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Released Mar 30, 2022 1h 52m Mystery & Thriller Crime Drama TRAILER for Nitram: Trailer 1 List
93% Tomatometer 120 Reviews 78% Audience Score 100+ Ratings
Nitram (Caleb Landry-Jones) lives with his mother (Judy Davis) and father (Anthony LaPaglia) in suburban Australia in the Mid 1990s. He lives a life of isolation and frustration at never being able to fit in. That is until he unexpectedly finds a close friend in a reclusive heiress, Helen (Essie Davis). However when that friendship meets its tragic end, and Nitram's loneliness and anger grow, he begins a slow descent into a nightmare that culminates in the most nihilistic and heinous of acts. Read More Read Less
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Critics Consensus

Nitram asks viewers to face a gut-wrenchingly grim moment in Australian history -- but rewards that effort with a gripping, well-acted character study.

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Critics Reviews

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Clarisse Loughrey Independent (UK) Nitram is a stark, difficult, but deeply reflective film that asks sincerely why we describe these crimes as incomprehensible at the very same time as we watch the same patterns unfold, again and again. Rated: 4/5 Jul 5, 2022 Full Review Mark Kermode Observer (UK) [A] quietly harrowing drama... Rated: 3/5 Jul 4, 2022 Full Review Donald Clarke Irish Times Respectful in its treatment of the final carnage, psychologically nuanced without offering the perpetrator an ounce of sympathy, Nitram is a character study of the highest order. Rated: 5/5 Jul 4, 2022 Full Review Calum Cooper In Their Own League While poor mental health certainly isn’t an excuse for any kind of toxic action, let alone murder, it is saddening to see director Justin Kurzel, an otherwise gifted filmmaker, approach this matter in such a regressive manner. Rated: 2/5 Jul 15, 2024 Full Review Ross McIndoe Vague Visages The question of purpose still lingers, of what was achieved by reliving these crimes and humanizing the man who perpetrated them. But thanks to the sense of slow-motion horror that Jones and Kurzel create, Nitram remains a relentlessly intriguing film. Jul 4, 2024 Full Review David Nusair Reel Film Reviews exceedingly (and sometime excessively) deliberate character study that features, at its core, an often spellbinding performance by Jones... Rated: 3.5/4 Dec 24, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (29) audience reviews
Felix T I don't know what everyone else was watching, but this was very boring. Choosing to do a character study of an irredeemable human is a strange choice; he is totally unlikable and nobody that was around that type of individual would be surprised that he shoots up a place. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 06/30/24 Full Review Alec B A subtle and disturbing character examination. Kurzel is not engaging in cheap sensationalism (evidenced by the fact that the Port Arthur massacre, while acknowledged by the movie, is not openly portrayed beyond its beginning) and while the movie's entire focus is on the perpetrator rather than the victims I think that is a legitimate choice as one can plainly see the repeated patterns in these cases that are too often ignored by authorities. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/21/24 Full Review Laura B There is nothing new in Kurzam's film, which attempts to approach the figure of the monster with a certain empathy. A monster lacking in love, with a castrating mother and condemned to ostracism by a society that rejects what is different. The underlying discussion is the same as always: whether or not to limit access to weapons, and how to guarantee a balance between individual and collective freedom. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/04/24 Full Review R B After a slow start, Nitram begins to find its feet when the lead (played by Caleb Landry-Jones) actor meets reclusive and eccentric heiress Helen (Essie Davis) in her grand house squalor. It's then we see more of the disturbed personality of the main character, played well, but not brilliantly. After Helen's death, an opportunity (though a fiction element) to target the car dealer is not realised. The sound on the movie should be improved, there is a lot of mumbling with poor miking, and too much background noise at times. The reason the character targets Port Arthur is also not revealed. Thankfully, Nitram's descent that culminates in the most heinous of acts in modern Australia stops short of the final nightmare scenes, The credits audio is unremarkable. Better audio and a better soundtrack would have helped the film. The film makes a good case to restore the death penalty in Australia. The real Nitram deserves nothing less. