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)
End of Watch (2012)
End of Watch (2012) is the ultimate buddy-cop drama done in the style of Training Day (2001), Harsh Times (2005), and Street Kings (2008). All of those films share the same type of gritty, blunt, in-your-face intensity and show just how unpleasant rundown areas of Los Angeles can be. Those movies share similarities in style because they were all written and or directed by David Ayer.
In End of Watch Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are young, up-and-coming brothers in blue patrolling the hellish streets of Los Angeles, California. They are pitted together against pure evil. They take a bite out of crime and crime bites back
A lot of the movie is filmed with smaller handheld cameras which I think helps to make the film seem a little bit more realistic. If the person is shaky then the camera is shaky.
The film takes many of the horrible things that we pretend don’t happen and throws them in our faces so that we cannot deny their existence any longer. It takes dark subject matter and forces you to have an opinion about it. When your eyes are opened to the world that exists in the movie, you begin to wonder if there is some truth to that world in the real world. Does that sort of thing actually happen in real life? Are people really like that? The answers to those questions are what make the movie so chilling.
Gyllenhaal and Pena are both tremendous in the movie. Their characters play off of each other so well that it really makes the film enjoyable to watch.
The language and violence in the film is very potent. Much of the movie is exceptionally rough and harsh. There is some humor thrown in to weaken the blow, but End of Watch is a powerful movie to watch. This type of show is not for everyone.
I rate this movie an 8.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.