In the aftermath of a personal tragedy, Harper retreats alone to the beautiful English countryside, hoping to find a place to heal. But someone — or something — from the surrounding woods appears to be stalking her, and what begins as simmering dread becomes a fully-formed nightmare, inhabited by her darkest memories and fears.

  • Released: 2022-05-20
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
  • Stars: Jessie Buckley, Rory Kinnear, Paapa Essiedu, Gayle Rankin, Sarah Twomey, Zak Rothera-Oxley, Sonoya Mizuno
  • Director: Alex Garland
  • hannahwarsop - 6 June 2024
    Every woman knows
    THIS!!! This film encapsulates the fear that every woman in the world inherently feels. That and the confusion about how we can be simultaneously desired while being punished for being desirable, We've all met every character in the film, from the creepy, entitled man-boy who sees women as servants put on the earth to meet his every demand and gets violently angry when they dare to deny him what's rightfully his, to the repressed priest who blames women for his inability to control his sexual urges.

    I absolutely LOVED every minute of this film. Yes the first half was beautiful and ethereal and the second half shocking and bloody, but it couldn't have been the same of either throughout, and for me it personified the journey women go on when they at first naively think the world is a safe place, that we're equal to men, then slowly, horrifyingly, realise not only are we not equal, we're actually in danger. It is basically a metaphor for that amazing quote: "men fear women will reject them, women fear men will kill them".

    Just sheer bloody brilliance.
  • nitrodubzswagout - 1 May 2024
    A misunderstood masterpiece of visual storytelling
    "Men" opens with a wonderful rendition of "Love song" by Lesley Duncan, which more so than being about romantic love tells a story of the collaborative, cooperative nature of love in all its forms. To just give it or just take it reduces it to something small and angry, rife for exploitation and imbalance.

    "Men" is told almost entirely in cinematic language. The dialogue is sparse and minimalist. This is one of those films where thinking is almost redundant, it's all about feeling and observing, going on a ride guided by instinct.

    The plot is simple. Harper, a young widow (played wonderfully by Jessie Buckley), seeks to heal her mind of the jarring images of her husband's suicide in a bucolic manor house in the English countryside. Forests and sprawling fields promising relaxation, leisure and comfort which will soon turn into a menacing circumstance. Comfort tends to do that. If we submit to it too long, it can turn into a soft, blankety trap from which there is no escape, as Harper will come to find out in an extraordinarily horrific fashion. That comfort isn't found only in the way of balmy retreats after a traumatic event but in the much more mundane - relationships, marriage, family, "doing the done thing".

    Harper is given the tour of the house by Geoffrey, a posh country bumpkin of a landlord played beautifully and humorously by Rory Kinnear. Not a "harumph" or chortle out of place, Geoffrey is seemingly innocuous and hospitable but with a simmering "white knight" quality, always ready to avail Harper of help or favours she didn't ask for (and then complaining about having done them). You can see Harper's train of thought; what will this cost me? What will he ultimately spring on me as a result of resigning to these gestures?

    In her wanderings, Harper encounters several village men, all played by Kinnear. The fact they all have the same visage eludes Harper and is only obvious to us, the viewer. She's consciously unaware of her fears and projections, she only feels them. The men all represent archetypes - the mythical Green man, the boy, the vicar, the police man. No one and nowhere is safe, as they interact with Harper with different degrees of lust, entitlement, dismissiveness and hatred.

    These encounters culminate in the Green man's intrusion into the stately manor, after which follow the other men. Let's briefly examine the Green man's role in the order in which these men appear, as he is their originator.

    As the first, the Green man is a representation of what a man is "naturally". A being of hunt, instinct, rebirth and procreation, he is there to establish the order - man inseminates, woman births. He operates under no other motivation. This is visually represented twice, first as he disseminates dandelion seeds into an enraptured Harper, who cries with the tenderness of this idea, only to be screamed at by her subconscious drowning in a bathtub. Next, when the Green man extends his hand through the mail slot, Harper again succumbs to the idea of this natural order and accepts the hand with hopeful caution, only to immediately be hurt by that acceptance causing her to resort to violence in order to escape.

    After a series of attacks and confrontations with the men, we finally arrive at the much talked about birth scene, in which the Green man, now fully in bloom, gives birth to the boy, who gives birth to the vicar, and so on. An initially shocked Harper looks on, but her shock soon turns into resignation as she witnesses a process she can neither influence nor change, only dispassionately observe and pity but not justify or excuse. All the men are born screaming in pain and agony, distorted and suffering, unable to deny their own conditioning, doomed to repeat this process until a culmination of it is "born" in the form of Harper's late husband, James.

