A traumatized veteran, unafraid of violence, tracks down missing girls for a living. When a job spins out of control, Joe's nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered leading to what may be his death trip or his awakening.
The enchanted lives of a couple in a secluded forest are brutally shattered by a nightmarish hippie cult and their demon-biker henchmen, propelling a man into a spiraling, surreal rampage of vengeance.
On the rocky path to sobriety after a life-changing accident, John Callahan discovers the healing power of art, willing his injured hands into drawing hilarious, often controversial cartoons, which bring him a new lease on life.
Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly dangerous things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Walt Disney World.
Balancing between feverish dreamlike hallucinations of a tormented past and a grim disoriented reality, the grizzled Joe--a traumatised Gulf War veteran and now an unflinching hired gun who lives with his frail elderly mother--has just finished yet another successful job. With an infernal reputation of being a brutal man of results, the specialised in recovering missing teens enforcer will embark on a blood-drenched rescue mission, when Nina, the innocent 13-year-old daughter of an ambitious New York senator, never returns home. But amidst half-baked leads and a desperate desire to shake off his shoulders the heavy burden of a personal hell, Joe's frenzied plummet into the depths of Tartarus is inevitable, and every step Joe takes to flee the pain, brings him closer to the horrors of insanity. In the end, what is real, and what is a dream? Can there be a new chapter in Joe's life when he keeps running around in circles?Written by
The mesmerizing trailer for this film got me on board to catch a morning screening, and while there is a lot to like about You Were Never Really Here, it unfortunately falls short of greatness. This can best be described as a 21st century Taxi Driver with the visual style of something like Drive. The biggest selling point here is undoubtedly Joaquin Phoenix, who, as always, gives an electrifying performance that will keep your eyes glued to the screen for its relatively short runtime of 95 minutes. It is a shame then, that the pace still drags. Not because there is little happening, but because its anti-government message about post-traumatic stress (strange dreamlike flashbacks imply that he is an ex-soldier with a bad childhood) is just nothing new at this point. Its strength lies in the intoxicating visual flair, and that stellar lead performance. Although it is at its core a very violent film, we only get to see the aftermath of what takes place, which makes the setpieces feel a little uninvolving. Two or three unique and brilliantly done scenes aside, this will mostly be a matter of personal taste. Considering the fact that I actually like a slower, more artful visual experience, I can't really recommend seeing this on the big screen, for it did not leave me with a lasting impression. Fans of Phoenix should definitely give it a go once it comes out on blu-ray.
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