Only God Forgives

Watch Only God Forgives

"Time to meet the Devil."
  • R
  • 2013
  • 5.7  (117,821)
  • 37

Only God Forgives is a 2013 thriller directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Vithaya Pansringarm. The film takes place in the seedy underworld of Bangkok's criminal underworld and follows the story of Julian, played by Gosling, a drug smuggler who is forced by his manipulative mother, Crystal, played by Scott Thomas, to avenge the death of his brother.

The movie starts slowly, with long and intense scenes of Julian's daily routine as a manager of a Muay Thai boxing club. The camera lingers on the neon-lit streets of Bangkok, capturing the seedy corners and rundown buildings that house various nefarious activities. Julian's life appears to be mundane, but his existence quickly changes when he receives a call from his mother, who is on a business trip to Bangkok.

Crystal demands that Julian hunt down and kill the man who murdered his brother in cold blood. The family's honor is at stake, and the vengeful mother will stop at nothing to protect it. Julian seems hesitant about taking on his mother's orders, but as she starts to interfere more in his life, he feels more and more trapped.

The film's action starts when Julian confronts his mother's target, a retired police officer named Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm), who moonlights as a ruthless vigilante. Julian's fight with Chang is a catalyst for the rest of the story, which descends further into chaos and violence.

Only God Forgives is undoubtedly a slow-burning movie that takes minutes to set its scenes and often features characters staring each other down in silence. Emotional expression is kept to a minimum, and the film relies on the actors' and director's ability to convey meaning with long-held shots and subtle gestures. This approach lends a feeling of uneasiness and creates an almost meditative atmosphere, where violence is always simmering.

The score of the film is also vital, setting the tone for the film's intensity with its mix of atmospheric synthesizers and haunting melodies, which underscores the scenes' visuals.

Ryan Gosling's performance is visceral as he plays the mysterious and troubled Julian. He says very few lines in the movie and instead relies on his nuanced expressions and body language, which speaks volumes. Kristin Scott Thomas is also impressive in her role as Julian's manipulative mother, brilliantly portraying a woman who is desperate for power, even if it means sacrificing her children.

Vithaya Pansringarm's performance as Chang, a character that is almost mythical in his archaic justice, combined a deadpan demeanor with an eerie sensibility that elevated the role to true cinematic greatness. Pansringarm receives high praise for his acting as Chang, and rightfully so.

The film's stark imagery is memorable, with director Refn using the city's settings with pizzazz. Bangkok has never been portrayed quite like this before, with colorful neon lights like the blood that highlights the streets' underbelly. Every shot is artfully coordinated to create a sense of discomfort and foreboding, which sets the mood for the entire movie.

In conclusion, Only God Forgives is a complex character study that follows people facing profound emotional and moral ambiguity. The movie is slow-moving, but it pays off handsomely, with a story that creeps up on you and leaves you breathless. From the film's haunting score to the understated yet powerful performances by the main cast, everything works together to create an unforgettable picture. The movie will undoubtedly stick with you long after you've finished watching the credits roll.

Only God Forgives is a 2013 drama. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.7 and a MetaScore of 37.

Only God Forgives
Where to Watch Only God Forgives
Only God Forgives is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Only God Forgives for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
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  • IMDB Rating
    5.7  (117,821)
  • Metascore