Movie ReviewsTrespass Against Us – Blood Is A Brutal Bond

Keith NoakesJanuary 30, 2017

I enjoy the occasional indie film that I know nothing about. This one definitely fit the bill but at least it has Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson so it can’t be all bad.

Synopsis:  The Cutler family, is a close-knit clan of nomads living an outlaw existence in their own anarchic corner of Britain’s most affluent countryside. Chad Cutler is the heir apparent to the family patriarch, his bullying father Colby, and has been groomed to spend his life hunting, stealing and tormenting local law enforcement. But with his own son Tyson coming of age and his wife Kelly pushing him to stand up to Colby, Chad finds himself locked in a battle for the future of his young family. (Elevation Pictures)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson, and Lyndsey Marshal.

Writer: Alastair Siddons

Director: Adam Smith

Rating: R

Running Time: 99mins


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The think to mention is that this film will feature some growing pains as the characters’ accents do take some getting used to. The film is about a family of criminals living in a makeshift trailer park within the English countryside. Chad Cutler (Fassbender) has spent most of his life stealing and tormenting law enforcement. During this time, he was being groomed by his father Colby (Gleeson) to take his place. Plans change as Chad begins to wonder if it is the life he really wants for him and his family.

His children are growing and outside pressure force him to reevaluate his life and to stand up to Colby. The only problem for Chad was that because of his life, he was heavily uneducated, making him unable to read and write. The real story was about Chad having to overcome adversity, personally and socially, to make something of himself and his family. His own deficiencies made it difficult for him which probably made it easier for him to remain within his life of crime. It’s what he is and all he’s ever known.

The only person standing in his way, other than himself, was Colby. Chad’s wife Kelly (Marshall) pressured him to stand up to Colby but that was easier said than done. He was the family matriarch and an imposing presence. He valued loyalty amongst their group while threatening any who would dare to “Trespass against [them]” (hence the title). Because of this, Chad was kind of scared to go against his wishes. Colby would make ensure the group’s loyalty by enforcing an “us against them” mentality by shunning anyone who wasn’t in their group.

Colby was a role model to Chad but he did not want the same for his son Tyson (Georgie Smith). Chad did not want Tyson or even his daughter Mini (Kacie Anderson) to go down the same path he did. Chad and Kelly believed that getting them an education would be a good start. Regardless of what good they tried to do, their current life always seemed to catch up to them with Chad and others still committing robberies and other various crimes, keeping up with their already bad reputation with law enforcement and Officer P.C. Lovage (Rory Kinnear).

The cinematography was well done, featuring beautiful shots of the countryside. The music was also well done. A lot of the characters could be perceived as unlikable but Chad and Kelly’s mission of self-improvement was redeeming and relatable. Other than Chad, Kelly, and Colby, none of the other characters were very compelling and didn’t matter as much. The film partially fell apart near the end as it felt like it rushed towards a resolution. Either the film didn’t go far enough or was making a point in doing so.

The acting was good throughout with Fassbender and Gleeson being the standouts. Fassbender had great screen presence as Chad, showing range in his inner struggle of wanting to do what’s best for his family and his father all while not being able to read or write. Gleeson was just as good as Colby. He believed in what he was doing, creating an imposing presence, enough to strike fear in whoever challenged him. The chemistry between Fassbender and Gleeson made them fun to watch together.

Overall, this was a good drama with good performances. Redemption stories are not new territory but this one was still somewhat interesting thanks to Fassbender and Gleeson.

Score: 7.5/10

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  • Making a Cinephile

    January 30, 2017 at 2:37 AM

    Watched this one last night. Enjoyed it as well! Gleeson and Fassbebder are phenomenal actors indeed.

  • thoughtsallsorts

    January 30, 2017 at 2:48 AM

    This one has been on my radar for a while now…glad to hear it is good. Now it just needs to be released here. Great review.

  • Often Off Topic

    January 30, 2017 at 7:00 AM

    Great review Keith! I wasn’t really sold on the story from the trailer alone but it does sound interesting after reading your post. I’d definitely like to give it a watch for the performances alone 🙂

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