything was in it's place. A history of violence shown without exposition. You learn the characters not just by how they act or how they are talked about but how you can see the reverberations of their actions in the film's world.

I eagerly await the next project of those who were involved with this film's creation.
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7/10
Nightmare in Hell Town
cekadah13 June 2016
This little flick has 'indie' written all over it and I am a big fan of indie movie makers. These films are usually superior in content, substance, and acting when compared to the big budget movies. Well not all indie flicks, but the movies made by directors who love the craft. With that said, my opinion of 'King Jack' comes up a bit short.

The plot revolves around Jack and his visiting cousin Ben. Both are tweens and are unpopular in school and Jack has an attitude. The setting is a lower middle class worker neighborhood with a mix of ethnic people. There are three older boys that bully Jack and Ben. The plot becomes predictable with the conflict between Jack and the bully's and Jacks interest in two young girls. Ben is along for the ride through no effort of his own and he suffers the wrath of the three bully's. By movies end both Jack and Ben have been pretty well beaten up by the bully's. Life in hell town is rough and unforgiving but both boys perceive and learn a tough lesson about loyalty, family, and friendship.

This little movie is adequate in it's craft, well photographed, and edited. But the story is old and has been done more than once. If you want to watch some very good young actors as believable characters this is a fine choice. But as it unfolds you'll be able to see what's about to happen next.
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6/10
Grittier and Less Profound than Expected
penguinjuggler2 January 2017
Acting was good, soundtrack was good (though at times more uplifting than the moment deserved), tone was good, but overall it was too gritty for what it was, and there wasn't enough character growth or reason for the character growth. I don't know, maybe that's just the way "slice-of-life" movies tend to be. But it seemed possibly too overtly brutal - my dad watching it with me just walked away half way through when it became clear this was going to be just a lot of violent bullying, uncomfortable teen coed angst/drinking/fighting/smoking etc.

Overall I respect the movie - it was well done and I'll tell people about it, but I'm not about to full-heartedly recommend it or watch it again.
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7/10
Top Marks For Realism
iNickR16 January 2018
In Short: This is a gritty portrayal of the life of the "kid no one likes". We all knew someone like that in school. Like it or not, this is what the youth of today are like. The backstabbing, the violence, the pure hatred of rivals. It's real.

To survive adolescence nowadays, in an environment similar to Jack's, it's akin to going to war everyday. The methods of the bully may have changed over time, but the point of the bully remains the same: to scare and intimidate the bullied into submission.

Two things you may LIKE about "King Jack":

+ The acting; not just with script delivery but expressive emotions; to make this story really work, an actor needs to expose a part of them they may not like; kudos to Charlie Plummer (Jack) and Danny Flaherty (Shane). + The script; written and directed by Felix Thompson; if you were a bully or the bullied, this will trigger something in you.

Two things you may NOT LIKE about "King Jack":

+ The script; (see above) + The violence and aggression; it may be a little overboard and hard to believe at times.
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6/10
Well made but kinda frustrating ***NO SPOILERS**
Dextronix26 November 2017
This is best described as a 'coming of age' film I'd say. Whatever that really means. Ever notice that these films, if artily shot and well acted can get away with a lot?

This is in that category. What does it get away with? Well, a lead character who I think you're supposed to root for who really isn't all that likable. If you're not really meant to root for him the film is just a short glimpse of his life that doesn't really mean a great deal or lead anywhere. It's just a series of crappy events that he lives through for a few days.

Hazy summer shots skillfully photographed and easy on the ear melancholy songs help glide you along. But for me at the end I'm just wondering, well, why? Is there a point? No? Well at least it looked pretty.

You may as well watch 'Mud' for a masterful example in this genre
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5/10
Cycle of abuse
slipcat5558 June 2021
This is a well made, beautifully acted film, but it's full of rotten people doing horrible things. I often like dark and disturbing movies, and I'm not particularly squeamish about violence, but this movie just had too much unrelenting cruelty, and it was frustrating to watch so many characters stand by and do nothing to stop it. Therefore, I found it deeply dissatisfying.
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8/10
very good acting
ops-525359 April 2020
Its a film that brings back childhood memories, especially the cousin that seems to be a spittin image of miself when i was 12.

its a film about bullying in a poor neighbourhood somewhere in america. the bullied aint a saint either but the difference in size and cruelty are nervewrecking and makes you feel sick of anger when watching. i have seen films with a more tragic outcome , so i was happy i did not have to go through that cycle again when the film reached the end

its a well made film, a movie not for small kids without adult supervision, and also a headbanger for parents of today. extremely good teenage acting are the milestone, even though a bit short on the background story , why the cousin need to stay and why the bullying at all started in the first place, but shows the dynamics of the ''game ''very well.

its a film that make the grumpy old man, well... grumpy and if i had that bat i would have bet him even more. its a good film, perfect playtime, and a recommend
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10/10
Sweet and inspiring and true
regolden6 January 2020
This is one of the best movies I've seen and I watch a lot. Talented kids. True to life. Bullies abound and sooner or later ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Enjoy.
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4/10
Is this as tough as it gets?
mitchikus13 August 2017
I watched in hope of an American tale similar perhaps to kidulthood, but instead all I got was retarded state in America.