    As the wounded James and Harper sit down next to each other for one last reckoning, James' obtuse answer to Harper's question finally absolves her of the lingering guilt she carries. Even through the extreme act of suicide, James doesn't understand the reasons of this act or the significance of his own death. Harper is freed.

    This is not in the least a kangaroo court of men in front of the Queen's Court of Feminism. It's simply a speculative observation of how and why someone is how they are in a circumstance. Women don't know how manhood is and feels no more than men do about girlhood and womanhood. Those experiences cannot be told verbally, it's something that has to be lived and experienced to be understood. Religion, tradition, history and politics provide scarce and often wrong answers to those questions but are often the only resources we think to turn to.

    "Men" is an unforgettable exploration of guilt, relief, redemption and the trappings of paved paths that doesn't offer simple answers on a silver platter but is all the more valuable and beautiful for exactly that reason.
  • benb-1 - 19 April 2024
    Anti feminist movie?
    At first glance men is just a modern leftist horror movie.

    But like Civil War Garland take aim at the modern "good" side.

    Eve the perfect modern woman decide to rent the garden of eden with her corporate money and call the cops to keep homeless Adam away.

    After that Eve go crazy from loneliness.

    That's the basic of the movie.

    Jessie is the "perfect" modern woman ,she got her own money a nice job and a diverse husband.

    Only problem she doesn't love her diversity husband and when she decides to divorce him he kill himself.

    That is already going against all modern value ,the mix couple is not working she doesn't seem to love him at all,and want out even if he says he is going to kill himself.

    After that she goes alone to the perfect cottage, where she continues to remote work and call her only friend Riley.

    Here we start to see how this perfect woman is living a perfect nightmare.

    She got money,but she is totally alone her only friend is a phone call from Riley after James death she got no one .

    All she see are strangers and when a crazy homeless man follow her one day she go totally crazy.

    We can see the moment she go crazy in the church when she start screaming and crying alone.

    After that her world start to spiral into madness seing the same face everywhere from everyone.

    She is alone and the shot when she look up to the universe show that, she is alone in the whole world nobody care about her or her achievements.

    At the end she fight the serpent of eden and win ,but how?

    She is crazy now ,did she kill Geoffrey, Adam the homeless guy? Did she try to kill herself with the knife?

    We don't know but at the end her friend Riley arrives she is pregnant and we see Jessie going mad.

    Jessie know thar Riley will abandon her to take care of her new child and she will probably be alone forever.
  • rohanumpleby-34057 - 7 January 2023
    A pleasant surprise
    The actors performances were really good throughout this film. You really felt for Harper, the danger she was in. The setting is great for a horror film!, The Woods and the old abandoned train area, gave this film an eerie vibe. The effects were also good. Harper carried this film. Her performance was good, her look whenever she was in danger was great. It really felt like we were they're in that moment.


    A girl moves in a remote town ( Harper ), after her ex-husband has just dies. Her pain and grief shows inside this film, and the flashbacks that we got to see really made us feel bad for Harper. She explores the woods nearby, then sees a tunnel. She then makes humming noices. Then she's greated with a man who's on the other side. As expected she feels worried then leaves. She believes this man is following her. The police arrive after she calls then they leave. And then that's when the weird stuff really get under way. The bar where the people look exactly the same ( Doppelganger) is weird. My theorie is that there's just one bloke, who tries to terrorise people, because why else would they're be only one guy, and a naked man who is believed to be living in the woods and isn't dangerous, atleast according to the policeman. That's why I think its one guy trying to terrorise the poor girl who's all alone. And when he's in the house on her first day, he doesn't just leave, he just stands they're and then leaves and its as if he thought he was opted to stay. She calls her best friend after these strange incidents, and tells her she wants to leave, then the WiFi cuts out. And then the lights flicker on and off, and without her friend knowing where she is, she's now stranded. This is a great way of making a horror film, as there's more stakes and more of a threat that can be opposed on her. She tries to leave when she then hits another version of the same man!. Then he gets up and when she opens her door out of feat he grabs her and chucks her on the road and gets in her car and speeds off down the road going way faster then the speed limit. Now she's alone and in real danger. The man in the car then comes back and chases her, she has an advantage as she's got turns and all that which can let her outrun the man in the car. Then another version of himself comes in, after breaking the window, her overly load exaggerated scream ( good acting ) and facial expression mixed with fear and scared for her life she grabs a knife. Then the version that had stolen her car ( afterwards) you'll see why I did that in a sec. Was acting all innocent which shows he can have different personas even when he's the exact same person. A man then chases her around the house like a demonic person, under some kind of drugs I would of thought tries to get her. But she is safe because she has a knife. The amount of Versions that he makes is a little on the silly side as well, and plays it with a straight face is a little random. And then her dead Ex-Husband then comes out of the man that's full of blood. So either this film was showing these scary stuff, to show she can't cope without him, it makes sense if it is.


