The Vicious Kind- 4 stars—This movie reminds me of the films I love from the early 2000's/late 90's (rent "All the Real Girls", "Margot at the Wedding", and "The Squid and the Whale" now if you haven't seen them yet). Director Lee Toland Krieger succeeds in his attempt to make the modern, young Neil LaBute film. Centering on the self-destructive nature of big brother Caleb (a superb Adam Scott who earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination) and the way his loneliness and confusion bleeds over and negatively effects his relationship with his family. Closest to his sting is his brother Peter (Alex Frost) and his new girlfriend Emma (Brittany Snow- wow! I hope she makes more films like this and leaves "Prom Night" style remakes alone). Slowly it is revealed the motivation behind Caleb's anger and how his own relationship and mistrust of his Dad (indie staple J.K. Simmons) has lead him down this path. Can he be redeemed? How damaged is too damaged? In lesser hands and certainly with a worse script; Caleb would be unlikeable, an asshole we wish something bad would happen to. Instead, we find ourselves relating to his depression and finding shades of ourselves in the way he chooses to act out. Who hasn't wanted to scare and tell off the aloof object of our desire? To say what we think when we think it? To self-destruct only so far as to be interesting but without causing permanent damage? Certainly I have. I don't want to mislead you- this movie is actually pretty funny; the sadness balanced out with wise cracks and prat falls. I am also in awe of Krieger's ability to write such a realistic young female character. I really liked it and cannot wait to see what Krieger has in store for us next.
Next week will bring a lot more reviews, promise. Until then, I hope everyone enjoys the Oscar's tonight and good luck to all of you participating in the "Oscar draft". My full review will be available tomorrow.
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