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
  • 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.
  • 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.