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Arkansas (2020)

2:26 | Trailer
Kyle and Swin live by the orders of an Arkansas-based drug kingpin named Frog, whom they've never met. But when a deal goes horribly wrong, the consequences are deadly.


Clark Duke


Andrew Boonkrong, John Brandon (based on the novel by) | 1 more credit »
1,234 ( 183)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Liam Hemsworth ... Kyle
Vince Vaughn ... Frog
Clark Duke ... Swin
John Malkovich ... Bright
Michael Kenneth Williams ... Almond
Vivica A. Fox ... Her
Chandler Duke ... Nick
Jacob Zachar ... Stranger
Ian Thompson-Yates Ian Thompson-Yates ... Man with two watches
Barry Primus ... Old Greek
Chris Mullinax ... Colin
Patrick Muldoon ... Joe
Kacey Montoya Kacey Montoya ... News Anchor (credit only)
Brad William Henke ... Tim
Adina Galupa
Learn more

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Kyle and Swin live by the orders of an Arkansas-based drug kingpin named Frog, whom they've never met. But when a deal goes horribly wrong, the consequences are deadly.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Kyle and Swin are working their way to the top...but the top has other plans.


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language throughout, drug material and brief nudity. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Based on the novel "Arkansas," written by John Brandon, published by McSweeney's Rectangulars in 2009. See more »


Clark picks up the scooter at Johnna's house in the evening but it is morning when they arrive at Frog's shop. See more »

Alternate Versions

The international release of the film features a different score, composed by Alexander Taylor See more »


References The Toxic Avenger (1984) See more »

User Reviews

An Amusing Neo-Noir & a Great Directional Debut
5 May 2020 | by TwistedContentSee all my reviews

I'd guess that for a lot of people Clark Duke is a face seen in a comedy or another, be it any of the "Kick-Ass" or "Hot Tub Time Machine" films or perhaps the last season of "The Office". "Arkansas" is his very own first full feature, a debut in both directing and writing plus performing one of the main characters, and I'm quite frankly wholesomely surprised. Based on Josh Brandon's novel of the same name, "Arkansas" is an engaging, grimy and subtly funny Coen-esque neo-noir tragedy in five chapters.

By the time I even noticed there's a trailer out, the release of the movie was just a week away, so I went in quite blind. Not to repeat myself, but I truly am pleasantly surprised, I get a lot of kicks out of the modern neo-noirs, small town crime shenanigans, simple folks in way over their head - a vibey sub-genre that I believe Coen Brothers kickstarted, providing endless inspiration with their unique writing and characters who think they're smarter than they actually are.

Kyle (Liam Hemsworth) and Swin (Clark Duke) are the footsoldiers of an Arkansas-based drug empire, trying to work their way up the ladder where on top sits a drug kingpin named Frog, whom Kyle and Swin have never seen. Naturally, one day a particular deal goes wrong for the two boys & the consequences are increasingly deadly. "Arkansas" is split in five chapters, each tells either a portion of the story of Kyle and Swin, or introduces the other characters in the whole wide drug scheme and its history, ultimately weaving together a web which's entirety only the viewer can see. Drug smuggling, drug dealing, schemes, the crime world hierarchy, murder, love, so on... I think it's sure to say some will call it a pointless movie, perhaps a plotless one, or just a tedious experience. Yeah, it's a slow-burn, there's attention to detail, to plot-irrelevant conversations and a lot of it is as aimless as the lives of the two main characters, but it's often where the charm of "Arkansas" lies. Having said that, perhaps it could've done better with a more fueled climax.

The cinematography was kind of a conflictive experience for me. It would seem that "Arkansas" is not a big budgeted movie, despite having such a stellar cast. Speaking of that, great performances all around, if a little too little of John Malkovich. Plot might not relate to that, but the overall atmosphere felt somewhat realistic, and so did the characters and the performances carrying them. For a long time I've hoped Vince Vaughn will stay in the crime genre, for "True Detective", "Cell Block 99" and "Dragged Across the Concrete" were an awesome fit for him, now accompanied by "Arkansas". Fingers crossed for more. So, the cinematography, far from exceptional, but overall great camera work, but a little drab color grading... I craved for a crisper, more elegant aesthetical look. Ears, though, were pleased with an interesting original score and soundtrack, country-like and fitting the atmosphere like a glove.

"Arkansas" is not a very original tale and outfit, but it's a great exercise in its genre, a pleasant experience for fans of such vibes & a highly commendable directional debut. My rating: 8/10. To end it with a quote, "May You Dream of offered tits."

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Release Date:

5 May 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Arkansas See more »

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