The Castle

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy

A freak show cloaked in the mantle of a crowd-pleasing comedy, this Australian import plays both sides of the fence, laughing at its low-class protagonists while making like it's laughing with them. Oh, that wacky Kerrigan clan! Dad Darryl (Michael Caton) adores his wife and children and putters endlessly around their unprepossessing house. Others might...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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A freak show cloaked in the mantle of a crowd-pleasing comedy, this Australian import plays both sides of the fence, laughing at its low-class protagonists while making like it's laughing with them. Oh, that wacky Kerrigan clan! Dad Darryl (Michael

Caton) adores his wife and children and putters endlessly around their unprepossessing house. Others might call it an eyesore (and it's smack dab at the end of an airport runway to boot), but no matter — it's home. Mum Sal (Anne Tenney) is an arts and crafts fanatic, son Steve (Anthony

Simcoe) dabbles in buying and selling junk, and daughter Tracy (Sophie Lee), well, she brought honor to the Kerrigans by graduating from beauty school. That leaves thick-as-a-plank son Dale (Stephen Curry), our narrator, and his brother Wayne (Wayne Hope), who got in with the wrong crowd but will

no doubt be back on the straight and narrow as soon as he gets out of jail. The Kerrigans' domestic idyll is shattered when they learn that their house is being claimed under the law of eminent domain: The airport is expanding, and they have to pack up and get out. But Darryl isn't the sort to

take things lying down: He launches a campaign to defend his family's right to remain in his home, and he's willing to take his Quixotic crusade to the highest court in Australia. All this proceeds pretty much as you'd imagine: Darryl makes a bloody fool of himself at every turn, but it's okay to

laugh at his moronic antics because he — the über-little guy — triumphs in the end over bureaucrats, snobs and rich creeps. The sleazy, snooty insincerity behind this movie's "affectionate" portrait of the trashy but loving Kerrigans should strangle any laughs you feel crawling up your

throat.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: R
  • Review: A freak show cloaked in the mantle of a crowd-pleasing comedy, this Australian import plays both sides of the fence, laughing at its low-class protagonists while making like it's laughing with them. Oh, that wacky Kerrigan clan! Dad Darryl (Michael Caton)… (more)

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