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Jacob Zembower's Movie Reviews (114)

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Only God Forgives 
Only God Forgives
3/4 stars

Nicolas Winding Refn's follow up to his near-perfect last picture 'Drive' is not quite as brilliant. It serves lurid violence, unrestrained depravity, and delicious style on a truly freezing platter. Ryan Gosling, a talented actor, gives an absolute non-performance this time around. If you thought he was emotionless and quiet in Drive, you haven't seen anything yet. Maybe that is the point considering the man vs. God undercurrent to the story, but it can't be denied that he's almost entirely uninterested. Fortunately though there is Kristen Scott Thomas, who steals every scene she is in with chewing every object in the room and spitting it on the floor. She's a vile character, but Thomas is fascinating and hilariously offensive and complex, and she pulls it off flawlessly. The best aspects of Only God Forgives, however, is it's intoxicating visual style. Every shot, every moment, every scene, is infused with dazzling cinematography. It's a phantasmagorical feast for the eyes and senses. The original musical score is also tops. Ultimately, Only God Forgives is deeply flawed, but a strong piece of entrancing style over substance. Lynchian and only for the strongest of stomachs, even if you hate the film (and many will) it's a unique and unforgettable curio. (R- graphic brutal violence including grisly disturbing images, strong sexual content and nudity, drugs, and pervasive language.)


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