Animal Kingdom

  • 18
  • David Michôd (2009)
  • Aus
  • 108 min
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Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

Australian writer/director David Michôd's feature debut is an astonishingly assured and powerfully gripping work, a fusion of searing style and profound content. A tense survival of the fittest ensues when socially inept teenager Joshua (newcomer James Frecheville) goes to live with his criminal in-laws after the death of his drug addict mother. However, while learning the tricks of their Melbourne crime trade, he's caught in the centre of a bitter feud between his family and renegade police. The performances are exemplary: Ben Mendelsohn is simmering rage personified as a man whose days of criminal supremacy are now behind him; Oscar-nominated Jacki Weaver is terrifying as the grandmother who'll stop at nothing to protect her boys; and Guy Pearce excels as a straight cop who struggles to get Joshua to do the right thing. With its vivid portrayal of a realistically grimy underworld, this is a tremendously exciting and challenging thriller that builds unnervingly to a stunning conclusion.

Plot Summary

Australian crime drama starring Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce and James Frecheville. After his mother dies of an overdose, young Joshua Cody takes up his grandmother's offer of a home. But he must also gain the acceptance of his three career-criminal uncles, who are under investigation by the local police.

Cast and crew


Andrew "Pope" Cody
Ben Mendelsohn
Barry "Baz" Brown
Joel Edgerton
Det Senior Sgt Nathan Leckie
Guy Pearce
Joshua "J" Cody
James Frecheville
Janine "Smurf" Cody
Jacki Weaver
Craig Cody
Sullivan Stapleton
Darren Cody
Luke Ford
Nicky Henry
Laura Wheelwright
Ezra White
Dan Wyllie
Det Justin Norris
Anthony Hayes


David Michôd

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Optimum Releasing
Violence, swearing, drug abuse.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 25 Feb 2011
Certificate 18
Optimum Releasing