{{Use dmy dates|date=June 2013}}

{{Infobox film

| name           = Only God Forgives

| image          = Only God Forgives poster.jpg

| image_size     = 

| alt            = 

| caption        = Teaser poster

| director       = [[Nicolas Winding Refn]]

| producer       = [[Lene Børglum]]

| writer         = Nicolas Winding Refn

| starring       = {{Plainlist |

* [[Ryan Gosling]]

* [[Kristin Scott Thomas]]

* [[Vithaya Pansringarm]]

* [[Ratha Phongam]]

* Gordon Brown

* [[Tom Burke (actor)|Tom Burke]]


| music          = [[Cliff Martinez]]

| cinematography = Larry Smith

| editing        = Matthew Newman

| studio         = {{Plainlist |

* [[Space Rocket Nation]]

*[[Gaumont Film Company]]

  • [[Wild Bunch (film company)|Wild Bunch]]<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Only God Forgives (2013)|work=[[The New York Times]]|accessdate=2 March 2015}}</ref>


| distributor    = {{Plainlist |

  • [[The Weinstein Company|Radius-TWC]] {{small|(US)}}<ref name="Labrecque">{{cite web |last= Labrecque |first= Jeff |title= Ryan Gosling's Thailand gangster film goes to Radius-TWC |url= |work=[[Entertainment Weekly]] |accessdate=11 July 2012 |date=1 March 2012}}</ref>
  • [[Lions Gate Entertainment]] {{small|(UK)}}

* Le Pacte

  • Warner Bros. {{small|(France)}}


| released       = {{Film date|df=y|2013|05|22|[[2013 Cannes Film Festival|Cannes]]|2013|05|30|Denmark|2013|07|19|United States}}

| runtime        = 90 minutes<!--Theatrical runtime: 90:00--><ref>{{cite web | title = ''ONLY GOD FORGIVES'' (18) |url= | archiveurl= | archivedate = 2013-07-03 | work = [[British Board of Film Classification]] | date = 28 June 2013 | accessdate = 1 May 2014}}</ref>

| country        = {{Plainlist |

* Denmark

  • France<ref name="variety">{{cite web |url= |work= [[Variety (magazine)|Variety]] | title= Only God Forgives | last = Debruge | first = Peter |date= 22 May 2013 |accessdate= 15 December 2013}}</ref>


| language       = English<br />Thai

| budget         = $4.8 million<ref name="Jagernauth">{{cite web |last=Jagernauth |first=Kevin |title=Nicolas Winding Refn Talks Making ''Only God Forgives'' & Considers Tokyo Setting For Horror ''I Walk With The Dead'' |url= |work=The Playlist |publisher=[[IndieWire]] |accessdate=10 July 2012 |date=30 March 2012}}</ref>

| gross          =  $10.3 million<ref>{{mojo title|onlygodforgives|Only God Forgives}} Retrieved 28 June 2013</ref>


'''''Only God Forgives''''' is a 2013 Danish-French [[thriller film]] written and directed by [[Nicolas Winding Refn]], starring [[Ryan Gosling]], [[Kristin Scott Thomas]], and [[Vithaya Pansringarm]].<ref name="variety" /><ref>{{cite web|url=|work=Allmovie|publisher=Rovi Corporation| last = Buchanan | first = Jason|accessdate=15 December 2013|title=Only God Forgives}}</ref> The film was shot on location in [[Bangkok]], [[Thailand]],<ref name="HardDrive">{{cite news |title=Hard Drive |url= |newspaper=[[Bangkok Post]] |accessdate=7 March 2012}}</ref> and, as with ''[[Drive (2011 film)|Drive]]'',<ref name="NY TIMES">{{cite news|last=Lim|first=Dennis|title=Cannes Q. and A.: Driving in a Noir L.A.|url=|accessdate=31 August 2013|newspaper=[[The New York Times]]|date=22 May 2011}}</ref> is dedicated to Chilean director [[Alejandro Jodorowsky]].<ref name="ind-review">{{cite news | date=27 July 2013 | first=John |last=Patterson | title=''Only God Forgives'' this level of tedium |url= | newspaper=[[The Guardian]] | location=[[Kings Place]] |accessdate=30 July 2013}}</ref> It competed for the [[Palme d'Or]] at the [[2013 Cannes Film Festival]].<ref name="Cannes2013">{{cite web|url= |title=2013 Official Selection|date=18 April 2013|accessdate=18 April 2013|work=Cannes}}</ref>


