Movie Review: U.K. crime drama Hyena is uncompromising in its brutality, but to what end?

Human scavengers abound in the relentlessly grim British thriller Hyena, one of those movies in which it’s a toss-up whether the cops or the criminals are more despicable. Writer-director Gerard Johnson, making his second feature (the first, Tony, about a sad-sack serial killer, never opened in the U.S.), brings little that’s new or refreshing to the genre, but he does at least have the courage of his convictions—even plot threads that appear to be offering a thin sliver of hope for the prospect of human decency are ultimately discarded like the hacked-up body parts of one luckless character. Unlike last year’s Filth, though, Hyena doesn’t come across as if it’s reveling in its characters’ bad behavior. A few dreamy interludes aside, the film’s tone is cool, dispassionate, and matter-of-fact. All that’s missing is a reason to give a damn.

No time …

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