3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Hard to fault, yet hard to love.

You’ve heard of the saying, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” – well, this is quite the opposite. It’s difficult to pin down why the overall film experience fails to reach the brilliance it ought to.

Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) is a contract killer who lives with his geriatric mother (Judith Roberts). Known for brutality in his work, he is hired to obliterate members of a child sex ring.

You Were Never Really Here has so many high points. The opening scene is shot in a way that feels very fresh, with a punchy and eerie soundtrack. Joaquin Phoenix, my main reason for making a beeline to see this, is incredible as the troubled character. Then we have the brutality, which adds a vibrance in the same vein as Drive. The storyline is simple but intriguing. But as the closing credits roll there is an emptiness which is undeniable. A strong “Is that all?” feeling permeates. (I felt the same way about Drive, though – so maybe Drive fans will enjoy it more!)

You Were Never really here premieres in Sweden on 23 March.

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