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Only God Forgives

Drama . Thriller . Crime

Julian, who runs a Thai boxing club as a front organization for his family's drug smuggling operation, is forced by his mother Jenna to find and kill the individual responsible for his brother's recent death.

Actors: Wannisa Peungpa , Charlie Ruedpokanon , Yayaying Rhatha Phongam , Sahajak Boonthanakit , Byron Gibson , Vithaya Pansringarm , Tom Burke , Gordon Brown , Kristin Scott Thomas , Ryan Gosling
Directors: Nicolas Winding Refn
Release: 2013-05-22
More Info:
  • Damon Wise

    Experimental and uncompromising, Winding Refn and Gosling’s Drive follow-up is a tripped-out riff on the crime family movie in which The Grifters — literally — go to hell.

    Empire Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    Only God Forgives will, understandably, have people running for the exits, and running for the hills. It is very violent, but Winding Refn's bizarre infernal creation, an entire created world of fear, really is gripping. Every scene, every frame, is executed with pure formal brilliance.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    This is one of the most shocking and one of the best movies of the year.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    The movie contains little in terms of traditional action, and Refn never uses it in a rousing or exciting manner, either. That would break the nightmarish spell this strange, beautiful film casts on the viewer. A mother’s love has never been this ruinous.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Jesse Cataldo

    It takes the basic form of the revenge flick and dips it in tar, making for a movie that comes out sticky, nasty, and black.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Jessica Kiang

    Refn has consistently delivered films that have subverted our expectations, and has proven himself a master at stylistic self-reinvention, but this feels like the first time he’s gone back to any particular well.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • James Mottram

    It’s no "Drive," and even hardcore fans will struggle to love a film that’s as mad as a bag of prawn crackers, but as an exercise in style, it has many moments to savour.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    Only God Forgives suffers from the disconnect between its stylistic high-art archness and its content’s pulp gratuitousness. Refn gives every sequence a hushed consideration, but there’s rarely a sense that he’s earned it with equivalent profundity in theme.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    Crushingly, the dependably perverse art-action director Nicolas Winding Refn has finally made a boring movie.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • David Rooney

    Only God Forgives is a hypnotic fugue on themes of violence and retribution, drenched in corrosive reds.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Robbie Collin

    Only God Forgives is the spectacle of a brilliant young director spinning out in style. It’s a beautiful disaster.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Only God Forgives is the kind of remarkable disaster only a very talented director can make after he finds success and is then allowed to do whatever he wants.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Where "Drive" shrewdly mystifies, Only God Forgives stupefies. You can see its gears grinding. But I'll always hang on for a rare talent like Refn. Even when he stumbles, he leaves you eager to see what he's up to next.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    The results are sometimes striking, in pure visual terms, but rarely engaging; even as a brutish saga of underworld retribution, the film fails to get the heart pounding.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Refn may be taking himself too seriously or not taking anything seriously enough—it's hard to tell. But Only God Forgives, so brazen in its double-scorpion-bowl vision, is at least good for a giggle or two. Its sins are many, but after a while, it's not even worth keeping count.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Jordan Hoffman

    There’s no way to overstate the gorgeous look of this film, but the mannered dialogue and deliberateness of pace becomes less of an homage to Asian revenge films than a parody. Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    The movie is like one thin satiric lark inexplicably slowed down to the point of lethargy.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Jamie S. Rich

    Refn's trying to make too little stretch too far.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    It's a solemnly preposterous piece of designer revenge pulp, with actors who stand around bathed in red and blue light like David Lynch mannequins in between scenes of torture and murder.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    However mystifying, or downright boring, you find the result, rest assured that the Refn faithful will swoon. Peace be with them.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Refn’s expectation-defying choice is laudable in theory, but Only God Forgives is a pretty awful drama.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    God may forgive you for seeing this needlessly brutal film. But you won't forgive yourself.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    The Danish filmmaker's latest theater of the macabre is brutal, bloody, saturated with revenge, sex and death, yet stunningly devoid of meaning, purpose, emotion or decent lighting. Seriously. Artful shadows can certainly set a mood; too many and it merely looks like someone is trying too hard.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    Long after Only God Forgives concludes, only its scuzziness remains. This artistic misfire will forever be knocking on heaven’s door.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    The collision of violent spasms and art-film ennui leave the viewer’s brain bloody but unfilled.

    Time Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    The wallpaper emotes more than Ryan Gosling does in Only God Forgives, an exercise in supreme style and minimal substance.

    Variety Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Ugly, gore-strewn and, ultimately, ridiculous.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Sara Stewart

    The innovation of Refn’s latest is mostly just in the way it manages to merge gory and boring. At least it’s created a new movie adjective for me: goring.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    The most objectionable thing about Only God Forgives isn’t that it’s shocking or immoral, but that it’s so finally, fatally dull.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    What they're missing here is a story good enough to warrant visiting the same uncomfortably dark place and characters worth caring about. Instead, what we get is a film that boasts tons of atmosphere and flashes of Refn's visual style -- as well as an admirably unhinged performance from Kristen Scott Thomas -- but little else.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Only God Forgives would seem to be a parody of something or other — "Blue Velvet"? "Last Year At Marienbad"? — except that the film takes itself seriously to the point of suffocation in telling its lurid tale of slaughter and revenge.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    The movie is so devoid of emotion that its ritualized gore acts as a narcotic. Filmed in shades of red, with a minimal screenplay, Only God Forgives looks like a ghoulish fashion shoot in hell. Three words should suffice: pretentious macho nonsense.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Kerry Lengel

    It’s not that overwrought violence and human depravity are unfit grist for art, but without a compelling plot and a modicum of character development, all this film has to offer is a repugnant prurience and heavy-handed atmospherics.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Dave Calhoun

    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.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Ali Arikan

    Not only is this take on human relations unoriginal, it's also sophomoric and blatantly untrue. Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    In my own world, Only God Forgives plays somewhat differently. I thought it was just about the worst f---ing thing I’ve ever seen. In fact, I was depressed it wasn’t laughed off the screen.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Whether one thinks Only God Forgives is laughably awful — like, for instance, “Showgirls,” “The Color of Night” or “Battlefield: Earth” — or just plain terrible awful depends, appropriately, on how much you’re willing to forgive it.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    This is the worst, least, dumbest picture made by people of talent this year.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    In Cannes, one wag described it as “cinematic defecation” in print. I’d like to top that one, but as James Agee used to say, I know when I’m licked.

    New York Observer Full Review
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