A rookie criminal befriends a powerful underworld gangster in prison who orchestrates his daring escape. With a taste of the high life and a budding sexual relationship with the wrong girl, he gets sucked into the dangerous criminal world. Stars Ewan McGregor, Brenton Thwaites and Alicia Vikander.
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Looks like the Australian film industry is headed down the same road as Hollywood. Make a movie about horrible, murderous people and present them as heroes. The "heroes" is this one are career criminals, who shoot and kill police officers, prison guards and everyday workers, while stealing gold. The movie concludes with one sociopath happy to see a fellow sociopath steal enough money to settle into a happy family life. The writer believes the ends justify the means. The bad guys can be happy with "their" futures, while the families of the dead left in their wake will suffer forever. While the action and characters are interesting in a technical sense, the makers of this movie have no moral compass. It's nice to know that America isn't the only country losing it's way. One second thought, it's not nice to know any country and it's artists have lost their morality.
Nice surprise. As a Ewan McGregor fan, I was interested in checking this movie out and was delightfully surprised at how good it was. McGregor plays a hard core criminal this time, not much "good guy" in him at all. As usual, he was great in the part delivering an "all in" performance….yet again. Good acting all around, good directing, good story. Young guy (Brenton Thwaites - good actor) goes to prison for a minor crime and, to survive, gets involved with hardened criminal (McGregor) and his gang for protection. Protection is not free of course and the plot thickens nicely with lots of turns and twists. There's a lot to this movie, all handled well by the actors and director Julius Avery (who also wrote the film). The movie was made in Australia and released in Australia, UK, and Canada. If you like crime dramas, check this one out. And yes, there is violence. I'm going to watch it again, just to make sure I didn't miss anything.
It just gets better and better. I really liked this film. I am a big fan of Ewan McGregor; he almost always blows my socks off. Even as the rarely played dark, tough guy, he cannot help but be funny, especially in the last third of this film. I like the close up use of frontal view camera tracking shots; they really add to all of the shots in prison. I saw Brenton Thwaites in "The Signal", which I did not like very much, and I like sci-fi, etc. I won't get into that film here, as it was not Brenton Thwaites' fault it didn't work for me. However, he is perfectly cast in this film, as is Alicia Vikander, yet another outstanding young Swedish actress (I am nuts about Noomi Rapace), The supporting cast is good (Matt Nable stood out). I definitely think both Brenton Thwaites and Alicia Vikander have terrific careers in front of themselves. Ms. Vikander has already been in several very good films, and landed the starring role in the recently opened "Ex Machina". This a true story; not one of those "based on such and such" films. The real criminal this is about is up for parole in 5 years, although he has other charges he can be tried for.
A must-watch for fans of Ewan McGregor. While the two younger stars playing the romantic couple in this film fall pretty flat, McGregor gives the somewhat villainous Brendan shades of depth and subtlety that make him a fascinating character, only falling slightly short of Byronic heroism in that he is, after all, a thief. However, Brendan has a rigorous code of ethics that makes him interesting. I found the performances by Jacek Koman (Sam) and Matt Nable (Sterlo) similarly nuanced and intriguing, leaving me wondering about the characters' histories together.
The most serious complaint I have is that the story takes entirely too long to establish. The film is nearly half over before the plot finally realizes its intent to get you invested in the characters' relationships to one another and emotionally involved in what they're doing/why they're doing it.
Bare with me, it will end soon. The acting was top notch for this kind of thing; I believed every character flaw. Mr. McGregor used his usual "bully on the block - who also thinks he is charming" act, punching and yelling, and shooting and punching some more. There is a pause to burn everything and imply brief feelings of emotion, something which none are capable of, because they are all some form of anti-social-ites. Oh hey, and all with a happy narcissistic ending, and a couple of cons attempting to sail off into the sunset, but not together. Did I mention a truck chase and unrealistic gun spatter AND a helicopter that does NOT crash after a gun fight? I must attest that after I found out how easily bullets travel through sheet metal, it has become hard for me not to negatively judge run and gun films that ignore known physics completely. It's like going to an atheist convention but everyone is praying; it just shouldn't be done dam it.
