You Were Never Really Here (2017)
I was a little apprehensive about seeing this movie. It appeared like it would be either really good or just really bad. I have enjoyed most of Joaquin Phoenix’s work, so I thought I would give You Were Never Really Here a shot.
The film is about a hit man who gets in over his head when he is hired to rescue a young girl from a sex slave ring, and make the people involved suffer for what they have done to her.
The movie was directed by Lynne Ramsay and the noteworthy cast includes Joaquin Phoenix, Judith Roberts, John Doman, Alex Manette, Ekaterina Samsonov, and Alessandro Nivola.
You Were Never Really Here is unflinching and unplugged. The film does not pull any punches. The subject matter is as dark as it gets. This movie is certainly not for everyone. The movie was unique. The way that it was filmed raised the level of intensity. The soundtrack and natural background noise in the movie really set the gritty tone. It was rough at times, but it was very necessary to tell the story.
Phoenix is ruthless and almost robotic. It is a cold, hard, Oscar-worthy performance. He throws everything into his character and continues to reveal to us his wide range of talent and ability as a versatile actor.
I have heard comparisons of You Were Never Really Here to Taxi Driver (1976), and I have to say that I liked You Were Never Really Here better. I can see the comparison in only the mean streets and loud, tough city. The atmosphere was reminiscent of Taxi Driver in the way that it was filmed. However, I feel like Taxi Driver tried too hard and often fell short. There was a lot more unnecessary shock value in Taxi Driver. I felt like there was more depth and purpose to You Were Never Really Here (2017).
This movie was in limited release and therefore I had to go way out of my way in order to see it. Because it was such a dark film, I can understand that it was only in limited release. Not everybody can handle this type of movie. However, I am glad that movies like this one are still able to get made.
You Were Never Really Here will leave you thinking about it long after it is over. That is often how you can tell that a movie was worth seeing, when it sticks with you. If you are a fan of Joaquin Phoenix and you like grittier films, then you will most likely enjoy You Were Never Really Here.
I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.
If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:
Bad Samaritan (2018)
John Wick (2014)
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)
Street Kings (2008)
Training Day (2001)
Crank: High Voltage (2009)
Triple 9 (2016)
Running Scared (2006)
Run All Night (2015)
Harsh Times (2005)
The Best Movies of 2012
Below is my list of the best movies that I have seen that were released in 2012 (even if some were made in 2011). I have included trailers for each movie. Click on the highlighted titles for my full reviews of each of those films. The movies that are not highlighted, I have not reviewed yet, but I still highly recommend them. I will continue to add to this list if I see any more movies from 2012 that are worthy of this list.
The Grey (2011)
21 Jump Street (2012)
Dark Shadows (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Movies that were good, but did not quite make the list are:
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
Total Recall (2012)
The Expendables 2 (2012)
The movie is written and directed by David Ayer and the noteworthy cast includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terrence Howard, Sam Worthington, Mireille Enos, Olivia Williams, Joe Manganiello, Max Martini, Josh Holloway, Harold Perrineau, Daniel Moncada, Martin Donovan, and Ralf Moeller.
Great cast, great director, and it looks like it will be a great action flick.
The film is set to release on 04/11/14.
Before seeing Prisoners, I guaranteed to people that it would be good. Sometimes it is as if I just know. I did not have any doubts about this movie at all. I am not narcissistic. I just sort of have a sixth sense. I am like Haley Joel Osment’s character in The Sixth Sense (1999). However, instead of seeing dead people, I see good movies.
Can’t you just hear me whispering softly? “I see good movies.”
Bruce Willis responds, “In your dreams?”
I shake my head no.
“While you’re awake?”
“Good movies like, in graves? In coffins?”
“Walking around like regular movies. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re good.”
Bruce Willis asks, “How often do you see them?”
I whisper, “All the time. They’re everywhere.”
Prisoners is about two little girls who go missing. Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is the father of one of the girls. He will stop at nothing to find out who took his daughter and will do whatever is necessary to get her back.
The movie was directed by Denis Villeneuve and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrance Howard, Maria Bello, Melissa Leo, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, Wayne Duvall, Len Cariou, David Dastmalchian, and Dylan Minnette.
Prisoners was gripping. It did not take long to pull me in to the disturbingly chilling story. It’s the next day and I’m still thinking about the film.
It should go without saying that it’s not exactly a feel good movie. Two little girls disappear. There is nothing good about that. Because of the subject matter, some aspects of the film are hard to like. However, the film was so well-made that it doesn’t pull any punches, and rightfully so. You have to see the bad in order to appreciate the good.
The movie is brutally violent and gory. There is plenty of language and blood. It captures the eeriness of the twisted plot perfectly.
Jackman plays a broken man who does not hesitate to do whatever is necessary to get his daughter back. His performance was excellent. It might be his best and more realistic role yet. It is Hugh Jackman unplugged like you haven’t seen him before.
Gyllenhaal plays the detective on the case. He is obsessed with his job and has solved every case that he has been assigned to. He is not about to fail now. This movie is equally Gyllenhaal’s movie as much as it is Jackman’s.
The rest of the supporting cast all play their parts well and Leo stands out among them.
The film is just over two and a half hours long, but I was so in to it that I did not notice. Time flies when you’re have fun, or watching a good movie. Prisoners never gets boring. It absorbs you and keeps you guessing until the end.
Jackman, Gyllenhaal, and Leo all gave Oscar worthy performances and the film itself is the best movie that I have seen so far this year.
I rate this movie a 9 on a scale on 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
If you liked Prisoners, then you will probably enjoy:
Mystic River (2003)