• 15
  • Michael R Roskam (2011)
  • Bel / Neth (SUB)
  • 128 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Belgian film-maker Michael R Roskam landed an Oscar nomination for best foreign film with this intense if convoluted rural thriller, which was inspired by the murder of a government vet investigating the use of illegal growth hormones in cattle. Aware that the heat is on following the slaying of a local cop, hulking farmer Jacky (Matthias Schoenaerts) is reluctant to cut a deal with a gangland beef trafficker (Sam Louwyck). And although Jacky seemingly has an ally in gang member Diederik (Jeroen Perceval), he's unsure how much he can trust him - despite them being linked by a traumatic incident from their childhood. Roskam is uncertain whether to focus on the crime drama or the incidents depicted in the frequently intercut flashbacks, overcomplicating two relatively straightforward storylines. But, in conjunction with cinematographer Nicolas Karakatsanis and composer Raf Keunen, the director generates a palpable sense of unease that is made all the more disconcerting by Schoenaerts's imposing presence and outbursts of terrifying violence.

Plot Summary

Crime thriller starring Matthias Schoenaerts. A Belgian cattle farmer is forced to confront his past after getting involved in a local mobster's trade in illegal animal hormones.

Cast and crew


Jacky Vanmarsenille
Matthias Schoenaerts
Diederik Maes
Jeroen Perceval
Eva Forrestier
Barbara Sarafian
Lucia Schepers
Jeanne Dandoy
Marc de Kuyper
Sam Louwyck
Antony de Greef
Tibo Vandenborre
Sam Raymond
Frank Lammers
Young Jacky Vanmarsenille
Robin Valvekens


Michael R Roskam

Other Information

Dutch, French +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Violence, swearing, sexual references.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 1 Feb 2013
Certificate 15
Soda Pictures Ltd.