A traumatized veteran, unafraid of violence, tracks down missing girls for a living. When a job spins out of control, Joe's nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered leading to what may be his death trip or his awakening.
Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly dangerous things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.
Two upper-class teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. Together, they hatch a plan to solve both of their problems-no matter what the cost.
After a botched bank robbery lands his younger brother in prison, Connie Nikas embarks on a twisted odyssey through the city's underworld in an increasingly desperate-and dangerous-attempt to get his brother Nick out of jail.
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Balancing between feverish dreamlike hallucinations of a tormented past and a grim disoriented reality, the grizzled Joe--a traumatised Gulf War veteran and now an unflinching hired gun who lives with his frail elderly mother--has just finished yet another successful job. With an infernal reputation of being a brutal man of results, the specialised in recovering missing teens enforcer will embark on a blood-drenched rescue mission, when Nina, the innocent 13-year-old daughter of an ambitious New York senator, never returns home. But amidst half-baked leads and a desperate desire to shake off his shoulders the heavy burden of a personal hell, Joe's frenzied plummet into the depths of Tartarus is inevitable, and every step Joe takes to flee the pain, brings him closer to the horrors of insanity. In the end, what is real, and what is a dream? Can there be a new chapter in Joe's life when he keeps running around in circles?Written by
In the novella You Were Never Really Here by Jonathan Ames the main character Joe uses a lot of props like latex gloves and gadgets. Lynne Ramsay stated that it was Joaquin Phoenix who suggested to get rid of most props to keep the character more authentic. See more »
The puddle next to the body in the hall of the residence Joe rescues Nina from changes size. See more »
[To the father of a missing girl, referring to a lead as to where she might be ]
If she's there, I'll get her back.
See more »
I've Never Been to Me
Words and Music by Ken Hirsch (as Kenneth Hirsch), Ronald Miller
Performed by Charlene
Published by Jobete Music Co. Inc. / EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
Courtesy of Motown Record Company
Under licence from Universal Music Operations Ltd See more »
Joaquin Phoenix stars in, You Were Never Really Here, a movie that beckons memories of Taxi Driver. It's an apt comparison since the two movies are deep character examinations, and Phoenix's character in this film, Joe, certainly shares similarities with Travis Bickle, Robert De Niro's famous taxi driver.
The two men both have traumatic pasts that inflicted irreparable damage on their mental health, and both men currently live unsatisfying lives. The main difference is that Travis Bickle attempted to make an honest living driving a taxi for a time before he, well, you can watch the movie and find out what he did. But, Joe's way of making a living is unlawful from the beginning of the film. However, he did initially attempt a lawful career years before the film's opening scene. I'll get there.
Joe is a hired gun whose job is to hunt down missing girls, bring them back, and punish those that captured them. It's work not for the feint of heart. When asked if his methods are rough, Joe replies, "I can be." He's being modest.
Joe brutally disarms, injures, and kills anyone standing in the way of his missions. His preferred weapon: a ball peen hammer.
Despite all the killing, he's not a bad guy. He cares for his elderly and often confused mother. The work he does, while often gruesome and heavy on killing, is for what most would agree is a good cause. Few could retrieve the girls the way Joe does and even fewer would be willing to do so.
Joe takes no joy in any of his work. He takes no joy in any of his life. He continues forward out of some sense of duty. He fantasizes often about suicide and attempts on occasion, only stopping when he remembers his mother or the girls in need of help.
He often experiences vivid flashbacks and fantasies that blur the lines between what's real and not. The audience doesn't always know, and Joe doesn't always seem so sure either.
He's constantly haunted by memories of his past as a child, a soldier, and an FBI agent. Each phase of his life left him scarred physically and emotionally.
Phoenix is one of the most enigmatic, fascinating, and excellent actors of the past 20 years. It's hard to imagine other actors pulling off a performance like this one. He deserves commendation for his work, as does director Lynne Ramsay.
Fair warning: the movie is occasionally brutally violent and is often very confusing. It's not for everyone.
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