Trespass Against Us

Out Now On-Demand

Blood is a brutal bond.

Three-time Golden Globe nominee Brendan Gleeson (The Guard) and two-time Oscar nominee Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave) are outlaw father and son in this crime drama, set in an anarchic corner of Britain’s richest countryside.

Chad Cutler (Fassbender) is heir apparent to his bruising criminal father, Colby (Gleeson) and has been groomed to spend his life hunting, thieving and tormenting the police. But with his own son Tyson (Georgie Smith) coming of age, Chad soon finds himself locked in a battle with his father for the future of his young family.

When Colby learns of Chad’s designs for another life, he sets out to tie his son and grandson into the archaic order that has bound the Cutler family for generations. He engineers a spectacular piece of criminal business involving a heist, a high-speed car chase and a manhunt, which leaves Chad bruised and bloodied and with his very freedom at stake. With the law cracking down and his father tightening his grip, Chad is forced into increasingly desperate measures.


Directed by

Crime, Drama


Rating: R13 Violence, offensive language & content that may disturb


Adam Smith’s first feature, (following his work as a director on Chemical Brothers videos and TV’s Dr Who), is no whizz-bang Brit gangster flick. Rather, the rewards are in the carefully-constructed cinematography and top-notch performances, not just from the two leads, but also child actors and a supporting cast who blend seamlessly into the unforgiving environment on display.

Colby Cutler (Brendan Gleeson), is head of an Irish travelling clan. Gypsy, thief, and proudly uneducated patriarch of a family he’ll do anything to keep together. With one son behind bars, Colby’s other child, Chad (Michael Fassbender), must choose between following his father’s path, or creating a new life for his young son, Tyson.

Yet it’s no easy morality tale. Characters resist empathy, and (despite a great performance from Lyndsey Marshal as Chad’s wife, Kelly), the narrative focus on the moral quagmire of masculinity eschews women, in favour of an exploration of what it means to be “man”, “father”, and “son”.

It’s an old tale, the son and the father at a crossroads of diverging paths towards the light or the dark, (or the Luke and the Darth if you prefer your metaphors Star Wars-style). Starting with a hare, chased by a car driven by Chad’s kid, and featuring some great car getaways along the way, the film embraces a meandering, unfocused pace that may infuriate some. Where it succeeds is as slow-burn character study of machismo within an impoverished family, bound by a criminal morality.

New York Times


Though thematically vague, thinly plotted and without a reliably sympathetic soul to cling to, the movie has a mutinous energy and an absurd, knockabout charm; even its violence is more quirky than brutal.

Los Angeles Times


"Trespass Against Us" plays like the quirky indie-fication of the family gangster movie, its scrappiness overlaid with a patina of we're-all-in-this-together slickness.

Variety (USA)


As a thief trying to break away from his criminal father, Michael Fassbender can't act his way out of this pile of grungy nonsense.

The Guardian (UK)


Moments of excitement don't make up for what is ultimately a slow burn study of characters that aren't nearly as interesting as the movie thinks they are.

Hollywood Reporter


The movie doesn't play on the tension between these two moods so much as tread water between them, unsure what it wants to do to the audience.



Adam Smith wastes his talented leads on a standard family crime drama we've seen plenty of times before.

Screen International


Dynamic storytelling and powerful performances bring out the pathos in an unusual tale of conflicting loyalties set on the criminal edges of a travelling community.

NZ Herald (Francesca Rudkin)


Elements of this crime drama/family saga are good - in particular, performances from two of Ireland's finest actors, Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson - but as a whole it fails to make a lasting impact. (Graeme Tuckett)


Some smart, deft writing, and a series of car and foot chase set pieces that constantly out do themselves for inventiveness and flat-out entertainment value.