100

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
A phenomenal debut feature with a terrific title, David Michôd's Animal Kingdom is both a study in Darwinian survival-in this case survival of the shrewdest-and a group portrait of ruthless predators in the underworld of Melbourne, Australia.
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100

San Francisco Chronicle

By Amy Biancolli
It's a remarkable film: A gritty, gut-churning, crime thriller based on a true story. Its greatness lies in its unwavering fidelity to human nature and the unstoppable laws of the wild.
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91

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Don't be fooled: In this unpeaceable kingdom, the den mama is also ready to eat her young.
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90

NPR

By Bob Mondello
First-time writer/director David Michod reportedly worked for eight years on his screenplay, deepening its tale of a violently dysfunctional family until its gangster conventions feel as if they're in the service of a modern-day Greek tragedy.
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88

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
Like "The Square," the startling Down Under noir released a few months ago, Animal Kingdom explores the down and dirty side of human nature, fraught with greed, suspicion, and betrayal.
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80

The Hollywood Reporter

By Kirk Honeycutt
A naturalistic drama rich in psychology and attention to details. There's no glamour here, but one false move by anyone can result in death, so tension fills nearly every scene.
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80

New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
Most crime stories are content to simply exist, wallowing in their own base violence. But David Michôd's fierce debut takes the genre apart, finding a reason for the madness that propels it.
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75

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
You probably won't see a better directorial debut this year than David Michôd's Animal Kingdom.
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75

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Writer-director David Michôd catches you in a vise and squeezes - hard.
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75

Movieline

By Michelle Orange
Because Animal Kingdom is so richly suffused with atmosphere and style, you could almost float right past the deficiencies in its story in an admiring trance.
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83 out of 100
Universal acclaim
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.