Men

In the aftermath of a personal tragedy, Harper retreats alone to the beautiful English countryside, hoping to find a place to heal. But someone — or something — from the surrounding woods appears to be stalking her, and what begins as simmering dread becomes a fully-formed nightmare, inhabited by her darkest memories and fears.

  • Released: 2022-05-20
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
  • Stars: Jessie Buckley, Rory Kinnear, Paapa Essiedu, Gayle Rankin, Sarah Twomey, Zak Rothera-Oxley, Sonoya Mizuno
  • Director: Alex Garland
 Comments
  • margaritagirl321 - 12 January 2023
    Wow
    I give it a couple stars, because just like the other reviews, the cinematography, and the ladies acting was pretty good. The story around the ladies husband dying and her pain kept me emotionally into the movie. However, it was dragging out like a typical drama, and when I got to near the ending, I was thinking what the F am I watching. Instead of labelling the genre as horror/drama they should really be showing movies in a new genre called artsy films. That way I can get the 100 minutes that I wasted watching this when all it results in is me thinking this guy is having a bad acid trip and thought of this ridiculous stupid ending. I only watch movies that are rated over six out of 10 to avoid watching movies like this, so either there's a lot of people that like trying to dissect a movie or Garland has a lot of family and friends that rated this movie with a lot of stars. Don't get me wrong I detest typical Hollywood blockbusters and like things that are not main stream, but I cannot stand these metaphorical movies that think they are making the audience think and contemplate ...no I like to be entertained. I hope I can avoid all movies like this in the future.
  • Trinitie - 12 January 2023
    I just didn't get it
    I don't really know what I have just watched. The ending is absolutely bonkers. Possibly one of the weirdest films I've ever seen. I have no idea how it has been rated 6.1. I am going to have to look up what this film was actually about. It starts off pretty good and makes you want to continue watching then about 3 quarters through it goes off the rails and you have no idea what the hell is going on. Watch it if you want a film that you don't understand, stay clear if you don't like weird because it is just that.......weird.

    Yeah......weird as. I have no other words. I honestly couldn't believe what I was watching in the final scenes. Weird. You have been warned. Weird.
  • brenzbrenz - 11 January 2023
    What the hell did I just watch
    The movie started off slow but kept me interested. Then it seemed to become a bit spooky and then after that it just turned really weird and strange! Totally ruined it for me I was not expecting that. I had no idea what the hell it was all about! In the end it turned out utterly disgusting!

    Seems IMDB is still expecting us to be legends in review writing and needing to use up many characters before they will publish my review. When I was able to tell you my thoughts about the movie in one short paragraph! Why make people have to read more than they need to?

    I don't recommend this movie unless you like weird and creepy!
  • wiktoriakoczaj - 11 January 2023
    Liked it untill...
    Right I was enjoying the slow burn psychological thriller it was giving off, the cinematography was quite nice. However, and big however, what gave this rating was the ending, I mean what the actual f!? What conclusion was that? It was just repulsive for what reason exactly, I really don't see how it was relevant to include such vivid (AND I MEAN GRAPHICALLY VILE) , if you know you know... But really the ending was awful, I wanted a conclusion and an epic come back from the MC, and what I get is seeing men giving birth and groaning,just skip the end I promise you, or skip the movie altogether.
  • henry8-3 - 9 January 2023
    Men
    After experiencing an appalling occurrence when her partner dies, Jesse Buckley hires a beautiful country cottage to give her time to come to terms with the tragedy which she in part holds herself responsible for. There she meets a number of strange locals, including a battered, naked man who seems to be stalking her, who all look like Rory Kinnear.

    This starts off very nicely with a mystery surrounding Jesse Buckley's partner's death and then a sense of foreboding in the woods as she goes for her first walk in the country - the best scene in the film. This all suggests a spooky folk horror going forward. Where it goes though is far more complicated, rather confusing and ultimately unsatisfying. It would seem that the various men that Buckley comes across, may or may not represent all men including her ex partner and their views and often violent interactions with Buckley are all part of her healing process. I'm not really sure but that is how I took it and whilst Buckley and Kinnear both give terrific performances, in the end it turns into a rather bewildering body horror type mess, literally and metaphorically. Nice idea with good actors then - just doesn't quite manage to pull it all off.
  • lostlevel - 8 January 2023
    I don't think I can ever look at Rory Kinnear in the same way again...
    I don't think I can ever look at Rory Kinnear in the same way again... though this is testimony to his versatility as an actor.

