Animal Kingdom

'Best in Blu-ray' sifts through the week's new releases, recommending titles for both the Blu-ray veteran and newbie, as well as the coolest special feature and most intriguing rental. Look for it every Tuesday.

For Blu-ray Vets:

'Animal Kingdom'

What It's About: After his mother dies of a drug overdose, a 17-year-old boy moves in with his grandmother (Jacki Weaver, above), the matriarch of a paranoid family of nasty, self-absorbed criminals. With Guy Pearce as a police detective.

Features: Audio commentary by director David Michod; 71-minute "making of" (in 1080i); 33-minute Q&A session with Michod, Weaver and James Frencheville (SD); theatrical trailer.

Transfer/Audio: "A gritty, thick atmosphere that translates well ... the textures are evident throughout. ... By modern standards this is fairly tame visually but as a representation of the original - I doubt it could be more accurate." (DVD Beaver)

Replay Value: A low-key drama, 'Animal Kingdom' begins so quietly, and features such an introverted character as its lead, that you might wonder if it will ever pay-off. But it does, as the atmosphere slowly tightens and dramatic pressure builds. When the true extent of the family's more frightening dimension is revealed, it ties a knot in your stomach. It's a bloody reminder that appearances are deceiving: great evil can lurk within the most unlikely of bodies.
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