Only God Forgives

Only God Forgives

Only God Forgives

Ryan Gosling and director Nicolas Winding Refn reunite after 2011's Drive, with this violent, Bangkok-set revenge thriller. Julian (Gosling) is tasked with avenging his brother's death, but a mysterious, unhinged policeman is following his every move.

Julian lives in exile in Bangkok where he runs a Thai boxing club as a front for his family's drugs smuggling operation. When Julian’s brother Billy is killed, their mother Crystal (Kristin Scott Thomas) arrives in the city. She wants revenge and forces Julian to find the killer. Julian's contacts in the criminal underworld lead him directly to The Angel of Vengeance, a retired police officer who is both judge and punisher. Crystal demands that Julian kill The Angel of Vengeance, an act that will cost him dearly.

2013Rating: MA15+, Strong bloody violence, coarse language and sexual references89 minsFrance, Thailand, USA, Sweden
DramaThriller

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Only God Forgives / Reviews

Flicks, Tony Stamp

Flicks, Tony Stamp

Eliciting boos at Cannes before winning top honours at the Sydney Film Fest, Only God Forgives is proving even more polarising than the last Nicolas Winding Refn / Ryan Gosling collaboration, Drive. Ostensibly a crime narrative, tonally it’s more of a surreal horror.

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Variety

Variety

Kristin Scott Thomas easily upstages Ryan Gosling's near-catatonic turn... an exercise in supreme style and minimal substance.

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Total Film

Total Film

It’s no "Drive," and even hardcore fans will struggle to love a film that’s as mad as a bag of prawn crackers, but as an exercise in style, it has many moments to savour.

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Time Out

Time Out

Style over substance doesn’t really tell the half of it: you can bathe a corpse in groovy light and dress it in an expensive suit, but in the end that rotting smell just won’t go away.

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The New York Times

The New York Times

Three words should suffice: pretentious macho nonsense.

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The Guardian

The Guardian

Only God Forgives will, understandably, have people running for the exits, and running for the hills. It is very violent, but Winding Refn's bizarre infernal creation, an entire created world of fear, really is gripping. Every scene, every frame, is executed with pure formal brilliance.

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The Dissolve

The Dissolve

Only God Forgives suffers from the disconnect between its stylistic high-art archness and its content’s pulp gratuitousness. Refn gives every sequence a hushed consideration, but there’s rarely a sense that he’s earned it with equivalent profundity in theme.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

A menacingly atmospheric mood piece that will not disappoint devotees of the Nicolas Winding Refn church of fetishistic hyper-violence.

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FilmInk

FilmInk

Provided that you can stomach its excesses, it's an unforgettable and weirdly rewarding excursion into violent fantasy.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

Experimental and uncompromising, Winding Refn and Gosling’s Drive follow-up is a tripped-out riff on the crime family movie in which The Grifters — literally — go to hell.

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