I had heard about how good this film was but I was not prepared to be as bowled over by it as I was. It's one of best films I have ever seen, it's not perfect, but it comes close.
Animal Kingdom tells the story of a family of Australian criminals. They're into hardcore old fashioned crime, mainly armed robbery. The disgraced daughter of the family overdoses and her son moves in with the matriarch of the family, then things slowly go off the tracks from there. The Aussie cops assassinate one of the members of the family and the family retaliates by gunning down two cops. Then things really get heated. I'll hold off giving more of the plot but I will say that most all of those who deserve a violent death get one, and of course some of those who don't end up with one as well.
This film is a taut criminal gem. It's well written, acted, and directed. The pace is just right and the story sucks you in slowly while surprising you with just how bad most everybody connected with this family are, cops included. The performances by Jackie Weaver as the amoral grandmother who loves her criminal man children a bit too much and Ben Mendelsohn as the eldest son of the family are chillingly great. These two characters are so creepy and menacing that they'll stay with you long after you've watched the film. They are sinister wrapped in menace that's been dipped in a bath of full of psychopaths.
My only problems with this film were the music at times over shadowed the dialogue in crucial parts, the accents were at times a bit hard to understand, and the young lead James Frecheville is at times a bit too wooden. But those are minor quibbles with an otherwise fantastic film.
You need to see this one and if you do see it and you don't like it, you're dead to me. Seriously.
Dr. Monkey Hussein Monkerstein