With so much high-octane expensive Hollywood dreck crowding out our cinemas, real gems such as Felony, Animal Kingdom (which also has the very excellent Joel Edgerton) and Mystery Road seem to get sadly bypassed or even forgotten. That isn't to say that Hollywood can't make good films (or that Australia can't make clunkers), but they seem to be few and far between and distributors who are obviously and understandably in it for the money seem to take the easy way out. Oh, and I really haven't seen enough Australian films to list any clunkers, but what I have seen is of an enviably high standard. Some reviewers here have bemoaned the lack of 'action'. Well, boo-hoo for them. I far prefer the subtlety of writing, direction and acting we get in Felony. Three different kind of cops, all in their way a little flawed, though not in a clichéd way, get caught up in a sad situation, an unfortunate incident which simply spirals out of control.
Edgerton, basically a decent man is persuaded by Tom Wilkinson's old-school cop to tell a lie after he accidentally knocks a young lad off his bike at night while less than sober. Add to these to Jai Courtney's young cop who feels he must do the right thing - though his motives are a tad murky - and you get a complex psychological drama which satisfies at every level. None of the characters is 'bad' or 'good', and each works in a pressured environment.
Edgerton scores double because he also wrote the script. I shall now be off to see what else he has written. If you manage to catch this and like great filmmaking, watch it.