YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE Review – It's Hammer Time!

Share this:

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE Review

by Staci Layne Wilson

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE ReviewDirector Lynne Ramsay, though not prolific, has made a name for herself with movies that make disturbing, yet thought-provoking impressions on the viewer. In 2012 We Need to Talk About Kevin was the talk of the cinephile clique; now she’s back with another curio centered on a deeply dysfunctional character.

Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) is a hammer-wielding former FBI agent and Marine suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder—from both his abusive childhood and the horrors of war—making him the perfect assassin to do whatever needs to be done, because he just doesn’t (or can’t) care. Operating in the fringes of society while still managing to dutifully care for his erasable elderly mother (Judith Roberts), Joe finds a balance of sorts. When Joe is hired by State Senator Albert Votto (Alex Manette) to quietly find and rescue his abducted teenage daughter Nina (Ekaterina Samsonov), and make her captors suffer, Joe thinks it’s just another job… but it could be his undoing.

You Were Never Really Here weaves a dark and absorbing yarn with the use of here-and-now action, graphic flashbacks, and dire delusions. It’s an extraordinarily violent film, yet it’s peppered with small moments of poignant grace. For example, in a scene after Joe has mortally wounded a hitman, he lays down beside the man so he won’t have to die alone.

The music during the aforementioned death scene—and all of them—are right on the money. The spare and haunting score is by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood (whose collaborations with Paul Thomas Anderson have earned him many awards) and it’s aptly augmented by simple, unvarnished cinematography courtesy of Tom Townsend.

Phoenix is respected, but largely underrated. As for Ramsay, she’s the superstar no one really knows about—she’s made only four feature films in 19 years. It’s quality over quantity. This is a tour de force of director and actor, each making You Were Never Really Here their very own. It’s not an easy watch, but it’s a must-watch.

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE Review

By Staci Layne Wilson

 

Rated R

89 Minutes

Get times and tickets at Fandango.com.

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE Review

By Staci Layne Wilson

Share this:
Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson is an accomplished writer / director / producer / film critic and the author the bestseller So L.A. - A Hollywood Memoir. Find her on StaciLayneWilson.com

Leave a Comment





The Latest

BLACKKKLANSMAN Review—Will You Be a Card-Carrying Fan?

THE MEG Review – Getting Too Chummy With This Supersized Shark

DISNEY’S CHRISTOPHER ROBIN Review — A Taste of Honey

THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME Review — Girls Just Wanna Have Guns

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE — FALLOUT Review — I Stand Almost Alone in My Opinion

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES Review: Winston Says It’s “Better Than Any Live-Action DC Film So Far”

EIGHTH GRADE Review — For the Junior High Schooler in All of Us

MAMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN Review — Cheesy Yet Pleasy

NICO 1988 Review – Doom Cabaret at its Blue Best

Cue the Piano and Strings! The DOWNTON ABBEY MOVIE is ON!