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Animal Kingdom

by

Jeff Nelson

Animal Kingdom ends up being a decent enough film with phenomenal acting and great dialogue.

Animal Kingdom
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The crime genre has made a huge impact on the film industry for many years. With a good screenplay, a strong cast, and decent camera work a brilliant crime drama can be born. Animal Kingdom is a crime drama from Australia that made its way to the United States and received a lot of positive feedback. The film was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Does it genuinely live up to the hype?

A 17-year-old boy finds himself drawn into the clutches of a diabolical criminal family, until a good-hearted detective makes an effort to change the boy's fate. The plot takes its time to create characters with depth. The audience can't help but feel sympathy towards the lead character. While some of his decisions are questionable, he's a likable character. The dialogue is absolutely fantastic. The pacing is a tad slow at times, but the dialogue is great. The ending is highly satisfying. However, those who believe this to be a movie where everything turns out okay is completely wrong. Animal Kingdom isn't afraid to contain an unbelievably dark tone from start to finish. Unfortunately, the film is rather predictable. Especially those who enjoy the genre will be able to guess every twist and turn.

Given that this film is from Australia, not all of the actors here will be very well-known by American audiences. James Frecheville, Jacki Weaver, Joel Edgerton, Luke Ford, Sullivan Stapleton, Guy Pearce, and Mirrah Foulkes star in this crime drama. Jacki Weaver was nominated for her captivating role here. She definitely delivers the strongest role of the entire cast. Her character is a cruel and evil woman who is willing to do anything for her children. There aren't any bad performances to be seen here.

The atmosphere here is dark and gritty. There is little to no happiness to be seen and the visuals convey that tone. The camera work is decent here. Animal Kingdom is heavily centered around dialogue and there isn't very much action taking place.

With the insanely positive buzz surrounding Animal Kingdom, I expected something spectacular. While it's certainly a good movie, it didn't meet my expectations. Jacki Weaver easily deserved her Academy Award nomination for her outstanding performance. Animal Kingdom ends up being a decent enough film with phenomenal acting and great dialogue. It's a good crime drama, but there are others out there more worthy of the buzz.

My Rating = Three and One Half Stars

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