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Based on 24 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 3 )
  • 50
    Walter Addiego San Francisco Chronicle

    There seems to be a pretty good film lurking around inside Bullhead, which makes what we actually see on the screen all the more frustrating. show more

  • 60
    Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News

    Schoenaerts capably handles a difficult role that's equal parts pathetic, repulsive and heartbreaking. But you'll need a strong will to spend your time with such a tragically hopeless character. show more

  • 90
    Natasha Senjanovic The Hollywood Reporter

    The actor literally takes the metaphors of his bull-headed character to the limits and is never less than believable or mesmerizing. show more

  • 80
    Scott Tobias NPR

    Writer-director Michael K. Roskam takes his time in revealing why Jacky needs to shoot up, but that LaMotta restlessness is unmistakable - this bull here can rage. show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    Bullhead contains the elements for a simple but overwhelming personal tragedy. It also contains other elements that create a muddle. It's one of those films you have to reconstruct in your mind. show more

  • 75
    Washington Post

    Many terms applied to action movies - muscular, animalistic, testosterone-fueled - are literally true of Bullhead. show more

  • 75
    Rex Reed New York Observer

    I can tell you only that this is a film unlike anything I've seen before-harrowing, haunting and sordid. Be forewarned, it is not for the squeamish. But take a chance and you will be rewarded with a work of nightmarish force that is unforgettable. show more

  • 63
    Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune

    Schoenaerts is often affecting and just as often scarily intense. The film's intensity, by contrast, beams on and off. show more

  • 50
    Wesley Morris Boston Globe

    Roskam appears more interested in trying to combine genres that don't easily cohere. On one hand, the film's a crime-thriller and police procedural. On the other, it's about the lingering trauma of Jacky's personal misfortune. The other hand is much stronger. show more

  • 38
    Slant Magazine

    What Bullhead ultimately lacks isn't balls but insight and empathy. show more

  • March 26, 2013 ht00000000142046
    Report This User

    This guy Matthias Schoenaerts is off the charts. I first caught him in a beyond superior performance in Rust and Bone and now after seeing him, found this movie lastnight with this him starring as a young cattle farmer \'Jacky Vanmarsenille\' in Bullhead. Inspiring performance.. and beyond! A++++++

  • July 04, 2012 ec00000000126086
    Report This User

    Great movie with an intense story and great performances. The character of Jacky is full of emotion and surprises.

  • February 02, 2012 qh00000000110878
    Report This User

    Here\'s a great review from Drew McWeeny over at There\'s a restaurant right by the Alamo Drafthouse\'s parking lot, a Tex Mex place called Maudie\'s that has a sign I\'ve walked past several times during the festival so far. It says something about \"There\'s no bull in our beef,\" and lists all the things their meat does not have in it, including hormones. It\'s a selling point these days if you\'re growing animals that are just animals, and it\'s also something that I think takes place in a world I know nothing about. That world is the setting of the provocative, disturbing new film \"Bullhead,\" from Belgian writer/director Michael Roskam, and this is one of the most original things I\'ve seen here this week, strong and adult and sweeping in the way it handles some very complicated ideas about manhood and what we owe others as we move through this world. This is not a film that plays things easy or that establishes any clear moral lines early on. Both Jacky Vanmarsenille (Matthias Schoenaerts) and Diederik Maes (Jeroen Perceval) move in this shady not-quite-black market world, and when they run into each other early in this film, it\'s a shock to both of them. There\'s some shared history here. But what\'s the history? Why does Jacky almost melt down when he runs into Diederik? And why does Diederik have meetings with police officers? Jacky\'s family is a cattle family for generations, and there are times where they buy and use illegal hormones and drugs to help grow their beef quicker and cheaper. Jacky also uses hormones and steroids to grow himself, and Schoenaerts is terrifying in the film. People talk about the crazy transformation Tom Hardy went through on \"Bronson\" and \"Warrior,\" but this is at least that startling. He plays Jacky as a big dumb animal, emotionally stunted and unable to really connect to anyone. When we finally start to piece together Jacky\'s history, it\'s a miracle he\'s not just constantly trying to kill everyone he encounters. He\'s got a right to his anger, a reason behind his rage, and he changed himself because he had to if he was going to survive. There\'s a fair amount of the larger crime story in \"Bullhead\" that was pulled from real headlines, and it\'s dense, potentially confusing stuff. The film really wrestles with a world where everyone has secrets and everyone wears a public face and a private one, and sometimes more than one of each, and once it starts to pay off the various story threads it establishes, \"Bullhead\" is one of the most powerful experiences I\'ve had in a theater this year. It\'s an unsubtle sledgehammer of a movie, emotionally speaking, but that\'s exactly what I like about it. I think Roskam has an amazing voice for a first time feature director, and he really builds a beautiful sense of inevitable horror, a sinking feeling that is almost impossible to bear by the end of the film. It\'s a tremendous accomplishment.

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