A traumatized veteran, unafraid of violence, tracks down missing girls for a living. When a job spins out of control, Joe's nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered leading to what may be his death trip or his awakening.
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Reviewed in the United States on November 11, 2018
Went in expecting to see a good movie with an actor I used to like. So bad it pissed me off. Deserves a negative 5. Art scenes and music out of place for subject matter; product of a sick, twisted mind. Moreover, what was going on with Phoenix's need to keep taking off his shirt? Made me want to reach for eye bleach and a barf bag. Longest 90 minutes of my life; waited in vain for something to happen. Most exciting part of the movie? The ending credits. Heard this POS received a seven-minute standing ovation at some effete film festival...I suspect applause triggered from relief of it finally ending.
This is a very uncomfortable film to sit through. It deals with the horrors of sex trafficking of underage girls. The acting is perfect and the way it is shot and with the sound effects and music, it is just breath taking and pulls you into the movie as if you were there as a silent observer. Joaquin plays a guy for hire that tracks down and rescues missing girls. He is hired to do a job that gets stuck with him personally. I don't want to give out too many details because it is so good. You will not forget this film after seeing it. They play a song when he infiltrates a sex parlor with underage girls that will haunt you for a while. The film is creepy but you will cheer for it. It's just disgusting that this stuff happens in real life. Great job to the actors and director of the film!!! Best Film so far of 2018! I think this is Amazon's first movie and it is awesome! Great Job Amazon!!!
Joaquin Phoenix is an amazing actor. The movie was too lagging in telling the story. The sound was not consistent as the speaking was very low while music and background noise was much louder... found myself increasing and decreasing volume.
This is a stellar film. If you’re a fan of Joaquin Phoenix it’s a must see. It was great and brutal, like a modern retelling of “Taxi Driver” with an extra emphasis on the protaginst’s post traumatic stress disorder. It’s definitely a slow burning movie, you can pretty much tell that from the trailer and who the director is. Her films are very artsy and studious of the unhinged human mind. I’d say a good 60% of the violence is off screen or implied but the violence it does show is gruesome and grizzly which I think gives the film a heavier air. There’s so many scenes of silence and the protagonist reflecting that when something brutal does happen it makes it even more jarring. All around, it was great storytelling. The only thing that’s a bummer about this release is there are no special features and these kind of films are the kind that would greatly benefit from director’s/actor’s commentary or a behind the scenes featurette. Regardless, I am still happy with this purchase because it’s not every film you get to see Joaquin Phoenix beat antagonists to death with a hammer. Overall, I give this film eight Goldblums out of a possible ten Goldblums. (8/10)
Very creative and unique approach to telling a story about the destructiveness of sex trafficking. The memory flashbacks of Joe showing that though he had also been screwed up in is upbringing, he could still step out of his safety zone and help destroy men who were perpetrators. The point of view of the story is excellent.
What an exceptionally dark, and very compelling movie. Joaquin Phoenix gave me this very creepy ,very Javier Bardem from Old Country feel. He was very quiet, and calculated, choosing a ball peen hammer instead of an air tank as his weapon, but no less striking and scary in its action. While there was points in the movie that felt very untold and twisted around, it plays through properly from Joe's standpoint. He's losing his grasp of reality slowly and trying to offset the decline of his mind with pills, which it seems only serve to accelerate the pain and disconnection from reality. For those that say this movie isn't worth the rental cost. I have no idea what movie you watched, or what you were expecting from it. But to downplay the performance is doing a disservice to Phoenix performance.
While the content is dark, its a wonderful story and it shines a light on a very real darkness in our world that needs to have its images brought forward and slammed into your mind.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2018
Good acting by Joaquin Phoenix , but as for production and directorship total rubbish. How long does it have to focus on one person or subject where there is nothing happening? Music score? what music? Just constant noise. Wait until it comes on to TV; don't waste your money.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 22, 2018
Powerful piece of film-making, though perhaps not quite what you might expect given the plot description. Really not fair, and is rather misleading, to compare this film to Taxi Driver. The latter is a classic, whilst You Were Never... is bordering on bleak art-house, with the protagonist coming from a different motivational starting point. Blu-Ray extras are very minimal - in fact just one, very short one containing nothing substantial - which was very disappointing.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 26, 2018
Joaquin Phoenix, what a performance, just wow!. But what set this film apart for me was a truly mesmerizing score by the supremely talented Jonny Greenwood, the music got right under my skin and left me completely awe-struck. Some describe this film as 'Taken' but with an art-house feel. How insulting is that! This movie will become a cult classic. Taken will not. This isn't an action film for the masses, but a slow and meticulously crafted masterpiece that is character driven. One for a mature audience that appreciates cinema in its purist form.
4.0 out of 5 starsYou’re alive,there’s no cure for that.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 27, 2018
Great performance as usual from phoenix ,not surpassing the master but pretty close .Plays a suicidal damaged mercenary liberating girls from drug sex dens using understandably brutal methods.It could have been longer exploring several cases but his character would fundamentally not change due to his trauma during childhood,army and police past hence the title .His feelings have been expunged allowing him to do what he does and limiting his contact behaviour in normal society.An engrossing performance.