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All the praise that has been heaped on this Australian crime drama is justly deserved.
Beginning in a slow, somber style with introspective 17-year old Josh Cody reporting the death - heroin overdose - of his mother, forcing him to live with his 3 uncles and grandmother who are heavily involved in crime. The Cody family’s criminality comes back to haunt them and others around them, as violence takes its toll.
Excellent performances by all involved here, particularly from James Frecheville, who plays Josh. Even more so, Ben Mendelsohn as the elder brother ‘Pope’, full of repression, instability, and menace. Guy Pearce brings even further conviction to the film as the lead Detective on the trail of Pope, empathetically using Josh as his pawn. The outstanding score further conveying the intensity and emotions of the characters throughout, with the threat of danger and corruption never far away.
Loosely based on a real-life Australian crime family, the gritty, character-driven approach works perfectly. If you are tired of substandard crime dramas regurgitated by the American market and want more substance, then take sanctuary in this solid study of family loyalty and the devastating effects of violence.