Julian (Ryan Gosling) is an American expatriate who runs a [[muay thai]] club in Bangkok, Thailand, that is a front for a drug smuggling operation. His older brother Billy rapes and kills an under-age prostitute and is caught by the Thai police. Lieutenant Chang allows the girl's father, Choi Yan Lee, to beat Billy, but Choi goes too far and ends up killing him. However, Chang does not care about Billy's death; instead, Chang cuts off the father's forearm for allowing his daughter to be a prostitute.

Julian also has his sexual hang-ups preferring to be tied up while he watches his favorite prostitute, Mai, touch herself, all filmed as if in a ballet.

Julian and his crew go to Choi's kiosk to confront him about his part in Billy's murder but spares his life after hearing the story. Julian's mother, Crystal, arrives in Bangkok to identify Billy's corpse. Crystal demands Julian find and kill the men who killed Billy, but he refuses—believing that Choi had some justification for seeking retribution for the killing of his daughter—infuriating her. Julian has several visions of meeting Chang in a dark room, Chang cutting Julian's hands off.

Julian brings Mai to meet Crystal, posing as his girlfriend. Crystal sees through the ruse and hurls insults at Mai and demeans Julian, pronouncing him sexually inferior to his dead brother. Julian humbly accepts all of Crystal's abuse, but afterward turns on Mai, viciously humiliating her, then regretting it.

One of the fighters at Julian's boxing club assassinates Choi at the behest of Gordon, a member of Julian's crew, at Crystal's request. Later, the police investigating Choi's murder arrive at Julian's club, but Chang concludes that Julian is not Choi's killer. Julian recognizes Chang from his visions and follows him from the boxing club, but Chang seems to disappear into thin air.

After learning that Chang was involved in Billy's death, Crystal meets with an associate, Byron, to arrange Chang's assassination. Three gunmen on motorbike are sent to kill Chang at a restaurant with machine guns, and two of Chang's men are killed in the shoot-out. Chang kills two of the gunmen and follows the third on foot, beating him with a frying pan. He leads him to his boss Li Po who is feeding his young crippled son. Chang then kills the third gunman, but spares Li Po after seeing him show affection for his son. Li Po points Chang to Byron, who ordered the hit. Chang finds Byron in a club and tortures him to get answers. Byron reveals the reasoning behind the hit, but refuses to give a name. Chang continues to torture Byron, cutting out his eyes and inserting a spike into his ear.

Julian confronts Chang and challenges him to a fight and they fight on the bare concrete floor of Julian's boxing venue. Chang, an experienced boxer, easily and thoroughly beats Julian, who lands not a single hit in the entire match. Afterwards, Crystal tells Julian that Chang has figured out she ordered the hit on him. Fearfully, she pleads with Julian to kill Chang to protect her, the same way she asked Julian to kill his own father for her. She promises that after Julian kills Chang, they will go back home and she will be a true mother to him and take care of him. Julian agrees.

Julian shoots the guard outside Chang's home, and his associate Charlie Ling enter Chang's house, intent on ambushing him when he returns. Charlie informs Julian that he was instructed to execute Chang's entire family. Charlie murders the nanny of Chang's daughter as she enters the home, but, in an act of redemption, Julian shoots Charlie before he can kill Chang's young daughter.

Chang and a police officer visit Crystal. She blames everything on Julian. Chang ends up cutting her throat.

Julian returns to the hotel and finds his mother's corpse. In silence, he approaches her body and cuts open her abdomen. Julian slowly places his hand inside of the wound. After leaving and having several surreal visions, Julian is shown standing in a field with Chang, who appears to cut off both of Julian's hands with his sword. The final scene returns to Chang singing at a karaoke bar with an audience of attentive police officers, watching him in silence.