    Jessie Buckley as always delivers yet another great performance. She chooses interesting projects to be involved with. In fact I am yet to see her in a bad film. Though some of them have been hard to watch, after all the torment I think it is okay to phone it in once in a while and do something easy, with less anguish or perhaps a Disney/Marvel project.

    The cinematography coupled with the sound design was particular impressive. There are scenes I would have shots I would have as a desktop background if it didn't remind me of the last few minutes.

    I would recommend this film to more people but worry that if they weren't already weird-ed out before the ending might give them some nightmares.
  • cathyisa - 7 January 2023
    What the heck did i just watch?!
    I have seen all movies by this director and I don't quite get what he is telling. Every one of his movies has left me perplexed and grossed out. I don't understand his language and don't quite get what all the fuss is about. I see his talent and the tales he tells, but I wonder about the form and visuals.

    My boyfriend had his mind blown out by this movie and understood it more viscerally than I. He was surprised and grossed out, but it made an impact. For me, as with Annihilation, it was a really beautifully shot movie but the characters and the situations were somewhat superficial. I will watch Garland's future work because I like being put out of my comfort zone.
  • W011y4m5 - 7 January 2023
    Me(a)n(t well but faltered in its execution.)
    I'm a huge admirer of Alex Garland (both as a writer & director), find his previous contributions to cinema to be amongst some of the most consistently ambitious of any creative working in the industry & since he is responsible for additionally making one of my favourite movies of all time (the surrealistic sci-fi "Annihilation"), I went in to this with an open mind & fairly high expectations.

    I say this in order to provide context for my review because I know I'll understandably be far more lenient with my opinions than others but regardless of my willingness to be generous with my scoring etc. I still can't deny I found this somewhat lacking, by the end. Yes, "Men" has an abundance of fantastic ideas (as per usual with anything he's involved in) but unusually, this feature seems to lack the focus of its predecessors, containing a plethora of fascinating, relevant themes to address (which could provoke interesting, topical conversations) but structurally, they sadly don't quite gel together in a way which feels cohesive. Hence, despite the bold choices made, since the narrative fails to establish any clear tone or purpose to its progression, it all culminates to form something less than the sum of its parts.

    The cinematography is unsurprisingly impressive (aesthetically, very reminiscent to Marc Munden's signature, trippy style), the score & performances are all extremely strong & there are some wonderfully crafted moments of tension... But the potential isn't realised, for the majority of the runtime.
  • rohanumpleby-34057 - 7 January 2023
    A pleasant surprise
    The actors performances were really good throughout this film. You really felt for Harper, the danger she was in. The setting is great for a horror film!, The Woods and the old abandoned train area, gave this film an eerie vibe. The effects were also good. Harper carried this film. Her performance was good, her look whenever she was in danger was great. It really felt like we were they're in that moment.

    Storyline/Plot:

    A girl moves in a remote town ( Harper ), after her ex-husband has just dies. Her pain and grief shows inside this film, and the flashbacks that we got to see really made us feel bad for Harper. She explores the woods nearby, then sees a tunnel. She then makes humming noices. Then she's greated with a man who's on the other side. As expected she feels worried then leaves. She believes this man is following her. The police arrive after she calls then they leave. And then that's when the weird stuff really get under way. The bar where the people look exactly the same ( Doppelganger) is weird. My theorie is that there's just one bloke, who tries to terrorise people, because why else would they're be only one guy, and a naked man who is believed to be living in the woods and isn't dangerous, atleast according to the policeman. That's why I think its one guy trying to terrorise the poor girl who's all alone. And when he's in the house on her first day, he doesn't just leave, he just stands they're and then leaves and its as if he thought he was opted to stay. She calls her best friend after these strange incidents, and tells her she wants to leave, then the WiFi cuts out. And then the lights flicker on and off, and without her friend knowing where she is, she's now stranded. This is a great way of making a horror film, as there's more stakes and more of a threat that can be opposed on her. She tries to leave when she then hits another version of the same man!. Then he gets up and when she opens her door out of feat he grabs her and chucks her on the road and gets in her car and speeds off down the road going way faster then the speed limit. Now she's alone and in real danger. The man in the car then comes back and chases her, she has an advantage as she's got turns and all that which can let her outrun the man in the car. Then another version of himself comes in, after breaking the window, her overly load exaggerated scream ( good acting ) and facial expression mixed with fear and scared for her life she grabs a knife. Then the version that had stolen her car ( afterwards) you'll see why I did that in a sec. Was acting all innocent which shows he can have different personas even when he's the exact same person. A man then chases her around the house like a demonic person, under some kind of drugs I would of thought tries to get her. But she is safe because she has a knife. The amount of Versions that he makes is a little on the silly side as well, and plays it with a straight face is a little random. And then her dead Ex-Husband then comes out of the man that's full of blood. So either this film was showing these scary stuff, to show she can't cope without him, it makes sense if it is.

