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TIFF Review: Trespass Against Us


A son desires a better life for his wife and young children which runs counter to the wishes of his overbearing and formidable father.

A rabbit is pursued through a field by car crammed with passengers with a young boy behind the wheel.  It is a crazy introduction to the wild Cutter family.  The patriarch Colby Cutter (Brendan Gleeson) reigns supreme in a trailer park decorated with junkyard trash and inhabited by his offspring who aid in his criminal activities.  Chad (Michael Fassbender) wants his children to have an academic education which is something his father does not value.  A battle of wills ensues between father and son which is further complicated by the local authorities’ determination to arrest and convict both of them.

The family unrest is so familiar as well as the police storyline which has Rory Kinnear playing yet another uptight and abrasive law enforcement officer.  The homestead is so depressing that one could hardly look upon Colby as being a criminal mastermind.  Where did all the money go exactly?  The religious theme reflected in the movie title and in the speeches of Colby ring false rather than with a sense of conviction.

There are unexpected moments that display inspired storytelling choices.  The opening rabbit pursuit serves a great introduction to the Cutter family.  Anytime there is car chase fun is injected into the proceedings and makes one wonder how come Chad never got to be the wheelman for a band of professional bank robbers.  Michael Fassbender provides a performance that transitions from the drama to the quirky comedy without it being jarring.  Trespass Against Us shows flashes of brilliance which Adam Smith will hopefully be able to further develop with his next cinematic outing.


Check out all of our TIFF coverage.

 Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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