Animal Kingdom

7.31 h 53 min2010X-RayR
When his mother dies from an overdose, Josh Cody is taken in by his grandmother and uncles, the most notorious criminal gang in the city. When tensions rise, Josh is forced to choose between his treacherous family and the lawless police.
David Michôd
Ben MendelsohnJoel EdgertonGuy Pearce
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Luke Ford
Liz Watts
Sony Pictures Television
R (Restricted)
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.1 out of 5 stars

1649 global ratings

  1. 58% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 14% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 14% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 7% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 8% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

joel wingReviewed in the United States on March 17, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Teen is stuck between his criminal family and the cops
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J’s (James Frecheville) mom dies and he goes to live with his grandmother Janine (Jacki Weaver) and his uncles who are all criminals. The police are just as bad as they were known to execute bad guys. The story then is about a war between J’s family and the cops with him stuck in the middle. The movie does a great job placing J in between these two opposing forces. The weird thing is Frecheville is a rather quiet and reserved character throughout the film despite everything that’s happening around him. It’s his oldest uncle played by Ben Mendelsohn who really drives the story. The ending is surprising and stunning and really makes the movie memorable.
One person found this helpful
LynneReviewed in the United States on December 6, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Not a prequel to the US series
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I am very much addicted to the US series so I was anxious to watch this movie. Like the series, it also has an awesome cast! SPOILER ALERT!! I was a bit disappointed that, though previews eluded to including criminal activity, there was literally none. This movie represents mostly the aftermath of the fall of the family's criminal enterprise, as a result of J's machinations and determination to get revenge. The US characters are spot on with their Aussie counterparts; with the exception of Smurf. Frankly, I found Ellen Barkin's portrayal much more terrifying (of course she's in a series which allows for a broader character) and her relationship to her son's much more disturbing. All in all though it is a very good movie and we'll acted.
Andrew EllingtonReviewed in the United States on July 20, 2011
5.0 out of 5 stars
Grit your teeth and bare it...
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A film that truly oozes bravado and foams at the mouth with aggression, `Animal Kingdom' is just as the title would suggest; ferocious. With an ample cast that sinks into every scene with intensity and complete control of their character and their purpose, there are few films that leave as lasting an impression as this Australian crime drama; certainly one of the best in its breed. From the opening sequence (chilling was an appropriate word to describe it) to the epic finale, which is effectively anti-climactic in all its climactic glory, `Animal Kingdom' is a nearly flawless plunge into the slippery depths of grit, grime and survival.

Opening with a heroin overdose, we are introduced to our protagonist; seventeen year-old J. Being sheltered most his life from his mother's family, J is forced to acquaint himself with them now that his mother is, well, dead on the couch. Taken in and nurtured instantly by his grandmother Smurf, J is welcomed and inducted into the Cody's life of crime. As a near silent observer, J narrates with a coldness that adds to the emotional stagnancy of the Cody's way of life. They compose themselves in an odd portrayal of familial affections, but the selfish tendencies betray their façade and show their true colors to all who dare pay attention. As the Cody's life of crime starts to creep up on them, the FBI begins to close in around them, using violent actions in order to flush out the man they are really after; big brother Pope. When they get their paws on J, panic sets in around the Cody family, and trust becomes somewhat of a fleeting commodity as Pope begins to plot against J in an effort to save his own skin. With a kindly FBI agent attempting to help young J make the right choice, and a brooding family attempting to `shut him up', J is stuck between a rock and a hard place and must eventually go against his very nature to make the `right' decision for his own well-being; a decision that will shock you to your core.

`Animal Kingdom' is one of those rare films that gets it. It really understands how to layer everything in a way that makes this film a rarity and a true `find'. It is engrossing and entertaining and unforgettable, all the while maintaining a sharp sense of poignancy that makes this an `important' film as much as it is a cinematically satisfying one. It is bleak in moments and truly savage in others, but overall the film gives us a sick sense of hope in the future of young J.

