(2011)

Critic Reviews

68

Metascore

Based on 24 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
91
Bullhead is well-plotted, with a powerful ending, but its most brutal scene comes early, explaining why for Schoenaerts, life has been one long wince.
90
The actor literally takes the metaphors of his bull-headed character to the limits and is never less than believable or mesmerizing.
80
Boxoffice Magazine
An impressively dark and well-crafted crime tale about, of all things, cattle farming and "the hormone mafia underworld."
78
A persistent narrative thread that pits Flemish-speaking Belgians against French-speaking Belgians will whiz past most American viewers, but hopefully not distract from its overall impact because this movie grabs the bull by the horns and takes viewers on a surprising ride.
75
I can tell you only that this is a film unlike anything I've seen before-harrowing, haunting and sordid. Be forewarned, it is not for the squeamish. But take a chance and you will be rewarded with a work of nightmarish force that is unforgettable.
70
Variety
Though the story is told and edited in a way that too often obscures rather than enhances its central tragedy, much is compensated by a career-defining, powerfully physical lead perf by Matthias Schoenaerts and ace lensing by local widescreen wiz Nicolas Karakatsanis.
60
Every time the narrative's underworld schnooks and low-level lowlifes edge their way out of the periphery, a sense of snorting impatience takes over. This is Jacky's story, and when he's grabbing Bullhead by the horns, you don't want him to let go.
60
Schoenaerts capably handles a difficult role that's equal parts pathetic, repulsive and heartbreaking. But you'll need a strong will to spend your time with such a tragically hopeless character.
50
Village Voice
The sentiment, just like the repeated shots of Jacky lying in the fetal position in a tub, shadowboxing, and erupting into a bestial 'roid rage, typifies the film's habit of flattening an idea rather than developing it.
38
Slant Magazine
What Bullhead ultimately lacks isn't balls but insight and empathy.

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