* [[Ryan Gosling]] as Julian, an American who lives in Bangkok and "is a respected figure in the criminal underworld" according to a production synopsis.<ref name="Goldberg">{{cite web |last=Goldberg |first=Matt |title=First Synopsis for Nicolas Winding Refn's ''ONLY GOD FORGIVES'' Starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Ryan Gosling |url= | |accessdate=11 July 2012 |date=2 November 2011}}</ref> Gosling was in negotiations to star in the film in June 2011 after [[Luke Evans (actor)|Luke Evans]] dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with ''[[The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey]]''.<ref name="Gosling">{{cite web |last=Fischer |first= Russ |title=Ryan Gosling Joining Nicolas Winding Refn's ''Only God Forgives'' [Updated] |url= |work=[[/Film]] |date=23 June 2011 |accessdate=7 March 2012}}</ref> Gosling had undertaken [[Muay Thai]] training in preparation for the role by that September,<ref name="Otto">{{cite web |url= |title=Ryan Gosling Calls Upcoming Project ''Only God Forgives'' The "Strangest Thing" He's Ever Read |last=Otto |first= Jeff |date=26 September 2011 |work=The Playlist |publisher=[[IndieWire]] |accessdate=7 March 2012}}</ref> which included 2–3 hour daily sessions.<ref name="Mackey">{{cite web |last=Mackey |first=Michael |title=Ryan Gosling Responds to Oscar Snub; Reveals Details of Project Filming in Bangkok |url= |work=[[The Hollywood Reporter]] |accessdate=10 July 2012 |date=27 January 2012}}</ref> Refn also participated in the training.<ref name="Mackey" /> Gosling and Refn had recently worked together on the neo-noir crime drama ''[[Drive (2011 film)|Drive]]'' (2011). Julian only speaks 17 lines throughout the film.<ref>{{cite news | first=Matt | last=Patches | title=Cannes: Ryan Gosling Only Has 17 Lines in the Bloody ''Only God Forgives'' |url= | newspaper=''[[]]'' | date=22 May 2013 | accessdate=31 August 2013}}</ref> "Gosling's character sticking his hands into her [mother] corpse's dead womb... a machination that came from Gosling himself."<ref>{{cite web |url= | title=The Mysterious Bromance of Ryan Gosling and His ''Only God Forgives'' Director Nicolas Winding Refn | first=Michael | last=Arbeiter | newspaper='''' |date=19 July 2013 | accessdate=1 November 2013}}</ref>

* [[Kristin Scott Thomas]] as Crystal, Julian's mother, who is described as "a merciless and terrifying mafia godmother" combining elements of [[Lady Macbeth]] and [[Donatella Versace]].<ref name="Goldberg" /><ref name="cannes-boo" /> Scott Thomas was cast by May 2011.<ref>{{cite web |last=Fischer |first=Russ |title=Nicolas Winding Refn Casts Luke Evans and Kristin Scott-Thomas in Thai Western ''Only God Forgives'' |url= |work=/Film |accessdate=10 July 2012 |date=2 May 2011}}</ref>

* [[Vithaya Pansringarm]] as Lt. Chang/"The Angel of Vengeance", a man that believes himself to be God "[i]n the sense that God in the Old Testament is saying ''I can be cruel, you have to fear me'' as ''I can be kind, you have to love me.''"<ref>{{cite web | first=Ben | last=Umstead |url= | title='Ask Not What Art Is, But What It Is Not': Nicolas Winding Refn And Cliff Martinez On ''ONLY GOD FORGIVES'' | date=17 July 2013 | publisher=[[Twitch Film|Twitch]] | accessdate=18 August 2013}}</ref> Pansringarm did his own Thai boxing and singing for his role. "The character of [[Valhalla Rising (film)|One Eye]] went into [[Drive (2011 film)|Drive]] then went into the Thai police lieutenant. They're the same character played by three different actors [...] a mythological creature that has a mysterious past but cannot relate to reality because he's heightened and he's pure fetish."<ref>{{cite web |url= | title=''Only God Forgives'': Nicolas Winding Refn interview |first=Helen | last=Barlow | date=18 July 2013 | publisher=[[Special Broadcasting Service|]] | accessdate=18 August 2013}}</ref>

* [[Gordon Brown (actor)|Gordon Brown]] as Gordon, Julian and Billy's lieutenant. Brown earlier played a walk-on role in Refn's ''[[Bronson (film)|Bronson]]'' and a supporting part in ''[[Valhalla Rising (film)|Valhalla Rising]]''.