The characters truly bleed on the screen, each actor doing his utmost to develop these people before our very eyes. Jacki Weaver is fantastic as Smurf, a woman whose façade of kindness is corroded by her self-serving sense of familial loyalty. James Frenchville is also wonderful as J. Purposfully vacant, Frenchville allows his character to simmer while the others around him combust, making his final decision all the more effective. Ben Mendelsohn is superbly used as the chilling Pope; a performance that will take your breath away.

For me though, the real star is director David Michod, who uses a keen eye for detail and a sharp sense of action oriented dramatics to keep hold of the tension and release the dogs so-to-speak, attacking the audience with a ferocity not often seen in cinema today. Considering that this outstanding film is Michod's debut feature, I'd say that this guy's future is looking quite promising.
3 people found this helpful
KarinaReviewed in the United States on December 10, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Honestly I'm on the fence post on this one
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I've been a FAN of tnt hit series Animal Kingdom, love this show and especially all the Smexy male actors that are on this show, and have read countless of articles on the movie animal kingdom is based upon, in the back of my head kept telling myself got to check it out which I recently did and that's where you would find me on the fence post having confundle issues between movie and the tv series, honestly between the two it's like night and day.
Deven KennedyReviewed in the United States on November 8, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
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I loved this show!!!!
Bryan A. PfleegerReviewed in the United States on June 4, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars
Disintegration of a Crime Family
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Every once in a while a film comes along that has the ability to make audiences stand up and take notice. David Michod's Animal Kingdom is just such a film. On its face its an Australian crime drama but in its execution it is so much more. The film concerns the disintegration of a family of robbers in Melbourne as seen through the eyes of a seventeen year old family member.

Despite being no saint herself, Julia Cody has shielded her seventeen year old son, Joshua "J" Cody (James Frecheville), from her Melbourne-based criminal relatives who they have not seen in years. After Julia dies in front of J's eyes from a self-inflicted heroin overdose, J, who is slightly detached from life, feels he has no choice but to contact his maternal grandmother, Janine "Smurf" Cody(Jacki Weaver), the family matriarch, for a place to live. Smurf rules the family with a borderline incestuous love over her three sons, the quietly menacing Andrew "Pope" Cody (Ben Mendelsohn), the hyperactive Craig Cody(Sullivan Stapleton), and the barely of age Darren Cody(Luke Ford). Pope and his best friend, Barry "Baz" Brown (Joel Edgerton), are armed robbers, with Darren their up and coming apprentice, while Craig is a mid level drug dealer. Melbourne's Armed Robbery Squad is after specifically Pope, who is hiding out. But when the standoff between the Codys and the Armed Robbery Squad is brought up a notch by the killing of Barry Brown, an all out war ensues, with some two police officers dead and J caught in the middle. The only grounding in J's life is his girlfriend, Nicky Henry. With the killing comes an investigation by Homicide Detective Senior Sergeant Nathan Leckie(Guy Pearce), who knows the Codys are involved in some of those deaths. As Leckie tries to get J on his side, J has to figure out how best to get himself out from the middle, where he trusts neither side. J also wants to figure out how to exact what he considers justice in an all around bad situation

The film has a great script by Michod that feels natural and even better performances by Weaver and Mendelsohn. Putting all these things together this is a difficult but wonderful viewing experience. If you don't see many Australian films this is a great place to start.

The Blu Ray I screened this on featured a great group of extras also. There is a commentary by Michod wich explains the writing and filming process and an excellent making of documentary that is almost feature length that covers the entire filming process from inception to its win at the Sundance Film Festival. There is also a question and answer session taken from the Los Angeles Film Festival. This is a great package for a great film that deserves a wide audience.
5 people found this helpful
NansiiiReviewed in the United States on October 14, 2022
2.0 out of 5 stars
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Good story
Richard SmithReviewed in the United States on October 5, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Love the movie
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Love that was able to purchase this DVD and see how the Animal a kingdom series was created
One person found this helpful
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