Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Love or Hate 'American Sniper,' We're Brought Together By Its Bad Fake Baby Love or Hate 'American Sniper,' We're Brought Together By Its Bad Fake Baby 'Better Call Saul': 'Breaking Bad' Prequel Accepts the Charges 'Better Call Saul': 'Breaking Bad' Prequel Accepts the Charges 'Girls' Outrage Tracker: Season 4, Episode 2, 'Triggering' 'Girls' Outrage Tracker: Season 4, Episode 2, 'Triggering' Why the Unanimous Praise for 'Boyhood' Is Bad for Film Criticism — and for 'Boyhood' Why the Unanimous Praise for 'Boyhood' Is Bad for Film Criticism — and for 'Boyhood' 'The End of the Tour' Sundance Reviews: Jason Segel Impresses as David Foster Wallace 'The End of the Tour' Sundance Reviews: Jason Segel Impresses as David Foster Wallace 'Girls' Outrage Tracker: Season 4, Episode 1, 'Iowa' 'Girls' Outrage Tracker: Season 4, Episode 1, 'Iowa' The A.V. Club's 25 Best Sitcom Episodes of the Past 25 Years: 'Seinfeld,' 'The Simpsons' and More The A.V. Club's 25 Best Sitcom Episodes of the Past 25 Years: 'Seinfeld,' 'The Simpsons' and More First Reviews of Johnny Depp's 'Mortdecai': Scraping Bottom With a Waxed Moustache First Reviews of Johnny Depp's 'Mortdecai': Scraping Bottom With a Waxed Moustache Not at Sundance? Watch 14 Festival Films Via Sundance's #ArtistServices Not at Sundance? Watch 14 Festival Films Via Sundance's #ArtistServices 'Strange Magic' Reviews: Yup, That's Late Period George Lucas, All Right 'Strange Magic' Reviews: Yup, That's Late Period George Lucas, All Right Daily Reads: Stop Pitting 'Broad City' Against 'Girls,' How Political Pundits Warp 'American Sniper,' and more Daily Reads: Stop Pitting 'Broad City' Against 'Girls,' How Political Pundits Warp 'American Sniper,' and more 'Going Clear' Sundance Reviews: A Scorching Takedown of Scientology 'Going Clear' Sundance Reviews: A Scorching Takedown of Scientology Meet the Indiewire | Sundance Institute Ebert Film Criticism Fellows, 2015 Meet the Indiewire | Sundance Institute Ebert Film Criticism Fellows, 2015 Now Streaming: 'The Interview' and Other Movies That Didn't Get Us Threatened Now Streaming: 'The Interview' and Other Movies That Didn't Get Us Threatened Cahiers du Cinema's Top 10 Movies of 2014: 'Goodbye to Language,' 'Under the Skin,' 'Love Is Strange' Cahiers du Cinema's Top 10 Movies of 2014: 'Goodbye to Language,' 'Under the Skin,' 'Love Is Strange' Criticwire Classic of the Week: Jim Jarmusch's 'Dead Man' Criticwire Classic of the Week: Jim Jarmusch's 'Dead Man' The Scrambled Sexuality of 'Frozen's "Let It Go" The Scrambled Sexuality of 'Frozen's "Let It Go" 'Disney Deaths' and 'Big Hero 6': How Children's Stories Process Loss 'Disney Deaths' and 'Big Hero 6': How Children's Stories Process Loss Daily Reads: Movie Monsters That Look Like Genitalia, Why It Feels Like There's Too Much TV and More Daily Reads: Movie Monsters That Look Like Genitalia, Why It Feels Like There's Too Much TV and More Daily Reads: The Epic Uncool of Philip Seymour Hoffman's Career, How Scarlett Johansson Subverts Her Good Looks and More Daily Reads: The Epic Uncool of Philip Seymour Hoffman's Career, How Scarlett Johansson Subverts Her Good Looks and More

The 2013 Cannes Review Report: 'Only God Forgives'

Criticwire By Matt Singer | Criticwire May 22, 2013 at 9:33AM

What critics are saying/tweeting about the new film from the director and star of "Drive."
6
"Only God Forgives."
"Only God Forgives."

The Cannes Review Report rounds up each day's notable premieres, along with a sampling of their reviews and tweets from the south of France. Here's the reaction to "Only God Forgives," the new film from Nicolas Winding Refn, the director of "Drive."

"Only God Forgives"
Category: Competition
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm
Synopsis: "Julian, an American fugitive from justice, runs a boxing club in Bangkok as a front for his drug business. His mother, the head of a vast criminal organization, arrives from the US to collect the body of her favorite son, Billy. Julian’s brother has just been killed after having savagely murdered a young prostitute. Crazy with rage and thirsty for vengeance she demands the head of the murderers from Julian. But first, Julian must confront Chang, a mysterious retired policeman -- and figurehead of a divine justice -- who has resolved to scourge the corrupt underworld of brothels and fight clubs."

Reviews:

Mark Adams, Screen Daily:

"A mesmerisingly moody and stylishly violent crime drama."

Ryland Aldrich, Twitch:

"Get ready, the most badass art film ever is coming your way."

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian:

"An emotionally breathtaking, aesthetically brilliant and immensely violent thriller."

Dave Calhoun, Time Out London:

"Style over substance doesn’t really tell the half of it: you can bathe a corpse in groovy light and dress it in an expensive suit, but in the end that rotting smell just won't go away."

Peter Debruge, Variety:

"As hyper-aggressive revenge fantasies go, it's curious to see one so devoid of feeling."

Jessica Kiang, The Playlist:

"Delivers what we might have thought we wanted but with diminishing returns: Refn's trademark visual style is indulged to a dizzying degree (to an almost self-parodic extreme in the early stages) but is unmoored to any kind of satisfying or coherent narrative throughline."

Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent:

"Visually, this is stunning fare."

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter:

"A menacingly atmospheric mood piece that will not disappoint devotees of the Nicolas Winding Refn church of fetishistic hyper-violence."

Sasha Stone, Awards Daily:

"This film, 'Only God Forgives,' is a single layer deep. There is nothing more to it."

Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere:

"Movies really don't get much worse than Nicholas Winding Refn's 'Only God Forgives.' It's a shit macho fantasy."

Damon Wise, Empire:

"Larry Smith's cinematography is superb, and his crisp, sometimes hallucinatory visuals are complimented by Cliff Martinez's thrumming score."

Tweets:

Robbie Collin, The Telegraph:

"Only God Forgives is a beautiful disaster. Really doesn't work in the slightest, but very happy it exists. #Cannes2013"

William Goss, MSN Movies:

"Only God Forgives: despite a stoic Gosling, closer to what Refn's done besides Drive/Pusher - slow, surreal, occasionally violent. #Cannes"

Jordan HoffmanFilm.com:

"I am officially announcing that ONLY GOD FORGIVES gets better the more you think about it."

Guy Lodge, HitFix:

"ONLY GOD FORGIVES (C+) Sort of transfixing as lacquered blood ballet; as storytelling, it never shows up. Crushing on KST et Cliff Martinez."

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune:

"Hilarious number of journos at #Cannes2013 post-ONLY GOD FORGIVES now saying: "Well, I take back what I wrote about DRIVE/BRONSON etc etc."

This article is related to: Cannes Review Report, The Review Report, Cannes Film Festival, Nicolas Winding Refn, Ryan Gosling


E-Mail Updates