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Winter's Bone (movie)

'Starred Up' is a savage journey toward anger management

'Starred Up' is a savage journey toward anger management

As unsettling as a hard slap to the face, "Starred Up" shocks the system. It marries ferocious, unnerving violence and waves of profanity to powerful, psychologically acute performances in a way that is intensely dramatic as well as almost unbearable to watch at times.

Those knockout performances come courtesy of rising star Jack O'Connell (the lead in the much-anticipated "Unbroken") and Ben Mendelsohn, whose barely controlled malevolence was one of the highlights of the Australian crime drama "Animal Kingdom."

Here they play two inmates in a British prison, each more unstoppably violent than the next. O'Connell's Eric is only 19, but as the film...