    The music was annoying, it's a racket and it's completely unnecessary, and doesn't add anything to the plot and doesn't make the story any better, and if anything just makes it worse. It's loud and obnoxious, and I wasn't feeling it. It also keeps being played, and I really don't know why as it's annoying and is overly loud. It's not clever either.

    Set Designs/Effects:

    The effects for a low budget film were surprisingly good. The camera angles and the different angles we got to see of the house was nice. And the Designs were also good, purely based on the fact this film doesn't have the best budget, it still holds up none the less. The colors on this film is also great, so Much colors we get to look at is just a delight to behold and it elevates the story.

    Rating: 7/10 Some desistions have a lot to be desired, but on the whole it was a watchable horror film. Would recommend.
  • crom-dubh - 1 January 2023
    People seriously didn't get what this was about?
    I see people saying this was "artsy" for the sake of it and didn't have a plot or meaning. LOL, wut? Seriously, I don't even know how someone would find their way into a film like this and have no experience watching films that are spelled out for them. But OK, maybe this is your first "difficult" film.

    Anyway, Alex Garland is on a roll at this point, and if you haven't seen either Ex Machina or Annihilation as a point of reference, they are definitely worth checking out, and serve as a better entry point and are much easier to understand. But they also hint at his sensibilities, which culminate in this film which takes them to the next level.

    Everything about this film is incredibly well done. Writing is creative and engrossing and the direction and acting really sell it. The soundtrack perfectly accentuates the mood throughout. I'd definitely recommend this if you want to watch a high level of film craft that might be a little difficult to watch but definitely has a "message" that you will be thinking about afterwards.
  • tieguanyin - 26 December 2022
    Does not succeed at what it tries to do
    I had been really excited to see this movie, I had seen the trailer and it seemed pretty scary! I think there is real merit to the non exploitative portrayal of womens' experiences with men. There is a lot of organic fear there, because women have a good reason to fear men a lot of times. Seeing a good portrayal of these concerns is good and realistic.

    This movie, however, only captured that a little bit. I think the first parts of the movie are pretty well done and that is what the four stars are, because the rest of this movie is something that genuinely annoyed me severely.

    I will start with the things I liked, and then expand on the things I did not. The scene with harper and her partner was an attention grabbing start to the movie and I think it was well done. The scenes with the man from the forest were really scary and well done. Seeing him chase her and then lurking outside of her house triggered my fight or flight response. I was on the edge of my seat for these scenes. Overall the film was competently made and well acted.

    Now on to the things I was not a fan of. As expected of an A24 film there were several scenes where nothing happens and there is music playing, or in this case, characters singing. It really adds an awkward break in the pacing of the movie and makes it a lot harder to stay interested.

    I also cannot help but mention the plethora of vagina imagery. Vaginal imagery does not make your movie 'deep' and It does not make your film any better. And with a film like this where it is so common and the overall theming, it is actively detrimental to the film's themes. Equating vaginas to the experience of womanhood is objectifying. A woman's experience and how she is treated and how she fits in to a society does not have much to do with her genitals at all. Not all women even have vaginas, so reducing what it means to be a woman to that is lame and I really hope filmmakers can see that in a lot of cases, adding this to films is a poor choice.

