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Worth A Look: 33.93%
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Sucks: 5.36%

4 reviews, 32 user ratings

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Lawn Dogs
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by Filmink Magazine (owes us money)

"A movingly poetic modern fable that is right on target."
4 stars

Australian director John Duigan is the master of hit and miss cinema. When he hits (The Year My Voice Broke, Flirting), he hits hard, but when he misses (Wide Sargasso Sea, Sirens, The Journey Of August King), the results can be profoundly ugly.

His new film, the American set Lawn Dogs, is a movingly poetic modern fable that is right on target.

Trent (charismatic star in the making Rockwell) is a working class outsider who mows lawns for suburban arseholes on the tidy estate of Camelot Gardens. Treated like dirt by his employers, he keeps to himself until he is befriended by ten year old Devon (a richly layered performance from first timer Barton), a troubled young girl who acts out by pissing on her father's car and playing with his gun.

Though innocent, their growing bond eventually draws fire from her hypocritical, soul-dead parents (Thelma And Louise's professional bastard McDonald and Apollo 13's Quinlan) and the other residents. Bigotry, paranoia and sexual tension send the film hurtling toward a devastating climax.

Working from a script by playwright and poet Naomi Wallace, Duigan has crafted a rich and wholly satisfying coming of age tale. Elements of the Southern Gothic, surrealism, morality tale, social comment and character study combine to create a truly individual and original experience. Duigan directs with an admirable light touch while still managing to create visual poetry out of the seemingly antiseptic suburban surrounds. Under this pretty surface lies a sense of unease that keeps the film crackling with danger, almost recalling the work of David Lynch in its unsettling juxtaposition of beauty and horror.

Moving, incisive and visually striking, Lawn Dogs shows Duigan in cuttingly good form. A low key gem, Lawn Dogs is a film that manages to mesmerise with its quiet power and heightened sense of wonder. ---Erin Free

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=164&reviewer=14
originally posted: 08/25/98 23:45:52
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User Comments

3/28/16 Aj wales Movie does not age. Dreamlike fairytale. Emotional ending. Watch. 5 stars
6/30/11 Anon E. Muss That's how you tell a story. Exceptionally well done. 5 stars
7/10/07 not Trent Sam Rockwell's character's name is Trent, and the girl is Devon. 4 stars
4/22/07 tynecastle21 Refreshing t see an American not reliant on big names, big budget and special effects. Exce 5 stars
11/26/06 Lawn Duk Dong Hang yourself with the laces of Micha's Keds before watching this pile of doggie poo. 1 stars
7/13/06 Gord - the Mad Doctor Without a doubt, the best movie in my collection. 5 stars
7/05/05 anon I wanna say that Misha Barton sux in all her movies>:( and shes a ugly lil slut 1 stars
6/03/05 John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmidt No no "Disappointed" YOU think you're smarter than you really are. Brilliant film. 5 stars
5/21/05 disappointed thinks it is far smarter than it really is. 1 stars
3/07/05 Song The young girl's name is Devon, not Trent. Get it right. No credibility as a reviewer. 2 stars
10/06/04 Meaghan Mischa Barton plays a fantastic role and i really enjoyed watching this movie! 5 stars
6/01/03 michelle LOVED IT! 5 stars
1/22/03 Pinkline Jones Excellent film - imaginative and thoughtful 5 stars
5/18/02 Lisa I'm sorry, but isn't her name Devon? Not Trent.. 5 stars
12/23/01 Ray Foltz Great movie!Mischa Barton is great and sexy! 5 stars
12/14/01 Andrew Mchugh Visually superb with twisted humour and fear 5 stars
10/21/01 muddy Great job from Sam Rockwell and Mischa Barton. (note: The diving scene was cool!) 5 stars
10/21/01 kylie it rocked 5 stars
9/26/01 Xerox Sam Rockwell did a much better job in "Jerry and Tom".A better film I might add. 4 stars
9/06/01 Jeff It was pretty interesting, and it was filmed in my neighborhood--so it was fun to watch 4 stars
9/01/01 Devereux delicious discovery!! thanks 5 stars
2/03/01 Piotr I love it! Devon is adorable 5 stars
10/20/99 Lauren loved it.....filmed in my home city a couple blocks away from me....very realistic... 5 stars
8/14/99 Angela Maruca I love this movie!! I think SAM ROCKWELL IS AMAZING!! 5 stars
6/22/99 Nicole Toro Great flick, why haven't I heard of Sam Rockwell before? He was incredible. Big future. 5 stars
4/09/99 Jeff Very good flick--even if it was filmed in Kentucky. Mystical realism and no subtitles! 4 stars
11/25/98 Mr.Pink Magical movie that you won't forget. Highly Recommended! 5 stars
11/14/98 Barrie I wept and wept. Not from the sadness of the ending, but for the overall mysticism. Brill. 5 stars
9/26/98 MR HOLLYWOOD!! 1 word.......TOUCHING..........Wheres OSCAR ??? 4 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Like a nursery rhyme that you keep thinking is going to turn into kiddie porn. Great. 5 stars
8/15/98 {{{OZ}}} Almost Tim Burton-esque at times, a great dark comedy of a film. 4 stars
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  15-May-1998 (R)
  DVD: 08-Dec-1998



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