* [[Rhatha Phongam]] (Yaya-Ying)<ref name="Yayaying&Pansringarm">{{cite web |last=Dang |first= Simon |title=Nicolas Winding Refn's ''Only God Forgives'' Adds Vithaya Pansringarm And Pop-Star Yaya Ying |url= |work=The Playlist |publisher=[[IndieWire]] |date=11 May 2011 |accessdate=7 March 2012}}</ref> as Mai, a prostitute associated with Julian

* [[Tom Burke (actor)|Tom Burke]]<ref name="Labrecque"/> as Billy, Julian's older brother

* Byron Gibson as Byron

* Danai Thiengdham as Li Po

* Sahajak Boonthanakit as Pol Col. Kim

* Nophand Boonyai as Charlie

* Teerawat Mulvilai as Ko Sam

* Kovit Wattanakul as Choi Yan Lee

* Wittchuta Watjanarat as Ma Fong


Refn has said that "[f]rom the beginning, [he] had the idea of a thriller produced as a [[Western (genre)|western]], all in the [[Far East]], and with a modern cowboy hero."<ref name="Jagernauth"/> He originally planned to direct ''Only God Forgives'' directly after ''[[Valhalla Rising (film)|Valhalla Rising]]'' (2009), but he accepted Gosling's request to direct ''[[Drive (2011 film)|Drive]]'' instead.<ref name="Sullivan">{{cite web |last=Sullivan |first=Kevin P. |title=''Only God Forgives'' Will Share The 'Language' Of ''Drive''|url= |work=MTV Movies Blog | |accessdate=10 July 2012 |date=15 June 2012}}</ref> Gosling has described the script of ''Only God Forgives'' as "the strangest thing I've ever read and it's only going to get stranger."<ref name="Otto" /> Like ''Drive'', ''Only God Forgives'' was largely shot chronologically and scenes were often edited the day they were shot.<ref name="Jagernauth" />

Footage was screened at the [[2013 Cannes Film Festival]].<ref>{{cite web |last=Sullivan |first=Kevin P. |title=Ryan Gosling's ''Only God Forgives'' Debuts Footage At Cannes |url= |work=MTV Movies Blog |accessdate=11 July 2012 |date=25 May 2012}}</ref> Refn drew a connection between ''Only God Forgives'' and ''Drive'', saying that "[''Only God Forgives''] is very much a continuation of that language"—"[i]t's based on real emotions, but set in a heightened reality. It's a fairy tale."<ref name="Sullivan"/>


The film received a very divided response at its Cannes press screening; it was booed by many of the audience of journalists and critics while also receiving a standing ovation.<ref name="cannes-boo">{{cite web|work=[[The Local]] | date=22 May 2013 | title=Cannes jeers Gosling's film ''Only God Forgives'' |url= | accessdate=22 May 2013}}</ref><ref name="BBCCannes">{{cite web |url= |title=Ryan Gosling film ''Only God Forgives'' divides Cannes critics |date=23 May 2013 |accessdate=23 May 2013 |publisher=[[BBC News]]}}</ref>

It received a primarily negative response from mainstream critics: [[review aggregator]] [[Rotten Tomatoes]] gives the film a score of 40% based on reviews from 150 critics, with a [[weighted average]] of 5.1/10 and the site's consensus states: "Director Refn remains as visually stylish as ever, but ''Only God Forgives'' fails to add enough narrative smarts or relatable characters to ground its beautifully filmed depravity."<ref>{{cite web |work = [[Rotten Tomatoes]] | publisher = [[Warner Bros.]] |title= ''Only God Forgives'' |url= | accessdate=27 September 2013}}</ref>

[[Metacritic]] assigns the film a weighted average rating of 37 out of 100 based on the reviews of thirty-nine professional critics.<ref>{{cite web |url=|title=''Only God Forgives'': Reviews | accessdate=5 August 2013  | work=[[Metacritic]] | publisher=[[CNET Networks, Inc.]]}}</ref>

[[Robbie Collin]] of ''[[The Daily Telegraph]]'' reflected concerns over the film in a three out of five star review. "The film's characters are non-people; the things they say to each other are non-conversations, the events they enact are non-drama," he wrote. But he praised Refn for following up his commercially successful film ''Drive'' with "...this abstruse, neon-dunked nightmare that spits in the face of coherence and flicks at the earlobes of good taste".<ref>{{cite news |newspaper=[[The Daily Telegraph]]| location=London | title=Cannes 2013: ''Only God Forgives'', review | last = Collin | first = Robbie | date=22 May 2013 |url= | accessdate=22 May 2013}}</ref>

