The Vicious Kind

2009

Comedy / Drama

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 70%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 70%
IMDb Rating 7 10 7396

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
July 24, 2020 at 11:46 AM

Cast

Brittany Snow as Emma Gainsborough
Adam Scott as Caleb Sinclaire
J.K. Simmons as Donald Sinclaire
Alysia Reiner as Samantha
720p.WEB
843.47 MB
1280*534
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by david-5160 8 / 10

Elegant characterisation

An elegant study in character and the use of subtle good vs evil interplay in the presentation of a character to an audience. Caleb, the character in question, is the true focus of the movie, though the camera dwells lovingly on the beautiful Emma ("a dark angel, does your sister dye her hair black like that? It's very flattering") for obvious reasons.

Our feelings for Caleb shift constantly from bemusement, to loathing, to admiration to astonishment, but the balance is always cleverly maintained in his favour (juxtaposed by a less than flattering portrayal of his brother as the prudish 'republican') and with the climax of the film, despite his often atrocious behaviour, Caleb is the lovable anti-hero. We find ourselves, against our better judgement, rooting for him.

Kreiger has created one of the most memorable personalities in a modern film - a true train wreck of a character and one you will not forget in a hurry - and a masterclass in independent film making. Forget Paranormal Activity. Here is a budget movie worthy of the indie tag and your attention.

Reviewed by propast 9 / 10

A redemptive sojourn over potentially familiar ground

The indies about dysfunctional families are many in number but tend to be low in quality. It's a subgenre that lends itself to tired cliché, poor comedy, and over-the-top preciosity. The Vicious Kind throws all that bunk out the window and commits 100% to its tropes – this is not a family where everybody gets along at the end of the day and we're just there to laugh and feel good about ourselves. The father is not a goofy slacker, but a deeply troubled, unfaithful man. The older brother doesn't resent his younger sibling, he actively betrays him. He's not on uneasy terms with his father, he's altogether estranged. The mother isn't the passive observer trying to keep it together; she died many years ago. This is still a comedy, but a very dark one.

On a more specific level, the film is about Caleb, an embittered misogynist with a fervent belief that "all women are whores". While giving his brother and his new girlfriend a drive home for Thanksgiving, he develops a peculiar set of feelings for her – she so resembles his ex, who two-timed him… twice. On the one hand, he repeatedly warns her not to cheat on his brother. On the other, he can't quite leave her alone. Only after seeing her can he get some sleep; an insomniac, he seems to be hurtling toward self-destruction, his actions erratic. He says awful things and then apologizes for them sincerely. He gets into fights and treats people like dirt. He's the archetypal anti-hero, a chain-smoking, unhappy construction worker. One wonders why he ended up where he is, because he's clearly an intelligent man.

The other segment of the film deals with his relationship with his father, long ago foiled when a rift formed between him and his wife. The first time Donald sees Caleb in eight years, he threatens to shoot him. Their arc, however, much like every one in this film, is ultimately cathartic.

Caleb is so certain of every woman's innate unfaithfulness, he assumes it of Emma as soon as he meets her. It's only after the deed is done and he gives in to his baser urges that he realizes that he himself is the facilitator, the cause. His theories on women are certainly reinforced by her actions, but only because of him. He is the cause of everything he hates, and it forces him to reevaluate his perspective and maybe, finally, lay his past to rest.

It's a humble plot, but Krieger's confident direction and zipline editing that never allows for us to lose sight of Caleb's desperation keeps the story from ever growing stale. Of course, the true reason it works so well is the acting; this is one of the year's finest ensembles.

Brittany Snow plays the kind of character who can easily become forgettable or two-dimensional, but keeps a kind of earthy realism to her characterization. It's a subtle performance, one easily passed over, but her image of repression and conflicting desire sticks in the memory after the film is long over.

Now, J.K. Simmons – here is an actor who needs a big, juicy role in a big, juicy film, because he so clearly has the potential to win an Oscar. He's played the father figure before, but here, sporting a light New York drawl (or some similar accent, so subtle I can't quite place it), he paints the portrait of a sad, regretful old man trying to cling to scraps of his youth and keep his sons on his side along the way. Caleb's betrayal hit him hard.

Adam Scott's is a performance that was not what I was expecting. Caleb is the role many would kill for, a mess of a man, bitter, angry, miserable in turn, jaded with the world. He wears a shell of cynicism and brusque rudeness five inches thick, and then suddenly lets it melt and shows something of the wounded creature he hides within. He has a few scenes that are devastating in their honesty – and then turns around and delivers the clever barbs the script gives him with easy aplomb.

With that whip-smart dialogue never impeding the film's sincerity and a wonderful ensemble, The Vicious Kind packs an emotional punch that most films of its sort lack.

Reviewed by secondtake 7 / 10

A smart, small cast, ensemble movie, engrossing once you let it hook you.

The Vicious Kind (2009)

This sneaks up on you. At first you can't believe how awful the older brother is, mean and acerbic, but he's strangely perceptive and quick, too. Played by Adam Scott, he's really a wonder to watch, and he makes the movie. The other three main characters end up being strong but supporting roles, making for a great small ensemble performance. And they have a curious, not spectacular, but nuanced plot. It's filled with little clichés we are sure we've seen before, but it all has an odd arc to it, and a cutting, believable edge, and it takes on a life of its own.

This is only director Lee Toland Krieger's second film, and it shows a kind of deft handling of young people's problems that is precocious, and promising. Adam Scott has been knocking about for fifteen years, and has crossed paths with some of the best (he has been in some quality t.v. like "Six Feet Under," and was a secondary character in "The Aviator" among many others). The father in "The Vicious Kind," a pivotal character in explaining the motives behind the two sons, is that strong character actor, J.K. Simmons, who has trouble shedding his previous roles (including a more comic version of the same thing in "Juno").

A whole greater than the sum of its parts. Captivating. Not to be underestimated.

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