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Kenneth Turan’s film pick of the week: ‘Animal Kingdom’

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There are films that are satisfying in and of themselves, and there are films that offer the additional pleasure of starting a career that you can feel is going somewhere. It’s not that anyone seeing Christopher Nolan’s “Following” back in 1998 would necessarily have predicted “Inception,” but the sense that this was a director worth watching was inescapable. As it is with Australian writer-director David Michod’s impressive debut with “Animal Kingdom.”

“Animal Kingdom” is an art house crime saga that will put your heart in your mouth. This moody modern-day film noir, which took the highly competitive world cinema jury prize at Sundance, manages to be both laconic and operatic. Faultlessly acted by top Australian talent including Guy Pearce, Ben Mendelsohn and Jacki Weaver, “Animal Kingdom” marries heightened emotionality with cool contemporary style to illustrate one of the oldest of genre truths: “Crooks always come undone, always, one way or another.”

--Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times film critic


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