You’ve gotta love uneasy dinner party movies. It never gets old to watch character dynamics unfold around a full table as tensions increase while wine flows. Even so, any specific subgenre can start to feel conventional and predictable over time…
Enter BARBARIANS, a film with a deceptively simple initial premise that wastes little time escalating into something altogether different and more complex.
Tom Cullen gives a masterful turn as the ego-driven, macho friend Lucas, but the greatest surprise performance comes from Iwan Rheon of GAME OF THRONES fame. While his time as Ramsay Bolton proved his villainous abilities, it’s his subtle anger and resentment boiling just under the surface that makes Adam such an absorbing character to watch.
Beyond the incredible performances, the film also boasts beautiful set pieces that set the stage for an action-packed payoff. First-time director Charles Dorfman has a great eye for tone, easily interweaving timely satirical commentary about modern masculinity, greed, and influencer culture with the more brutal, violent, primal aspects of his tightly written, layered script.
To say more about this film would ruin its special alchemy of genres and conversation-stirring surprises, but trust me when I say this isn’t your grandma’s polite dinner party. (LOGAN TAYLOR)