Nitram (2021) Movie Review

Nitram – Movie Review


Director: Justin Kurzel

Writer: Shaun Grant (Screenplay)


Plot: Events leading up to the 1996 Port Arthur massacre on Tasmania in an attempt to understand why and how the atrocity occurred.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Nitram starts as a troubled young man Nitram (Jones) has started to see his parents Mum (Judy Davis) and Dad (LaPaglia) pushed to the limits. When Nitram meets a lonely wealthy older woman Helen (Essie Davis), he gets involved in a strange relationship with her.

When Nitram sees Helen killed in an accident, the rest of his life starts spiralling out of control. This leads to Nitram committing this horrendous attack on the town.

Verdict on Nitram


Nitram is a troubled young man, he clearly has learning disabilities that puts a strain on his family. He gets into conflict easily and causes minor troubles around the town. Most of the locals know his problems and let him get away with the minor problems. When he starts losing people in his life, Nitram starts becoming more isolated, deranged and turning toward a more violent side.

His Mum and Dad try to support him while warning him about the dangerous things he does. At times they can feel helpless when it comes to helping him, seeing how he can get out of control.

Helen is the older woman Nitram starts living with, they have a strange relationship. It is more about filling the void of loneliness than love. Her wealth helps give Nitram another look at life, even if she doesn’t know what to do with it.


Caleb Landry Jones is disturbingly fantastic in this movie. He creates uncomfortable interactions and behaviour, creating sympathy for a psychopath. In the supporting roles, Judy Davis, Anthony LaPaglia and Essie Davis are wonderful too, showing the distant feeling they are all feeling in life, unable to help Nitram.


The story follows the difficult like of a young man Nitram, he hasn’t ever fitted in and once his loved ones start passing away, he snaps. This does feel like a story that puts way too much attention on the person that committed the horrendous action. While it wants to highlight the lack of support, he probably needed to stop it from happening in the first place.

It is a well-told story, seeing how an isolated figure can be thrown into a disturbing mindset that would make them commit such a crime. This is a clear message that things should change because of these actions. It might not be the easiest film to watch, but it is important and does hold back the worst parts of what happened.

Final Thoughts Nitram is a disturbing uncomfortable watch that sees Caleb Landry Jones excel in the leading role.

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