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3.7 out of 5 stars
Tyrannosaur
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Showing 1-10 of 28 reviews (5 star)show all reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2012
Format: DVD
Very rarely does a film so bleak, so prone to trample over its characters until they might not come back up, manage to avoid the usual melodrama and clichés we have come to expect and instead stay an honest, unflinching and powerful glimpse of two individuals, one too hard and the other too soft for the world, just trying to make it through the day. Peter Mullan gives one of the year's most destructive and powerful performances as Joseph, a widower who spends his time drinking, picking fights and experiencing bouts of anger that tends to come crashing down into paralyzing moments of regret. We understand he wants better for himself and could use a bit of redemption but it isn't an easy thing to achieve. However, he does find some solace in Hannah played by Olivia Colman who also gives one of the year's most devastating performances as a thrift store owner and born again Christian. Joseph feels drawn to her glow and the sort of warmth he has been looking for. Sadly she isn't who she seems because behind her smile is immense pain for she lives with an abusive husband who beats her. Hannah had hoped religion could be her savior but when that didn't work she turned to alcohol. At times Hannah and Joseph can seem total opposites but yet exactly the same. As we watch their relationship develop there are brief moments of hope and even a few laughs, but for me even they are incredibly emotional and at times almost moved me to tears. Considine's exploration into violence and rage is so gut wrenching and brutally honest that when good things happen you are glad but also very cautious because moods could change without warning and this fine line they walk is hard to watch.

At the center of it all is Joseph's anger which comes from a place many films rarely explore unless the main character is a villain, and maybe under other circumstances or a different life he would be. But here he is just your "Average Joe" whose fury isn't brought on by some terrible event or the result of any wrong doing, it is just his nature. He was born with a fire inside. It caused him to be mean and abusive to his wife, it causes him to rough up kids at a pub, and throw a rock through the front window of a shop. The best Joseph can do is try to control this rage and when it gets the best of him, like in the film's opening when in a fit he kicks his dog's ribs in, he shows what little kindness he can by carrying it home, being by its side as it dies and then burying it in the back yard. In any other film is would be impossible to expect the audience to forgive such an act, but Considine understands that. You see he isn't asking for forgiveness but just hoping to reach an understanding with the viewer. As terrible as Joseph's actions may be at the time the idea that it is his nature, something he can't control which is destroying him, and the fact that he tries his best to do good evens out the scales just enough for us to have faith in him.

The most important of these attempts to adjust comes with helping Hannah who he tries to protect even though everything about him says otherwise. This leads to the film's most shocking moment in which he discovers a truth about her, and perhaps about himself and every human, that rattles him to the core. This truth being that even the most glowing and kind of people are capable of unthinkable violence and rage. Now this might seem to be a totally bleak assessment on life, and maybe it is, but Considine doesn't allow it to prevail without putting up a fight. Instead he tries to make us and Joseph realize that the best you can do is battle through it all and although you will not always find redemption at least maybe a bit of peace and happiness can be earned, which might mean sacrificing yourself.

I really have to hand it to Paddy Considine who most know from his acting in such films as "Deadman's Shoes" or "In America". For this to be his first feature is quite impressive. He shows a level of maturity and confidence you would only expect from a veteran director. This could have easily become a preachy or overly stylized independent film that drowned in its own melodramatic miserablism but instead Considine wasn't afraid to be dark, gritty and realistic and stay true to his characters, caring for them and their emotions in a way that didn't feel artificial, and making a real connection with the audience. To say it is an easy watch would be a lie but its profoundness in its exploration of violence and anger along with two of the year's best performances make it a must watch and one of my favorite films of the year.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2012
Format: DVD
Seriously... without a doubt... one of the deepest ,suspenseful, suck you into it movies I have ever seen.. This dark drama, is horrifying, sentimental, wonderful and I could go on and on.. A true test of ones emotional extremes.. Short side is I really liked it.. The acting is superb, it is 100 % believable and has NOTHING to do with pre-historic creatures, but centers on good old EMOTION. The strong dialect, is challenging at times to understand, but to me added such a fine quality to the production.. I never watch a movie twice, but the button at h u l u said replay, and I hit it.. The second time around I understood the words alot better..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This movie packs a punch. I like movies that make you feel. This was one of them. Worth the watch.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 22, 2012
Format: DVD
I just watched this movie for the first time On Demand on my tv last night, and it was a very powerful, disturbing movie. In fact this movie, along with Take Shelter, another independent movie are two of the best movies I've seen this year.

Tyrannosaur is a movie full of anger and redemption, and it did not disappoint. The acting, screenwriting and directing of this movie, not to mention the soundtrack were all A+. The story of a man so beaten down by his own anger at himself and the world, and an abused charity-shop worker mesh together in a way that left me thinking about this movie for hours.

I just had to come on amazon and give a review before purchasing this. I don't want to give any spoilers, but if you, like me, appreciate stories of the human condition and the spirit of redemption, you must watch this. Another keeper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
"The complex social dynamics, bare-bones realism, and the conflict within their characters makes for good study in Film Studies 101 and so does this Considine debut here which ticks all the plus points in a gritty and effective yet disturbing drama about internal and external trouble, violence, and torment in dreary old North Yorkshire. Think Gran Torino but with more c-words and less humour but more directorial psychoanalysis."

PRO: Performances from Mullan, Colman, and Marsan. Cinematography. Location and choice of color and design. Screenplay techniques and writing. Realism and conflict of its character.

CON: Some points of reference fluster (i.e. police, crime).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This is about a guy with a bad attitude. Naturally he has few friends and gets into lots of ugly situations. Life has dealt him
a poor hand, but deep inside he malleable enough to change for the better if given half a chance. He meets this woman
who has real problems of her own. Can they help each other? Watch to find out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Well written, well acted, and incredibly real. Certainly not a light hearted movie. There is no real heroin, but you find yourself rooting for both main characters. Great movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
with a twist to surprise you! Its a bit gritty and makes you appreciate your own life. Great struggles and acting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
While watching this intense movie I came to understand some of the negative reviews posted online here, even as I wholeheartedly disagreed with them. Yes, the movie starts out with the central, widowed character kicking his dog, carrying it home, and watching it die, as the animal stares reproachfully at his drunken master. And yes, a woman is pissed on, as she feigns sleep on the family sofa. Letting us know from the outset what her life is like at the hands of her abusive husband (not the same guy). The scenes are brutal, yet altogether honest. Bleak to be sure, yet somehow it all works out in the end. Not in some nice, tidy Hollywood manifestation, mind you. But certainly in how the real world works. Sure, the main character is hard to watch at times, as he rages against the world, but if you stick it out until the end you'll be rewarded for the effort. He does indeed feel remorse for his terrible deed, and tries to mend his ways, but in the end the story comes full circle. Can't tell you more without ruining the startling ending. Amazing performances by the two lead actors. I can't recommend this one highly enough. Loved it so much I went ahead and purchased the dvd.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
This is not a children's movie. Bad people are bad, and the most you can hope for is a cessation of their bad acts, and not some predictable Hollywood redemption of their soul. Peter Mullen is, as usual, fabulous at portraying a down-and-out man on the edge of society. The only weakness in the script is how seldom the 'F' word is used. The movie should open with a full-screen shot of the '18+' icon, while Peter Mullen says the 'F' word repeatedly for 60 seconds uninterrupted, just to encourage the crybabies and idiots from Texas to turn off their TeeVees. If your world is all sunshine and lollipops, and your feelings are hurt by mean people and bad language, this film is not for you, and you should download a nice Hollywood rom-com to entertain you until your next trip to the big blue Big-box store to buy sheep chow.
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