Animal Kingdom is a taut, Australian crime drama that some might accuse of being slow, but I accuse of taking the time to fully flesh out and develop characters. Crime films these days, especially in America, have a car chase, an explosion, or a gun battle every 2.5 minutes. There's an entire mathematical formula developed for it. Okay, not really, but Stephen Hawking could probably generate one. You're lucky if you fully understand a character these days, or really appreciate why they are heroic or creepy.

Director David Michod has created a well-paced, dark and moody thriller with this film, and the main reason it works is because it's deliberately slowed down so you can peek inside the train cars that would normally be racing by, which lets you appreciate the performances from all of the actors, and particularly Jacki Weaver, who is pictured above. Sharp-eyed readers might recognize her as Minnie from 1975's Picnic at Hanging Rock, but in Animal Kingdom she's a ruthless and lethal matriarch of a crime family.
categories Reviews, Cinematical