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 12/01/23 Full Review Jason R I've heard of this because I saw various reviews that said it did a good job in telling a horrific story without glorifying the perpetrator - even so, I have to admit the phrase "too soon?" did cross my mind (although Wikipedia surprised me by telling me the "incident" happened in '96). And, woah - The Guardian isn't wrong when it says it's deeply disturbing. Nitram (Caleb Landry Jones) is in his early twenties and he really isn't a happy boy - he obviously has learning and anger issues and his anti-social behaviour is a major source of stress for his parents (Anthony LaPaglia and Judy Davis). But - a ray of hope appears in the very peculiar shape of Helen (Essie Davis) a rich heiress in her fifties who strikes up an unconventional friendship with Nitram, accepting him for who he is (which is good) whilst also pandering to his whims (maybe not so good). And I think that's probably enough to tell you, but it's fair to say that things don't end well - the sense of dread ratchets up "nicely" as the film approaches the end. Caleb Landry Jones portrays Nitram and his troubles well - he has a very unsettling manner whilst still managing to generate some sympathy for the character. Judy Davis is also excellent as his mother - she's an extremely buttoned-up character who does love her son, but she doesn't like him and worries about what he might do. Anthony LaPaglia (I was trying to remember what I'd seen him in and had to check - he's very good in Murder One and Lantana, but sadly the role I remember him for most was Daphne's super annoying brother in Frasier with his TERRIBLE accent) has less to do as his father but manages to portray a slightly different style of parental concern (more hope than anything else). The only other person who has a meaningful role in the film is Essie Davis and in a lot of ways she has an even more tenuous connection to reality than Nitram, so she's quite an odd character but it's an effective portrayal. The films users several interesting style of filming - it uses light, colour and sound very well to portray Nitram's confusion in particular. It also does something very weird with the general style inside Helen's house - it's very fuzzy and almost like infra-red film at times. There is also, of course, some absolutely gorgeous scenery involved - they have a lot of it down there. It's an interesting tale although the film does suffers from the fact that you know things aren't going to end well - with quite a few of the scenes obviously signposting future trouble. It does also somewhat descend into horrific madness, but I guess that comes with the territory and it's hard to know what else they could have done. A lot of it is actually pretty unbelievable, but if you look up the actual story it's considerably weirder - for example, when Martin Bryant first met Helen Harvey she was living with 40 cats, 16 dogs and her mother, who stayed in bed for two years with a fractured hip, whereas in the film it's just the one cat, about seven dogs and no mother. I'd say the adaptation is well done but I can completely understand those who argued that it was totally unnecessary - it doesn't add anything to the story but, to their credit, neither does it sensationalise it. Hmmm - it's hard to know quite how to sum up my feelings on the film. It made me feel very uncomfortable at times but, taken at face value, I'd say it's a "good" film and it tells an interesting story. However, whilst I don't side with those who think it's totally unnecessary - I'd struggle to say it's really necessary either. Yes, the story is handled sensitively enough but given that it specifically makes the point that Martin Bryant was interested in coverage of Dunblane, it's hard to see what justification they can make for this film. All in all, an interesting one - which is available to stream on BFIPlayer and rent in all the usual locations. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 09/25/23 Full Review Nat You call him a killer and a monster. However, the real monstrosity is the system that keeps failing people again and again. Loneliness and alienation till breaking point. A person, with hopes and desires to belong, a person who could not find an understanding with his own parents, a person trapped forever in his head, knowing that he's different and he is not connected to anything or anyone. It is enormously heart breaking and although the tragedy of the victims is unspeakable, it is the system and the society that failed. You produced a world full of not very smart people, where freedom allows you to have lot of babies, to buy a gun, or buy a kidney if you have enough of money. You have a world full of conditioned products, who works 9-18 and only sometimes dream of something better. When they realised that they have been chasing carrots all along, they break. It's a sad, sad world, where the victim, failed by absolutely everyone and everything is called a murderer. The real killer remains somehow still hidden. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 08/11/23 Full Review Read all reviews

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Cast & Crew


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Movie Info

Synopsis Nitram (Caleb Landry-Jones) lives with his mother (Judy Davis) and father (Anthony LaPaglia) in suburban Australia in the Mid 1990s. He lives a life of isolation and frustration at never being able to fit in. That is until he unexpectedly finds a close friend in a reclusive heiress, Helen (Essie Davis). However when that friendship meets its tragic end, and Nitram's loneliness and anger grow, he begins a slow descent into a nightmare that culminates in the most nihilistic and heinous of acts.
Justin Kurzel
Nick Batzias, Shaun Grant, Justin Kurzel, Virginia Whitwell
Shaun Grant
IFC Films
Production Co
GoodThing Productions, Melbourne International Film Festival
Mystery & Thriller, Crime, Drama
Original Language
Australian English
Release Date (Theaters)
Mar 30, 2022, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Mar 30, 2022
1h 52m
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