Tyrannosaur (film)

Tyrannosaur is a 2011 British drama film written and directed by Paddy Considine and starring Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan, Paul Popplewell and Sally Carman.

Tyrannosaur poster.jpg
Tyrannosaur original poster by Dan McCarthy
Directed byPaddy Considine
Produced byDiarmid Scrimshaw
Mark Herbert
Written byPaddy Considine
StarringPeter Mullan
Olivia Colman
Eddie Marsan
Paul Popplewell
Sally Carman
CinematographyErik Wilson
Edited byPia Di Ciaula
Distributed byStudioCanal UK
Release date
  • 21 January 2011 (2011-01-21) (Sundance)
  • 7 October 2011 (2011-10-07) (United Kingdom)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£396,930[2]


One night, unemployed widower Joseph in a drunken rage, kicks his dog Bluey to death. He almost immediately regrets his actions and seems to realize that his anger was out of control. The next day, he sadly buries the dog then goes to the post office, where he mocks several Pakistani workers. He apologizes but, since he has been verbally abusive to them many times before, he is told to never come back. He remains calm, but as he's walking past the entrance, he angrily throws a brick through a large plate glass window. At the pub, Joseph yells at then attacks two young men playing pool, after one of them one threatened and mocked him. He sucker punches one of them in the back of the head, which could have caused a serious injury. He quickly leaves the bar and hides in a second-hand shop, where a religious, compassionate employee, Hannah, offers to pray for him.

That night, Joseph goes to his home and meets up with his 6-year-old neighbour Samuel, who is forced to wait outside, while his Mother is inside with her nasty boyfriend. The boyfriend teases and berates Samuel and threatens to let loose his vicious dog on the young boy. After Samuel is allowed back in the house, Joseph is attacked by the men from the post office. The next morning, Joseph wakes up and goes to the shop, where Hannah looks after him. He begins to berate and insult her, criticizing her nice, comfortable life. She listens, without commenting, but her sad eyes tear up.

Hannah returns home, has wine and falls asleep drunk. When her husband is unable to awaken her, he urinates on her. As he walks away, Hanna's eyes open. The next morning, Hannah's husband finds her washing clothes and scrubbing his urine off of their couch. He acts as though he's unaware of why she's cleaning and complains that she never has sex with him anymore. Hannah is visibly shaken but also angry with him. When Hannah goes to work at the second-hand shop, Joseph apologizes. Disgusted and angry with her husband, she asks Jack to go have a drink with her. They go to a local pub, and both behave in an inappropriate, polite manner. That night,Hannah's husband says someone saw her at the bar with a man. She denies it.

The next morning, she comes to the shop with a black eye and claims to have fallen in the bath. Joseph asks her to come with him, and pray for his best friend Jack, who is dying of cancer. A few days later, Jack dies. Joseph returns to the shop to get a suit for his friends funeral. James finds Hannah tying Joseph's tie as he tries on a suit and quietly whispers that she is a whore & she'll pay for this. Joseph hears enough of this to realize that James is beating Hannah. She continues to claim that she simply fell in the tub but she is visibly shaking and upset. She asks him to immediately leave the store.

After work, Hannah is afraid to go home for fear of what her husband will do to her. With no where else to go, she finds a bar and sits alone, getting very drunk. James finds out where she is and comes to take her home. He hits her and she begins to mock him. She screams that she can no longer stand to even look at him and that he disgusts her. She goes upstairs & tries to compose herself in the bedroom. James enters after a minute of silence and beats then rapes her. Hannah Quietly rushes out of her house in the early morning. She finds Joseph and tells him she is leaving James, and asks to stay with him because she has no where else to go. He hesitatingly agrees, and in the course of her settling in, Joseph reveals that his heavy set wife has been dead for 5 years, due to complications from her diabetes. He also tells Hannah that he regrets using the nickname "Tyrannosaur" for his wife. He used it because it reminded Joseph of the scene in the film Jurassic Park where the tyrannosaur could be heard stomping after the children in the film, much like how his wife sounded when she was walking on the second storey of their house. At the time, he'd thought it was funny.