[[Peter Bradshaw]] of ''[[The Guardian]]'' gave it five out of five stars, calling it gripping and praising the "pure formal brilliance" of every scene and frame, though he notes that it will "have people running for the exits, and running for the hills" with its extreme violence.<ref>{{cite news | newspaper=The Guardian | location=Kings Place | last = Bradshaw | first = Peter|authorlink=Peter Bradshaw|title=Cannes 2013: ''Only God Forgives''&nbsp;– first look review|url=|date=22 May 2013 |accessdate=22 May 2013}}</ref> In an alternative review published in ''The Guardian'', John Patterson was highly critical of the film, citing its lack of originality and the low degree of focus on plot: "Somewhere in here is a story that Refn can hardly be bothered to tell... I feel the ghosts of other movies—his influences, his inspirations—crowding in on his own work, suffocating him, and somehow leaving less of him on screen."<ref name="ind-review" />

Bill Gibron of ''[[PopMatters]]'' wrote "[[David Lynch]] must be laughing. If he had created something like ''Only God Forgives'', substituting his own quirky casting for the rather staid choices made by actual director [[Nicolas Winding Refn]], he would have walked away from Cannes 2013 with yet another Palme d'Or, another notch in his already sizeable artistic belt, and the kind of critical appreciation that only comes when a proven auteur once again establishes his creative credentials."<ref>{{cite web |work=[[PopMatters]] |title=''Only God Forgives'', Not this Fascinating Film's Director |last= Gibron | first = Bill|date=19 July 2013 |url= | accessdate=19 July 2013}}</ref>

[[Richard Roeper]] of the ''[[Chicago Sun-Times]]'' gave this film a positive review, giving it three and a half stars saying: "Refn's follow-up effort to the similarly polarizing ''Drive'' (which I thought was flat-out great) is even more stylized and daring. ''Drive'' star Ryan Gosling (who is clearly interested in carving out a career with at least as many bold, indie-type roles as commercial, leading-man fare) strikes a Brando pose playing Julian, a smoldering, seemingly lethal American who navigates the seediest sides of Bangkok."<ref>{{cite web|work=[[Chicago Sun-Times]]|url=|authorlink=Richard Roeper| last =Roeper | first = Richard|date=18 July 2013|title=Every bloody moment demands attention in ''Only God Forgives'' | accessdate=18 July 2013}}</ref>



The film won the Grand Prize at the [[Sydney Film Festival]].<ref>{{cite news|last=Bulbeck|first=Pip |title=Ryan Gosling Starrer ''Only God Forgives'' Wins Sydney Film Prize |url=  |newspaper=[[The Hollywood Reporter]] | date=18 June 2013 | accessdate=15 July 2013}}</ref>



==External links==

* [ ''Only God Forgives''] at [ The Journalist]

  • {{IMDb title|1602613|Only God Forgives}}
  • {{DNFt|79995}}
  • {{mojo title|onlygodforgives|Only God Forgives}}
  • {{rotten-tomatoes|only_god_forgives_2013|Only God Forgives}}
  • {{metacritic film|only-god-forgives|Only God Forgives}}

* [ Official website] on [[Facebook]]

* [ Official website] on [[Twitter]]

{{Nicolas Winding Refn}}

{{DEFAULTSORT:Only God Forgives}}

[[Category:2013 films]]

[[Category:2010s crime drama films]]

[[Category:Danish films]]

[[Category:Danish crime films]]

[[Category:French films]]

[[Category:French crime films]]

[[Category:English-language films]]

[[Category:Thai-language films]]

[[Category:Films directed by Nicolas Winding Refn]]

[[Category:Films about prostitution]]

[[Category:Films set in Thailand]]

[[Category:Films set in Asia]]

[[Category:Films shot in Bangkok]]

[[Category:Independent films]]


[[Category:Icon Productions films]]

[[Category:The Weinstein Company films]]

[[Category:Lions Gate Entertainment films]]

[[Category:Gaumont Film Company films]]

[[Category:Warner Bros. films]]

[[Category:FilmDistrict films]]

[[Category:Incest in film]]