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4,429 Ratings

Only God Forgives

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
United States, France, 2013
Crime, Drama, Thriller


A Shakespeare-esque drama that centers around Julian, a respected kingpin of Bangkok’s criminal underworld. When forced to seek retribution for his brother’s death by their sociopathic mother, he comes tête-à-tête with the Angel of Vengeance.

Our take

Continuing his sublimely minimalist collaboration with the handsome, monosyllabic Ryan Gosling after the sharkskin-sleek Drive, Refn gave us his most controversial feature: A dangerous, exoticized mash-up of Asian spirituality and iconography, pulp Shakespeare, and, of course, hyper-violence.

Only God Forgives Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

Awards & Festivals

Village Voice Film Poll

2013 | Winner: Worst Film

Bodil Awards

2014 | Nominee: Best Supporting Actress

Sydney Film Festival

2013 | Winner: Best Film

I was utterly engrossed by the cultural dynamics central to the film. Put simply, all of the white characters are consumers, tourists, and their consumption is what causes much of the trouble for Bangkok’s luckless citizenry.
July 23, 2013
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Anyone seduced by the flatulent over-direction… can doubtless find something about “hell on earth” or “East-West relations” to ascribe all this punishment to, but there’s really no point. Refn isn’t lecturing us like Haneke or provoking us like Tarantino—he just really seems to enjoy torture and dismemberment and it pleases him to let us know this.
January 03, 2014
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The confidence with which Only God Forgives presents these unsavory ingredients is stunning, and many of the flaws here almost seem intentional, amping up the aggression via canvas-shredding self-sabotage.
July 15, 2013
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