    Score:

    The music was annoying, it's a racket and it's completely unnecessary, and doesn't add anything to the plot and doesn't make the story any better, and if anything just makes it worse. It's loud and obnoxious, and I wasn't feeling it. It also keeps being played, and I really don't know why as it's annoying and is overly loud. It's not clever either.

    Set Designs/Effects:

    The effects for a low budget film were surprisingly good. The camera angles and the different angles we got to see of the house was nice. And the Designs were also good, purely based on the fact this film doesn't have the best budget, it still holds up none the less. The colors on this film is also great, so Much colors we get to look at is just a delight to behold and it elevates the story.

    Rating: 7/10 Some desistions have a lot to be desired, but on the whole it was a watchable horror film. Would recommend.
  • imdb-59140 - 7 January 2023
    A non-linear arty film that left me breathless with it's creativity
    I loved it. I fully appreciate that many people won't, for a million different reasons, but I did. Films are art after all, and what's hanging on your walls may not move me the way it does you; that's just the way it is.

    And this is definitely art.

    The photography is gorgeous; this was unquestionably a labour of love. Shot in Gloucestershire (which, let's be honest, is hardly one of the least attractive counties in England), the photography really showed off the English countryside in Spring while playfully dancing along the edge of kitsch that some of our well-known country lifestyle magazines wade chest deep into. As a pure-bred country boy those publications make me retch, and whoever planned the photography and did the location selection must have read them as well, unless I misinterpreted some of the subtle tongue-in-cheek references buried in there.

    There are some movies I watch - not many I admit - where I get to the end and want to buy the entire production team a drink. 'Ammonite' was one of them and this is another. The location scouting, shot selection, photography execution, sound design, music selection and editing, set design and decoration....the list goes on. If you worked on this film and are reading this, I am raising my glass to you because you really earned your pay on this one.

    No, sorry, I'm not going to spoil the plot or give anything away; you're just going to have to watch it. All I will say is I watched the (now) cult series 'Children of the Stones' on ITV when I was at primary school, and (to me) there was a faint whiff of that in this film in places. Again, maybe just me. The Tomorrow People, Tales of the Unexpected, Robin of Sherwood, Skye and - much more recently - Borderland, all left their fingerprints and echoes in my mind that perhaps contributed to me enjoying this so much. That and the photography. Did I mention the photography? It's really jolly good.

    I've not mentioned the acting yet but really, it's excellent; Rory Kinnear especially is incredible in this.

    All in all a very satisfying watch for me. Kinnear and Buckley promised great things in the trailer and (for once) the marketing delivered.
  • stevenrossiter171 - 6 January 2023
    Mind bending ride
    Jessie Buckley plays a lady who feels guilt for the death of her husband after an argument that slowly plays out during the process of the story.

    She stays in a village away from the world and ends up being surrounded by men of different types all played fantastically by Rory Kinnear

    The imagery and story at times is unsettling and the ending of the film is bizarre to say the least. There is a running theme of the Green Man and nature and rebirth, old traditions against new.

