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TravisBailey's avatar


Joaquim Phoenix equipped with a hammer walking through a Sill Life.
This mix of Taxi Driver and Drive by the directress Lynne Ramsay pays off.
6 years 7 months ago
252's avatar


Joaquin Phoenix really knows how to pick his roles. At one point, his eyes radiated righteous rage through the rear-view mirror, straight into the camera. A powerful, suspenseful, no-nonsense shot that encapsulates the masterful balance between suspense and release throughout the film. Tak -- Tak -- tak -- tak!
6 years 3 months ago
Modran's avatar


Don`t expect a kick ass action movie. But expect an amazing cinematic experience.
6 years 3 months ago
VagueVisages's avatar


More than his unpredictability, notwithstanding, it's Phoenix's depiction of Joe's spooky enduring that lingers longest. In maybe the film's most surprising sequence, Joe goes up against a home gatecrasher he's lethally shot in the stomach. Instead of demanding information before putting him out of his misery, Joe offers him a painkiller and after that lays down beside him on the floor, holding his hand and joining the man in a mumbly chime in to Charlene's "I've Never Been to Me." Like a later submerged suicide endeavor and the finale's allegorical restoration, it's a minute in which Joe discovers that comfort is achieved not from death but rather from empathy. It's a natural exercise given remarkable new life by You Were Never Really Here, a gem of tremendous excellence and sorrow stricken wrath that tunnels under your skin and into your head, and declines to clear out.
6 years 1 month ago
ikkegoemikke's avatar


McCleary said you were brutal.
I can be.
I want you to hurt them.


It’s not just the fact that defenseless young children are victims of unscrupulous people who use them in networks for pedophiles. The most disgusting aspect of this is that these circuits are visited by people who occupy important positions in daily life. Individuals who show a respectable and neat appearance to the outside world. But once they show up in this nauseating business, their fortune is their entrance ticket so they can abuse these innocent children. Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) is someone who wants to set things straight. Armed with a heavy hammer, he beats those perverts from their victims. But “You were never really here” is not just about the existence of children’s networks. The film also tries to paint a picture of the person Joe who is daily tormented by his own demons.

Every time Joe gets on screen, you just feel that heavy burden on his shoulders. He’s suicidal and exposes a murderous resentment. And this because of a youth full of violence, which is sporadically portrayed in haunting flashbacks. But also because of his war record. His scarred upper torso is probably caused by these events. And perhaps mentally there are even more profound wounds. Hence his fatalistic attitude. A “Je mon fou” posture which makes him walk into a lion’s den without hesitation. And as a result, he also carries out life-threatening or self-mutilating actions. Pulling a plastic bag over your head isn’t exactly something normal functioning people do on a regular basis. It’s clear that PTSD also has something to do with this.

Are you expecting to see explicit violence? You’ll be slightly disappointed. Violence is abundantly present but is always kept out of the picture in a strategic way. There are a modest number of bloody scenes, but predominantly the violent and repulsive images are kept out of sight. But don’t doubt it. Joe is an aggressive and insensitive (At least at that level) disposer of persons of poor moral character who’ll split the skull of these persons in two without hesitation. However, his last intervention sets an influential mechanism in motion where he himself threatens to become a victim.

Perhaps for some, it’s a tad too arty and the speed of the film a bit too slow. Yet Lynne Ramsay knows how to make a stylistic revenge film. The entire film is filled with dreamy (almost hallucinatory) fragments and perfectly framed snapshots. A child’s voice counting down softly. The sinking of a human body into the water. A close up of dripping wet hair. Joe staring into the distance. The biggest part of the film is also filmed in a dark and murky set-up. Probably as dark as the deformed and pained spirit of Joe. The interpretation by Joaquin Phoenix is breathtaking. Maybe rough around the edges, but deep inside a softy. A man without too many words, with a raw personality and with an impressive beard. As he strolls through New York, he looks like a homeless bum on his way to the soup kitchen at some community center. In reality, he’s a man with a well-defined mission.

“You were never really here” certainly doesn’t belong in the list of boring uniformity that’s lately being produced in Hollywood. The film is more a character study than simply a revenge film. It’s the kind of film that gets under your skin. I was a fan of Joaquin Phoenix anyway, but because of his undeniably fantastic acting performance in this film, he rises a bit more into the leading group of actors who are unmatchable in terms of acting.

More reviews here
5 years 11 months ago
Boei's avatar


A raw and powerful movie, showing emotion and thoughts rather then complete, actual events.

All beautifully filmed, very up close and atmospheric with a great soundtrack. The lake scene is beautiful.
The flashbacks, the imagination bring life to the movie and help you understand the story. A story of the main character which is unclear but really clear at the same time.

Very impressive!
3 years 7 months ago
JimEastwood71's avatar


Very different from what I thought it would be but enjoyable all the same
6 years 6 months ago
heat_'s avatar


Nicely crafted and truly intense movie. I was sleepy midnight started watching and end credits I was all up!
5 years 3 months ago
Earring72's avatar


Grimm and bleak drama with a POWERHOUSE performance by Phoenix
4 years 7 months ago
royalspikey77's avatar


Outstanding. JP nails this. Hammertime!
5 years 6 months ago
HebrewHammarMan's avatar


There's more to this film than a simple Punisher, Taken, Taxi Driver story. At times, there are oddly beautiful things happening. The burial scene sticks in my mind as perhaps one the best burial scenes I've seen in a film in a while. A few scenes of simple, human empathy despite violent situations are interesting, too. Despite being an abused, traumatized veteran, Joe seems to have a deep love and empathy for everyone around him. I feel it. I'm not as messed up as Joe, but I can understand a little of how messed up and horrible the world is or can be, and despite that, we can find each day beautiful, and find life worth continuing.
10 months 1 week ago
dude-1981's avatar


Made me want to throw things at the screen.
1 year 10 months ago
Siskoid's avatar


Part of Joaquin Phoenix's "Taxi Driver" cycle, I suppose, You Were Never Really Here presents a well-trodden plot - the one used in 75% of Liam Neeson flicks - with the military veteran who has a special set of skills and uses them to help people (in his case, bust kids out of human trafficking operations and other jams). The twist is that writer-director Lynne Ramsay treats the material as if it were real. Our man Joe had childhood PTSD even before he went to the Middle East to accumulate more. And the dialog is naturalistic to the point of whispery mumbling (we opted for subtitles). The film has a very striking look, like something out of Michael Mann's canon, but at once more ominous and more intimate. Ramsey not only puts us in Joe's head with quick flashback fragments that expose his trauma over the course of the story, but also lingers on small, sensual details. The camera tells us what Joe notices, not just with his eyes, but all his senses. It's a bleak tale for sure, but the wealth of arresting shots makes this an immersive experience. I'd only seen Ramsey's shorts before this, but I'm glad to see the same sensitivity at work even in long form, and in a genre piece too!
1 year 11 months ago
greenhorg's avatar


"I have skill that make me nigtmare 4 u"

- joqqin peenix
5 years 11 months ago
conita_'s avatar


Since I love the director after watching "We need to talk about Kevin" I thought that this really deserved a chance (and also, Joaquin Pheonix is a big plus). I won't say it's a bad movie, because it really isn't. But I particullary found it very slow, that it leaves a lot of things unsaid. I believe that is intentional, but it felt empty. You have this carachter with a heavy past and this terrible situation with the sexual traffic... i think niether of the subjects where really dug into. It fell short to me. And really really slow in some parts.
5 years 3 months ago

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