You Were Never Really Here

You Were Never Really Here ★★★★

Slightly hindered by the material feeling imitative (the influence of Taxi Driver is inescapable), but the individual pieces are so strong that they're able to form a gripping whole. The distinctive approach taken by Lynne Ramsay merges moments of horrific brutality with moments of ethereal introspection, infusing the narrative with a dread-inducing unpredictability that never subsides. The shocking twists, abrupt editing and eerily pulsating score from Jonny Greenwood all coordinate to enhance this ominous atmosphere. Also of note is Joaquin Phoenix who gives an eminently intense performance, his leadened movements and impassive expressions brilliantly capturing someone haunted by past trauma.

There's barely a second of filler to be found here; it's concentrated, muscular genre filmmaking done extremely well.

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