    And men in all their forms mainly bad

    Don't really get the end of the film at all, it's a little too twisted for me. I have a rough idea on what it means but that's about it

    Man vaginas and strange rebirths that link back to the central story of her husband killing himself

    It's passable and odd enough to keep things interesting.
  • ryanpersaud-59415 - 5 January 2023
    Technically Brilliant (at times), but unbelievably pretentious.
    Men is the absolute definition of a mixed bag. When Garland is focused - in creating a dream like hellscape, in portraying a truly terrifying home invasion - it's a truly stunning watch. Men creates a nervous, terrifying atmosphere that's hard to shake or forget about. Garland also creates um....images that are hard to forget about; I must say, if you want film to show you things that you will never see or do not want to see, then Men will resonate with you.

    The plot isn't even that bad or hard to follow; I felt the inciting incident involving our protagonist, Harper (Jessie Buckley) and her (now ex) husband, James (Paapa Essediou) was devastating and fascinating at the same time. As the story devolves into madness, I felt it did so in a way that didn't really feel jarring or out-of-nowhere and was handled quite well. (There's a tendency for these sort of metaphorical, dream like stories to really lose people, and I personally didn't find that here)

    Nor is the message hard to understand. Men is fundamentally about the evil of, well, men. The thesis statement is that man's evil derives from sexual aggression; the obsession with obtaining access to you-know-what and the lengths men are willing to go to get it, keep it, or stop others from having it. The final scene is meant to show that the cycle - initially born out of the, well, you know - perpetuates over and over again. Despite our modernity, this fact does not go away.

    Yet there's a lack of nuance and frankly, a lack of level headedness that inevitably made me eye roll. Garland is making a film a first year Women's Studies major would make and it's hard not to devolve what Men is saying into "men bad, woman good!", because, let's be honest, that is the sort of thing an desperate film major would make, right?

    It also feels flat by the end of the movie, it ends so abruptly that there's room or moment to even dissect what the film proposes. It just sort of ends, as if Alex Garland thinks he's "discovered" the reason why us men as so gosh darn evil. But there are no answers, there are no uncomfortable questions, it's just basically secular original sin.

    It's hard not to wonder what the point of it all was; an uncomfortable, yet well choreographed and shot experience that I don't think provokes any thought or changes any minds; it doesn't really seem interested in doing that. It lacks any sort of empathy, being nearly two hours of a woman tormented, who also lacks any depth or personality beyond her trauma vis a vis a man. Ironically, it's Rory Kinnear who is the most interesting character and actor in the film.

    I guess even a lesser Alex Garland film is a decent one and this movie does get very intense and very scary at points. But, its weighed down by its own pretentiousness, reductive message, and lack of a satisfying plot or characters.
  • floydbastable - 4 January 2023
    Yeah, really pointless, unless you think this was art house horror?
    Well most people are not fans of the last half hour, but I thought it was finally something interesting. Yeah it was, but does that make up for over two hours of what was the point of this film? No, sadly no. Its some sort of symbolism, message or.... Oh no it was just rubbish. I can't even say the main man that plays all the 'men' was brilliant, well he was OK but did it all feel like some sort of noone wants to be in this film? Have I used my 600 character review????????? I can some it up in one word, pony. Google it. I'm trying to roll out my honest review that needs to use 600 characters for. Oh it's done.
  • Survive_Kino - 3 January 2023
    Crude feminist allegory appropriating folk horror aesthetics
    Rob Hardy's cinematography is sublime and the actors' performances are impressive. The film is well crafted in this sense and I love the folk horror aesthetic however this aesthetic is merely pasted over a crude urbanite political message. The green man is included, Garland admits in an interview, because it is suitably ambiguous in meaning that he can be whatever the author wants - in this case a symbol of "muh patriarchy".

    In fact all the white characters in the film, all played by Rory Kinnear, represent what Garland calls "toxic males" - they are crude, cartoonish archetypes. Straw men for a feminist heroine to destroy. The grieving protagonist must mentally kill all the toxic male archetypes in her mind before she can free herself of the trauma of having an abusive ex husband (yawn).

    Real folk horror doesn't just use rural and pagan imagery, rather the horror itself derives from the soil, the ancient. In this case the horror is just cliched jump scares and creepy man in the woods stuff until the final scene which is original at least in being so utterly grotesque - a depraved vulgarity employed presumably as some sort of anti-natalist statement.

    I find this demonisation or rural communities, particularly of English people distasteful to say the least. At least the real horrors in the film, those not imagined by the heroine, occurred in London and were perpetrated by a non-native man.