Like is this supposed to be a tough tale of bullying? I went through a heck of a lot worse growing up in south London but I'd never consider it hard or tough compared to others I have known and wouldn't write a film about it, this has no depth and meaning isn't much happening and apart from a few stones chucked here and there or the odd slap it's nothing short of a kids film about puberty Some good acting don't get me wrong but a rubbish script. Watch to maybe discover what it's like to live in a backward state in USA. Or cos your bored and there is nothing else worth your time.
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9/10
It was Excellent
shresthamrigen343433 September 2018
I saw this movie in 2018 , and i didnot thought this would be so Provocative, tempting and Inviting, and it was. You wouldnot blink your eyes for the whole hour or 2. Give it a try its about Bullying, Courage and the Young life of a Teenage Boy...
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7/10
Brutal, damnable and inexcusable. A story about bullying and the struggle for survival of a young boy.
peterp-450-2987165 November 2016
"You know why people call me Scab? Tom started it. When I was little. My dad had this nickname for me. He used to call me King Jack. Tom didn't like it."

"King Jack" isn't exactly a happy movie. It's rather depressing. And at the same time you'll witness in this social drama how unwritten laws are maintained between raging young people who are living in slums and at the same time are eager to kick each others butt. For those who have been a victim of bullying and experienced an embarrassing moment (posting a not so kosher photo on social media for example) will certainly sympathize with Jack's (Charlie Plummer) situation. An unhinged teenager who undergoes daily harassment's of an older boy named Shane (Danny Flaherty). Shane himself once was the same kind of misfit who suffered from the harassment of Jack's brother Tom (Christian Madsen). So, you could say it's sort of a delayed revenge.

The film is a snapshot in Jack's life. The film covers just a single day and shows in this short period of time how Jack's seemingly meaningless existence is turned upside down. And this because of the arrival of Jack's nephew Ben (Cory Nichols). An introvert, chubby kid whose father dumped him there, because apparently an accident happened to his mother (probably in a mental way when you take Jack's remark "Sorry your mum went crazy" into account). The attitude of Ben towards Jack is correspondingly. The result is passive behavior between the two estranged relatives and Ben clearly showing that he isn't so pleased with the whole situation. However, as the two hang out more, the hostile atmosphere (with Jack clarifying his strict rules and making it clear that Ben should simply shut up the whole time) makes room for a cautious but pleasant boyish friendship. Two teenagers who are talking about their favorite superhero and who are playing baseball. A friendly atmosphere which is eventually disturbed by a confrontation with Shane. And ultimately this leads to an extremely violent denouement.

"King Jack" is a typical coming-of-age film mixed with a tale about the growing-pains of teenagers in an aggressive and poor neighborhood. Expect some timid attempts from Jack trying to deal with peers of the opposite sex. But especially Shane's blatant bullying and Jack's rebellious answer to that (including painting a dirty word on the garage at Shane's home) is the central topic in this film. It doesn't really have an impressive plot but it's supported by a strong and capable cast. On the one hand Plummer as Jack who's both selfish and combative at the same time. And he does that brilliantly. A superb achievement with Plummer applying both toughness and vulnerability perfectly. But especially Flaherty impressed me. From the first moment he came in the picture, a feeling of dislike for this individual arose inside me. Shane is a first class asshole and a sadistic coward. He's really such a creep I would love to kick in the crotch with a heavy boot. And the moment he's defeated by someone of the same caliber, and he's begging like a scared, pathetic loser, I couldn't avoid to gloat. "King Jack" is a dark and touching melodrama. Worth a look anyway.

More reviews here : http://bit.ly/1KIdQMT
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9/10
A Indie Film to Remember
oliviagd159 October 2016
A simple movie with a simple story, the reason why it works so incredibly well is the film understands what it is and uses it to the best it can be, and that is very good. The film is lead by an outstanding (and I mean outstanding) by Charlie Plummer who plays the title role Jack. The other actors Cory Nichols, Christian Madsen and Danny Flaherty are also very compelling in their roles. Written and directed very well by Felix Thompson, it explores the brutal ways of a young boy going through bullying, family troubles and having to deal with discovering who he is also with trying to take care of his younger. A surprisingly gritty movie that shows the real trouble that neglect and misunderstanding can do to young people and it captured wonderfully by Thompson and Plummer. The movie also shows that kids can be really cruel and their are a view scenes that are very sad and painful to watch that hit you right in the heart. A truly amazing film and definitely a gem of an indie film.
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8/10
King Jack
bethponniah30 April 2019
Tells a monumental shift in the protagonists character well. Uses a micro-time frame while still explaining its setting in the macro- time frame of the protagonist's life. An enjoyable and realistic coming of age film with good character development.
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10/10
simple. and beautiful.
aminabintihafiz14 November 2018
Such an underrated movie. charlie plummer is a gem.. watch him and you'll know. this movie is raw and beautiful.. the friendship between the two main characters is so realistic and will leave you with a light of happiness once you get into the movie and start feeling the way the characters are feeling. this movie may not be for everyone, because of its simplicity, but those who enjoy watching life of a character very closely, will definitely love this movie.
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7/10
Stand up and fight back like a king!
Reno-Rangan4 December 2016
Like everyone who saw it said a surprise film from a debutant writer, director. It is a powerful title, but the film was different. Like it focused to tell the story of a teenager named Jack who is regularly picked to bully by some older guys from the school. The film opened with a payback act by Jack, but soon they get him back. This time it gets more serious than ever, and how it ends comes in the latter half of the film.

This is a short film and a good screenplay too. Initially I did not like much, it looked like another same old themed teen film. But the second half of the film completely changed, especially about bullying and how others see it, apart from the victim and offender. An awareness film, though the end drawn as what a cinematic storytelling required than the social message.

The kids did well, particularly Jack, Ben and a few others. There's no obscene materials, but in a sequence it gets bold like how normal teenagers are obsessed with those stuffs. That does not mean it is bad for them to watch. It is a much better film on this theme, and gets better while progressing narration. It is one of the under noticed good film of the year. It's not a must see, yet worth giving it a try.

7/10
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