“Beasts Clawing at Straws”

(“Jupiragirado japgo sipeun jimseungdeul”)

(South Korea)

Rotten Tomatoes (****+)

When the films of the Coen Brothers meet those of Bong Joon-Ho, you’ve got the work of first-time South Korean director Kim Yong-hoon, whose debut feature, “Beasts Clawing at Straws,” is an absolute knock-out. This dark crime comedy consistently delivers big laughs, punctuated by a plethora of twists and turns, all brought to life by a superb ensemble of performers who create memorable and colorful characters. The picture has a slight tendency to drag in a few spots, but this is easily overlooked in light of its many, many other strengths. If this picture is any indication of what the filmmaker has in the tank, we can look forward to a bright future of entertaining and engaging releases. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the launch of what is hopefully a promising career.