Men (2022)

men poster 2022 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Great looking, great cast

The movies themes seem unclear but also go overboard at the same time

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Men

Studio:  DNA Films

Genre(s):  Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  May 2022 (Cannes)/May 20, 2022 (USA)

MPAA Rating:  R

men tunnel scene jessie buckley

It’s all fun and games until a naked man stalks you and a whole village of men turn on you

Following the death of her husband James (Paapa Essiedu), Harper Marlowe (Jessie Buckley) has travelled to the countryside village of Cotson to reflect on what happened.  After being shown her new home by the property owner Geoffrey (Rory Kinnear), Harper finds herself encountering a strange, naked man on a walk in the forest.  Harper begins to notice that everyone in Cotson seems off…and Harper is getting scared.

Written and directed by Alex Garland, Men is a psychological horror thriller.  The movie premiered at Cannes and received mixed reviews from critics.

The trailer for Men was pretty strong.  With a creepy tone, Garland’s “off” characters were unnerving along with a minimalist soundtrack.  I looked forward to seeing Men, but I kind of was down on the film once I did.  Due to aspects of the plot, a ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the rest of the review.

men green man rebirth

Yeah…The Green Man really doesn’t translate worldwide

The movie’s themes are a bit murky.  Harper is both betrayed by her husband and feels guilt about her death.  Every man in Cotson shares a variation on the same face…which she doesn’t really acknowledge and it is unclear if she even realizes it.  She is trying to forgive herself, but she doesn’t really have anything to forgive herself for…James choices were his own.  By the end one man is bubbling into the next man (literally birthing from each other until it ultimately ends up being James).  Are all men the same and is forgiving something that helps truly start something new?  The post scene also is loaded with ambiguity…did she kill people, did it happen?

Jessie Buckley is good as the lead, and she is a good emoter with little dialogue.  She manages to say a lot with few words.  Rory Kinnear has been known as a character actor but he gives a creepy performance as the man with multiple faces.  The film really becomes a film between the two (with Paapa Essiedu who plays her husband as the bookends).  It is a good duality between the two characters, and the flippant nature of Kinnear’s characters is maddening…but it could just be Harper’s perception of how people are talking to her.

men birth scene ending jessie buckley

Wow…this freaky…let’s do it a whole bunch more…

The movie looks fantastic as it is loaded with both biblical imagery and something a bit less unattainable for potential viewers outside of the UK.  The naked man begins to transform into a blend of nature which ties to the legend or story of the Green Man which isn’t international as much.  It is a story of rebirth, death, and understanding.

Men is problematic.  It takes its themes and hits you over the head with them but then can’t decide if it wants to explain them.  There are some great look and extremely tense scenes (the whole naked man is terrifying and well done), but the movie continuously undercuts itself on the question if the film is purely psychological or real…that can potentially be interesting, but here it falls a bit flat.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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