The Nightingale (2019) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Nightingale2019

The Nightingale (2019)

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Critic Consensus: The Nightingale definitely isn't for all tastes, but writer-director Jennifer Kent taps into a rich vein of palpable rage to tell a war story that leaves a bruising impact.

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THE NIGHTINGALE is a meditation on the consequences of violence and the price of seeking vengeance. Set during the colonization of Australia in 1825, the film follows Clare (AISLING FRANCIOSI), a 21-year-old Irish convict. Having served her 7-year sentence, she is desperate to be free of her abusive master, Lieutenant Hawkins (SAM CLAFLIN) who refuses to release her from his charge. Clare's husband Aidan (MICHAEL SHEASBY) retaliates and she becomes the victim of a harrowing crime at the hands of the lieutenant and his cronies. When British authorities fail to deliver justice, Clare decides to pursue Hawkins, who leaves his post suddenly to secure a captaincy up north. Unable to find compatriots for her journey, she is forced to enlist the help of a young Aboriginal tracker Billy (BAYKALI GANAMBARR) who grudgingly takes her through the rugged wilderness to track down Hawkins. The terrain and the prevailing hostilities are frightening, as fighting between the original inhabitants of the land and its colonizers plays out in what is now known as "The Black War." Clare and Billy are hostile towards each other from the outset, both suffering their own traumas and mutual distrust, but as their journey leads them deeper into the wilderness, they must learn to find empathy for one another, while weighing the true cost of revenge.

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Cast

Sam Claflin
as Lieutenant Hawkins
Ewen Leslie
as Goodwin
Ben McIvor
as Dull Convict
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Critic Reviews for The Nightingale

All Critics (229) | Top Critics (42)

Kent's deglamorized, relentlessly unpleasant depiction of suffering couldn't be further from the adolescent glee of Tarantino's films. Still, there's something vaguely two-faced about Kent's revenge narrative.

March 10, 2020 | Full Review…

Jennifer Kent's The Nightingale is a film that bruises the soul.

December 6, 2019 | Rating: 4/5

It's serious film-making, worthy of attention. Arguments, though, will ensue.

December 3, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The most shocking thing about this shocking film? When it was over, I felt like I'd been released from a warm hug.

December 1, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

While she ruthlessly exposes the unexpiated atrocities in Australia's past, Kent has smartly pillaged all the old horseback conventions to do her bidding. But she's halfway stuck within them, too.

November 29, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The power and sheer command of Kent's direction enforced this film's grip on me, along with the fluency and urgency of her storytelling...

November 29, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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