DVD: Animal Kingdom, Optimum (For rental & retail)

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The Independent Culture

This Australian revenge drama's opening scene is revealing: 17-year-old J watches TV, while his mother lies next to him, dead from an overdose.

No sentimentality or screaming, just the realisation that he'd best go live with some other relatives. His extended criminal family are barbarously terrifying. There's little on-screen violence, but tension is ratcheted up to a near unbearable degree. Brutishly intense and utterly believable.