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      Of Horses and Men

      Released Mar 11, 2015 1 hr. 21 min. Comedy Drama List
      100% 31 Reviews Tomatometer 71% 1,000+ Ratings Audience Score Vignettes of life in a rural Icelandic community show the intertwined lives of humans (Helgi Björnsson, Maria Ellingsen, Kristbjörg Kjeld) and equines. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Aug 11 Buy Now

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      Of Horses and Men

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      Of Horses and Men

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      Critics Consensus

      Well-crafted and resoundingly original, Of Horses and Men is as intelligent, inscrutable, and breathtakingly lovely as its titular equines.

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      Audience Reviews

      View All (22) audience reviews
      Estrella I think it was a little explicit for children and was shocked in some of the scenes while children on a plane had pages watching view video of inappropriate animal interaction for young children actually were questioning what was the whate horse getting hurt by the black horse and , it sure was not appreciated for children young to view but other pole have a right on a plane. It's a weird movie. Well Iceland has a penis museum too so this is expected Rated 1 out of 5 stars 09/12/23 Full Review Audience Member The English title doesn't quite capture the revelatory paronomasia of the original Icelandic "Hross í oss", a rhyme which captures the thrust of the film, the "oss" at the heart of "hross"—memorably illustrated in one particularly gruesome scene—that there is no "us" without our equine partners, which provide humanity with transportation, companionship, guidance, entertainment, and even shelter. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Positive shades of Emir Kusturica in this portrayal of an ancient way of life. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member The favorable reviews give a misleading picture of this disappointing mess. Yes, the visuals are nice, including repeated arty closeups of horses' eyes with reflections in them as well as lovely pictures of the Icelandic landscape. But the plot, if you can call it that, is both minimal and silly. In particular, some of the key events in the movie make absolutely no sense. Here are my main complaints (spoilers ahead): (1) The movie opens with a funny story line in which a local gentleman rides his mare to a female neighbor's house for tea. (Later in the movie, they inexplicably choose to have sex for the first time in a valley during a horse roundup where everyone else can see them.) As he is riding away, the woman's stallion breaks loose and mounts the mare with the rider on it (the picture on the movie poster). He then rides the mare home and shoots her. Umm, okay, maybe he didn't want that stallion to breed with his mare, but would he really kill her? Why not just kill the foal after it's born if you really think it's useless? (And people later compliment the stallion after it's gelded, so it's not like it's some crappy horse.) Surely you could breed the mare again. I am not an expert on horse breeding, but killing the mare seems like an insane reaction to an unwanted pregnancy. (2) A local drunk rides a horse into the ocean to meet up with a Russian boat leaving port. At first you think, oh, what a risky way to steal a horse. But he is not stealing the horse. He leaves it standing in a temporary platform dangling from the ship while he boards it to pick up two bottles of very strong alcohol from the Russians, who warn him against drinking it straight. He doesn't seem to give them anything in return, and there is no explanation of why he can't get alcohol an easier way (alcohol is expensive in Iceland, but couldn't he just make his own moonshine?). He then rides the horse back to the mainland. Of course, he drinks the alcohol straight from the bottle despite the Russians' warning, and then he dies of alcohol poisoning. This is yet another story line with cool visuals and a nonsensical plot. (3) A random Spanish-speaking guy is biking through the countryside and gets a crush on a Norwegian girl who is herding some horses. He asks if he can join the riders and they say sure, why not? As he is riding with a group that is driving a herd of horses ahead of them, he falls behind because he is an inexperienced rider and he can't get his horse to speed up. The rest of the riders abandon him, and he gets lost. (There is no world in which a group of riders would leave a strange foreigner behind in Iceland on one of their horses.) It starts snowing, and to survive, he kills the horse and climbs inside of it (like Luke Skywalker climbing into a tauntaun in the Empire Strikes Back). Oh, and he kills the horse with a single blow from a pocket knife, then uses that same pocket knife to cut the horse open well enough to fit inside it. Sure. The next morning the group that abandoned him finds him and pulls him out of the horse. Could one of these inexplicable, pointless story lines be excused? Maybe. But three of them? And it's not like we get some other great payoff to make up for this silliness. (There are a couple more story lines, but they aren't worth summarizing.) In short, some of the visuals are good, and if you like Icelandic horses, you might enjoy just watching the horses. But as a movie, this is pretty terrible. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/15/23 Full Review Audience Member raw and darkly funny. About pride, love and being lost Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/23/23 Full Review Audience Member The Icelandic contestant of the 2014 Oscars. I think I get why it made it all the way - it's not like most movies. Several small stories, all taking place in a small Icelandic village, all slightly connected and all of them include men and horses. It's not a mountain of laughs, but it's very innovative, off-beat and delicate. I've actually tried horse riding at Iceland - probably with the worst technique the island has ever seen, but the film made memories come back to my head. Anyhow, Superbly shot and the short length of the film makes it very easy to digest. The characters we meet are quite some people and the happenings are amazingly absurd. Unforgettable scenes. Raw, nasty and graphic. Still with a dark comedy-like undertone. Just have a look at the movie poster and you will catch my drift. The connections between mankind and horses are easy to spot, but quite artisticly presented. A superb first feature by Benedikt Erlingsson and I really hope for more nutty films from the guy. 8.5 out of 10 humping horses. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Critics Reviews

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      Neil Young Hollywood Reporter Strikingly good-looking if somewhat narratively uneven. Mar 10, 2015 Full Review Jay Weissberg Variety Flabbergasting images and a delightfully dry sense of humor make Of Horses and Men a debut worthy of celebration. Mar 10, 2015 Full Review Nicolas Rapold New York Times [Erlingsson] pushes ahead with efficient visuals, snappy transitions and a driving score split between cantering rhythms and choral hymns. Mar 10, 2015 Full Review Dennis Harvey 48 Hills A bracing, darkly funny series of interlocking tales in which equine behavior came off considerably better than that of humans... Oct 28, 2020 Full Review Patrick Gamble CineVue A laconic, lyrical script is peppered with subtle moments of absurdity to paint a twisted portrait of the director's homeland. Set against the picturesque, ashen vistas of the Icelandic landscape, Erlingsson constructs a dense and multifaceted drama. Rated: 4/5 Mar 26, 2019 Full Review Camilla Long Sunday Times (UK) The Icelandic film Of Horses and Men is unlike anything I've seen this year, a weird and beautiful comedy. Rated: 4/5 Feb 21, 2018 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Vignettes of life in a rural Icelandic community show the intertwined lives of humans (Helgi Björnsson, Maria Ellingsen, Kristbjörg Kjeld) and equines.
      Director
      Benedikt Erlingsson
      Screenwriter
      Benedikt Erlingsson
      Distributor
      Music Box Films
      Production Co
      Filmhuset Gruppen, Leiknar Myndir
      Genre
      Comedy, Drama
      Original Language
      Icelandic
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Mar 11, 2015, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Oct 12, 2015
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $11.8K
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