Ben Mendelsohn

Mississippi Grind

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A24 | R | Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
Pictured:
You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.

6(Note: The following review was originally published at Consequence of Sound.)

At first, Mississippi Grind might trick you into thinking it’s a raw gambling feature. An indie with two dudes out on the open road, photographed with Altman-esque naturalism as they struggle with their demons and push each other into mischief? The directors, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, are known for this kind of stuff and have a navel gazer’s penchant for society’s side characters, the under-appreciated and misunderstood. Gamblers? They’re outliers, and just plain liars. (more…)

Starred Up

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Tribeca Film | UR | David Mackenzie
Pictured: Hug therapy was a bold call for the new inmate program, but Roger was committed, dammit!

7Starred Up might be one of the darker, bloodier coming-of-age films of recent vintage. That’s what David Mackenzie’s prison saga is, after all: the story of Eric Love (Jack O’Connell, or Cook from the BBC Skins), a furiously violent teenager transferred to the general population of an English prison after reaching the proper age. There, he finds his father Neville (Ben Mendelsohn), an imposing figure who Eric hasn’t seen in years, and a host of men looking to exploit, kill, or perhaps even rehabilitate Eric. (more…)