    The reduction of women to a body part is indicative of a larger problem of this film. The social commentary it makes feels very hollow and poorly done. Characters behave out of character in order to create a story that covers as many aspects of sexism as possible. It feels like rather than them being fully realized, they exist to check a box on the script and it makes the movie come across as formulaic and makes it hard to care about any one of the characters. I do not know how many women were involved with this production so I can not say for sure that this is true, but this film feels as though it was written by an outside observer of sexism as opposed to someone who has the greater understanding of sexism that comes with experiencing it firsthand

    Lastly I must discuss the final scene. I don't think many people liked it. It once again reduces womanhood to genitals and birth. It also is gross but not in a well done way, the sequence looks bad. Lastly, it really means nothing and makes the overall viewing experience feel like a waste of time.
  • youngcollind - 12 December 2022
    Takes an impressive bite, but I'm not sure how much it chews
    Depending on where you sit, this is the culmination of everything wrong, or right, with modern "elevated" horror. We've now reached the boiling point where the allegory outweighs the plot, coming at you more as a riddle to decode than a story to get lost in. Men aims to balance several ambitions, each to varying degrees of success.

    First, there's the surface level horror narrative. Taken at face value, it's merely a pedestrian home invasion story that ends with a perplexing climax. While many films are able to bury meaning within a concrete story, Men forces it's subtext to the surface. Without the metaphors, the film falls apart.

    The messaging seems to be split between two themes. The main focus is the trauma surrounding a suicide. This drives the tension of the film, and provides an opportunity for some of the strongest performances. Seeing the final movement as a physical manifestation of this grief is probably the best lens to make sense of things.

    Then there's the feminist allegory that catalogues male microaggressions through Rory Kinnear's tapestry of characters. Going in, I was assuming this would be the crux of the film, but it comes across a little under cooked. While a village full of similarly faced men who exhibit varying degrees of toxic masculinity had the potential to be overly on the nose, they merely dip their toes into the concept without going far enough for any truly satisfying revelations.

    I struggle to make the connection between the isolated situation with Harper's husband and the macro indictment on masculinity. I know saying "not all men" has become a faux pas, but I swear, "not all men" commit suicide when you break up with them. If this is intended as just another example of male toxicity, it seems a little too extreme to be universally relatable. If it's intended to be just a trauma, isolated from the other incidents, then it eats up too much screen time and dilutes the commentary alluded to by the title.

    Ultimately, it's technically well crafted, and I'll always champion something this ambitious and weird. However, for a film so openly about it's own symbolism, it feels like it stretches itself too thin to arrive at anything genuinely impactful.
  • cwfury - 12 November 2022
    Just a terrible movie with no real point or purpose. Unfortunately suffers from the typical writing of too many films today where something "unique" is being done but it's just foolish junk. Think Midsommer either even less of a point or story. Before you say "that's not possible" ask yourself how often you are let down!

    Dear writers, Please make sure it's good, first and foremost... Secondly, a point to the story, or a story at all, would be much appreciated! Thirdly, "new ideas" can stay in the bag if they're trash. Just because you have a new idea doesn't mean we want to see a terrible version of it.
  • goshamorrell - 31 October 2022
    A true Horror Masterpiece
    There are moments in "Men" that will cause your breath to quicken and your heart to pound. Still others will leave you scratching your head and stifling laughter. Whatever your reaction is to the latest meticulously made mind warp from writer/director Alex Garland, it won't be indifference. This is a visceral experience, and it reinforces Garland's singular prowess as a craftsman of indelible visuals and gripping mood. As in his previous films, "Ex Machina" and "Annihilation," he establishes a feeling of dread early and holds you in it, unyielding, for much of the film's duration. The methodical pacing, eerie cinematography, startling sound design, and vivid visual effects all work in synergy to create an almost merciless tension. But then we reach his wild, muscular climax-and that's where things ultimately fall apart. "Men" is at its mightiest as a haunting exploration of grief, as it trudges an arduous road toward healing. The English countryside where our heroine seeks refuge after a horrifying loss looks peaceful and inviting. The lush woods are quiet and cool, as they so often are in Garland's films-until they aren't. The stately manor she's rented offers far more space than she needs-until she has nowhere to hide. Jessie Buckley navigates the many perils that await her character, Harper, with an unease that eventually rises to terror. Her feelings are all there on the surface, and she's dragging us along with her as she fights for her sanity as well as her safety. Bringing these ideas into sharper focus would have given them far more power. Instead, they meander and sprawl, remaining intriguing but tantalizingly out of reach. Still, this is the stuff of nightmares, and Garland shows you things here that you'll never be able to unsee-but you will enjoy discussing them afterward with a friend over coffee or a drink. The lobbies of arthouse theaters worldwide are sure to be full of people wandering from their auditoriums in a daze, wondering what they just witnessed and wishing desperately to make sense of it. So maybe "Men" are good for something after all: They might just save cinema.