Reviewed in the United States on September 28, 2015
Good movie! I wouldn't rate it to be a B movie. All actors did a good job! I believe it is Australian, the film making differs from the usual american type of film making, but it is well done. Before you watch, fine tune your ears! Ewan McGregor speaks with a Scottish accent, the girl has a Russian accent, the boy speaks "clearest" of them all, and the rest have Australian accents. The story-line has a bit of everything: Prison reality, life of the mob, dangerous romance, loyalty between outlaws. You can see some violence (and a few bare breasts), but nothing too extreme. If you like movies about prison breaks, outlaws on the run, with a few twists and (in my eyes) a good ending, this is one for you.
Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2016
Standard-fare stylish crime thriller. Young up-and-coming Aussie actor Brenton Thwaites is the callow prison inmate protagonist, while Ewan MacGregor isn't quite convincing as his tough-guy mentor in crime. After they fashion a daring prison breakout, a series of capers ensues. Plenty of nice plot twists and turns, as would be expected in a crime thriller, but the main attraction here may be the classy Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, who's the flavor of the moment (Ex Machina and The Danish Girl). Might be worth and hour and a half of your time, depending.
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent Gritty Crime Drama from Australia
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2016
I do not write a lot of reviews but feel compelled on this occasion. I'm amazed at the ill informed professional reviewers who have incorrectly criticised this top movie. There is an escape sequence involving a helicopter (no more spoilers) that many reviewers have reported as being ridiculously unlikely. Well some years back a successful jail break occurred in Australia in EXACTLY the way the film portrayed. A case of art imitating life!
In fact, one of the notable aspects of the film is the very realistic action sequences. Gritty and real... like the characters themselves. Cars don't fly through the air due to standard old gags like the pipe roll or under floor cannon.... and they don't spontaneously explode on impact either. Some reviewers see this sort of restraint as evidence of a tight budget.... I see it as a far more realistic, and therefore engaging, style of filmmaking.
Supercilious, smug professional reviewers so often seem to think that their movie review is about THEM.... about how coolly critical they can make themselves appear.... only half watching films while they play with their phones. Because of this, "Rotten Tomatoes" now lists this top little crime drama with a mediocre percentage rating. Highly unfair and a poor misrepresentation of "Son of a Gun".
"Son of a Gun" has a good story with well drawn characters and some great action..... and it's as hard as a cold chisel.... Recommended indeed.
This film is set in Western Australia, predominantly Kalgoorlie and Perth. It's an exciting action film with strong performances and I enjoyed it. I had the added bonus of actually meeting Ewan McGregor during the making of the film and he was charming. Enjoyable and I recommend it!
Ein gelungener Aktion Film der in keiner Sammlung fehlen darf.
Die Kühle der endlosen Strände und die Hitze der gnadenlosen Australischen Wüste bilden die Kulisse für SON OF A GUN, ein rasanter Crime Thriller mit Ewan McGregor, Shooting Star Brenton Thwaites und der bezaubernden Alicia Vikander (A ROYAL AFFAIR, ANNA KARENINA)in den Hauptrollen.Im Gefängnis lernt der 18-jährige JR den gewieften Schwerverbrecher Brendan kennen, der ihn unter seine Fittiche nimmt und vor einer Gang brutaler Vergewaltiger beschützt. Im Gegenzug hilft JR ihm beim Ausbruch. Allmählich wird dem Teenager aber klar, dass er von Brendan nur ausgenutzt wird.
In einem australischen Gefängnis nimmt das kriminelle Schwergewicht Brandon den Jungen JR unter seine Fittiche. Nach seinem Ausbruch nimmt Brandon JR in seine Mannschaft für den nächsten Überfall auf. Sie wollen eine Goldmine plündern und die unregistrierten Barren verkaufen. Brandon hat Zweifel an JR, da der sich mit einem Mädchen angefreundet hat. Allerdings können sie ihrem Geschäftspartner auch nicht trauen. Gier und Misstrauen entzweien sie immer mehr.
Gut gespielt mit einigen Längen. Ewan McGregor trägt den Film, Alicia Vikander wird zur Begleitpuppe degradiert. Brenton Thwaites kann neben McGregor kaum glänzen
Un bon petit film d'action, bien mené et sans racolage. On peut même parler d'un film quelque peu à l'ancienne tant "Son Of A Gun" utilise scrupuleusement les codes du genre et ne verse jamais dans les effets spéciaux à outrance ou les explosions à tout va. Le film se pare même d'obsessions à la Michael Mann très bienvenues, voire à des emprunts purs et simples. Ce qui lui donne un caractère élégant et esthétiquement posé.
