“Son of a Gun” | Movie Review

Grade (B+)

A well crafted Australian crime-thriller that feels gritty, realistic, and lures your attention throughout.


A young man forms an alliance in prison with a notorious criminal and after breaking out they work together on a gold heist where many implications will cause them to inevitably turn on one another.

My Take

I always love a good crime-thriller with a mix of a strong heist, and this one delivered just that. This was not an exceptionally ambitious script but it was the things it did NOT do that made it an even more enjoyable film. The script was well written and builds a strong first-act while introducing you to the two main characters. Both Ewan McGregor and Brenton Thwaites were extremely good in this one.

McGregor in my opinion is an exceptional actor and in this film he captures the mood and look of a weary criminal who has been around and seen a lot. Thwaites was also surprisingly believable as well, he conveyed the, for the most part good hearted kid in his late teens early twenties, who was pretty much just managing enough to survive in a world he did not necessarily want to be in. You could feel from his performance that his character was doing what he needed to get by regardless of whether or not he did want to commit the actions he was, with the group of criminals.

You could feel the innocence of Thwaites character but at the same time when the tension ramped up along with the action in the story-line he felt more than capable. There was also a nice dynamic built between him and McGregor as a mentor role, but their was also the constant reminder they were in business together and not simply friends.  All messages that were given with some great writing in the dialogue, to give substance to the characters as well as their dynamics and emotions.

Alicia Vikander brought the film a strong presence of a love-story that didn’t force it, and as a result felt well paced in the film and by the time the action is over you can still go back to this subplot between the characters played by Vikander and Thwaites and root for their hopeful life together. She was enjoyable in her performance and captured your attention when onscreen, with strong chemistry between her and Thwaites. There was also some informative dialogue between the two that build more on the background of Thwaites character and why he makes some of the decisions he does.

The pace of the film is excellent and gives the viewer a strong crime plot with deeper than usual characters. It mixes well with the love story subplot to give the script a great flow. There was also some visceral action in this one and never did it feel over done. Referring back to when I said this movie was better because of what it did not do.

What this film left out was the over-the-top action sequences and explosions that do appeal to the eye, but often at the cost of the films realism. “Son of a Gun” kept the shootouts and car-chases violent, gritty and most important, realistic, which naturally boosts your adrenaline when watching.

This film did not try to get too cute with the end either and even with a very riveting climax the film still kept the same tone throughout and managed to build the tension and properly close it out with everything wrapping up in a plausible way. After the end credits role you can sit back and feel like you enjoyed a great crime-thriller that took itself serious and focused on the realness of a criminal world. “Son of a Gun” did not over do it and in doing so delivered a highly entertaining film that is easily recommendable.