Movie Review: Animal Kingdom

December 20, 2010

AK 640

Madman entertainment delivers yet another great movie has bought it to us once again by gracing the people with Animal Kingdom, a gritty, raw, and emotional drama that makes you feel for the characters and feel what it is like to be one of them. This movie won the sought after Sundance film festival this year and has just won 10 Australian Film Industry awards, and there is now talk about a supporting actress academy award for one of the cast members.

Following the death of his mother, 17 year old Joshua Cody moves in with his grandmother, and her three criminal sons – the Cody boys. The eldest ‘Pope’ is an armed robber who is in hiding from the police. Then there is Craig, a successful but volatile drug dealer, and youngest, Darren, who naively follows his brothers’ lead.

Just as Pope’s business partner and best mate, Barry ‘Baz’ Brown decides that he wants out, tensions between the Codys and the police explode. Joshua finds himself at the centre of a cold blooded revenge plot that turns his family upside down and throws him directly into the path of senior homicide detective, Nathan Leckie played by Guy Pierce.


The music and sound effects are typical in Australian cinema. They use a lot orchestral scores to amplify the mood of each scene. At times there is no music at all and the sound of the background environments or the characters’ actions make up for it and can show how tense some situations are. It all works well because it seems very real. The Australian style of film seems very consistent with all their dramatic films as it is heavily influenced by European styles yet still keeping it uniquely Australian in some sense.


The cinematography and camera work is very basic. It reminds me of when i was watching The Sopranos. It can sometimes stay focused on the subject or very blair witch-like, depending on the plot. The style used really compliments the movie well because it creates a raw and gritty atmosphere, making it realistic and believable.

Australian cinema especially in the genre of drama is very slow paced and emotional. I was hoping for this film to be different but it felt like another Aussie dramas. Animal Kingdom is very much like The Sopranos, minus the bling. The film definitely has room for improvement in several areas, but having said that, it would’ve taken the grittyness of the movie away which i love.

With so many rave reviews from all over the world and awards its won, you cannot go wrong with Animal Kingdom. if you’re fan of crime and action movies, this is it. Get a copy of Animal Kingdom here from Madman Entertainment.


Have a happy and safe Christmas boys and girls

Kevin Monster out

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