Le film joue sur la relation entre Ewan McGregor, taulard chef de gang et multirécidiviste, et un petit jeune pour qui McGregor jouera dès lors la figure du père. Là où un film comme "Un Prophète" jouait à fond sur cette relation jusqu'aux confins de la psyché de chaque personnage (ce qui en faisait un film fascinant), "Son Of A Gun" ne s'en sert que pour mieux poser son intrigue. Le film demeure un film d'action et ne cherche pas à s'en détourner. Sans réel génie, l'histoire est déroulée simplement et avec rigueur, amenant le film jusqu'à son dénouement salvateur et bien foutu.
Alors voilà, on passe invariablement un bon moment. Car plusieurs choses font, mine de rien, outre l'absence de reproches quant à son scénario et à sa réalisation, basculer la donne du bon côté. D'une part, le film se passe en Australie. Cela lui donne un petit élément exotique fort attrayant, un petit goût de terre fumante et étouffante qui enveloppe le tout d'une faconde originale. Deuxièmement, il faut souligner ici la performance des acteurs. En premier lieu bien sûr Ewan McGregor, au regard psychotique, fort convaincant en taulard belliqueux. Il campe vraiment très bien son personnage, jusqu'à la dernière image, excellente chute (son regard amusé en dit long). Amusant de le voir tout calme et tout tranquille en comparaison dans l'interview des bonus ! Ce gars, qui ne fait pas de vagues médiatiques et ne fait jamais le buzz de la presse people, passe d'un rôle différent à l'autre au gré de ses films qui, au passage, ne sont jamais racoleurs. McGregor apparait de plus en plus comme un sacré acteur hyper compétent, capable, finalement, de tout jouer.
Ne pas négliger non plus le petit jeune, Brenton Thwaites, qui tient tête à McGregor sans problème et réussit à s'affirmer dans chacune des nombreuses scènes où il apparait. On citera également la craquante Alicia Vikander, personnage féminin du film, qui réussit malgré tout, dans un film très masculin voire macho, à tirer son épingle du jeu. Ces acteurs font aussi la différence et apportent une belle touche d'intérêt au film puisqu'ils lui donnent, tout simplement, de la substance, du corps et de l'âme.
En conclusion, "Son Of A Gun", sans être incroyable ou apporter du grain à moudre au cinéma, est parfaitement réalisé et déroule le fil de son histoire sans aucune anicroche. Apre, tendu, et de plus en plus, au fur et à mesure que le temps passe, jusqu'à une fin très réussie, ce film vous procure un bon moment d'évasion, de suspense et d'action. Sans forfanterie, démesure ou scènes d'action trop bruyantes. C'est donc une gentille réussite qui se tient bien droit dans ses bottes.
3.0 out of 5 starsSon Of A Gun Will Leave You Gun-Shy.......
Reviewed in Canada on June 6, 2015
This is a very slow an Methodical movie, this kid Brenton Thwaites “The Signal” who acts like he’s almost holding back his performance for some reason, like slow ketchup, is so good, the ending is like the movie “The Score” with Robert De Niro” all the acting to this movie I question, some are very lame than others even “Ewan McGregor didn’t do his best work here, he’s so much better than this, some scenes like the prison didn’t convince me he was a bad dude, I think the director wanted some big know actor like him an didn’t know how to use him, I think this is the Australian version of a “French movie I’ve seen “A Prophet” Jean-Philippe Ricci”actor, now That movie my friends is wayy better, not that this wasn’t good but man you have Got to see “A Prophet, the prison scene in this one was too clean for my taste everyone look like there’re on holiday at a resort of some kind, Son Of A Gun Will Leave You Gun-Shy....... you don't need to give this four or five stars, that's like telling a big lie.
5.0 out of 5 starsHätte mehr Bekanntheit verdient...
Reviewed in Germany on November 17, 2015
...sehr guter, spannender Thriller, mit glaubhaften Schauspielern (vor allem Ewan Mc Gregor überzeugt erwartungsgemäß) und ebensolcher Aktionszenen. Wer die Art von Filmen wie "Heat" o.ä. mag, wird sicher auch seine Freude mit diesem haben.