The Vicious Kind

Director: Lee Toland Krieger

Institute History

  • 2009 Sundance Film Festival


In his second feature film, director Lee Krieger presents a redemption tale focused on Caleb Sinclaire, a bitter construction worker whose life is turned upside down one Thanksgiving weekend.

Estranged from his family, Caleb lives an isolated, but contented, life. Following a difficult breakup, he becomes scornful toward women and wears his disdain as a badge of honor. Caleb’s resolve is tested, however, when he meets his younger brother Peter’s new girlfriend, Emma. Immediately distrustful of her, Caleb warns Peter that she will only end up hurting him. Despite his efforts to protect his brother, he finds himself drawn to Emma and surprised by his growing attraction. Caleb’s unexpected feelings force him finally to confront the vulnerability he has struggled for so long to conceal.

Adam Scott gives an inspired performance as Caleb, a misanthrope not only prone to angry diatribes but also susceptible to flashes of naked frailty. Superbly shot, and supported by a lush score and hip soundtrack, The Vicious Kind offers a glimpse into the soul of a damaged man whose obstinate defense mechanisms are laid bare by his fractured relationships.

— Rosie Wong

Screening Details

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