After a few days, Joseph tells her that she is not safe with him and suggests she leave. Joseph escorts Hannah back to her house to retrieve some items, but she ends up running away, saying she was not ready to confront her husband. Hannah then goes with Joseph to Jack's wake, where they sing and dance and tell tales in remembrance of Joseph's old friend. While Hannah is sleeping in the next room, Joseph decides to confront James. He takes her keys and goes to her house, where he finds a very dead James, stabbed multiple times and still propped up against the closet door. Shocked,he returns home and confronts Hannah, admitting he knows about the murder. She breaks down and reveals that James had been hurting her for a long time. He even mutilated her reproductive system with a glass bottle, rendering her unable to have children. She weeps, saying all she ever wanted was to be a mother.She pleads with Joseph to hold her and comfort her but he remains at the door, shocked and silent.

A year later, it is revealed through a letter that Joseph wrote to Hannah, that Samuel was mauled by his mother's boyfriend's vicious dog. In retaliation, Joseph beheads the dog with a machete, for which he spent a few months in prison. He says that he regrets having killed another dog, but he knew it was eventually going to hurt the boy even worse if nothing was done. He also says that he didn't enter the second-hand shop randomly the day he met her. He went there on purpose because he had seen Hannah through the shop window and thought she was beautiful. He tells he quit drinking. The film ends with Joseph walking down a path after visiting Hannah, who is in a minor security prison, for James's killing. They both appear hopeful for a better future.



Tyrannosaur is an expansion of Dog Altogether, a short film for Warp Films that Considine wrote and directed, which won the Best Short Film BAFTA and BIFA awards as well as the Silver Lion award at Venice in 2007. The film received a grant of £206,540 from the National Lottery fund through the UK Film Council. The remainder of the film's budget came from Warp X, Inflammable Films, Film4, Screen Yorkshire, EM Media and Optimum Releasing (StudioCanal). It depicts an environment similar to what Considine witnessed growing up on a council estate in the Midlands, although the film is in no way autobiographical. The film's title is a metaphor, the meaning of which is revealed in the film.

The film is set in an unspecified town in the North of England, although much of it was shot on location in residential areas of Leeds and Wakefield, including Seacroft, Cross Gates, Eccup, Harehills and Alwoodley, and the accents of many of the main characters are drawn from a wide geographical area. The film makes reference to the fictional Manners Estate as an area in the town where the more wealthy inhabitants reside. Manners Estate is the name of the council estate in the parish of Winshill near Burton-on-Trent where Paddy Considine grew up.

Many of the extras used in the film were local residents, including local busker Chris Wheat who was given a part after singing to the cast and crew on set. He performs his own original song in the film. Workers from the local St Vincent's Charity Shop used in the film were also given small parts. Several other small roles were given to members of the crew, including the film's producer Diarmid Scrimshaw, the film's make-up designer Nadia Stacey, and the production coordinator Samantha Milnes who was featured in a photo as Joseph's late wife. The film is dedicated to Considine's late mother, Pauline Considine. The end credits gives special thanks to both James Marsh and Gary Oldman.


  1. "Wand'rin' Star" – Nick Hemming (of The Leisure Society), cover of Lee Marvin's 1969 hit song from the western musical film Paint Your Wagon[3]
  2. "This Gun Loves you Back" – Chris Baldwin (written By Paddy Considine & Chris Baldwin)[3]
  3. "Truth or Glory" – JJ All Stars[3]
  4. "Saturday Night" – JJ All Stars[3]
  5. "Psycho Mash" – JJ All Stars[3]
  6. "Hi Jack" – Chris Wheat[3]
  7. "Sing All Our Cares Away" – Damien Dempsey[3]
  8. "We Were Wasted" – The Leisure Society[3]

Original music composed by Chris Baldwin & Dan Baker


Box officeEdit

The film grossed £396,930, below its £750,000 production budget.[2][4]

Critical responseEdit

Tyrannosaur received positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds an approval rating of 83%, based on 86 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The critical consensus states: "Tyrannosaur is a brutal, frank, and ultimately rewarding story of violent men seeking far-off redemption."[5] The film also has a score of 65 out of 100 based on 18 critics on Metacritic, indicating "Generally favourable reviews".[6]

Stuart McGurk of GQ magazine called Tyrannosaur "The best British film of the year", whilst Empire said it was "Riveting, uncompromising, brilliant" and gave it 4/5 stars, as did Total Film, The Guardian, Sunday Mirror, and Evening Standard. The Daily Star Sunday and LoveFilm gave the film 5/5 stars and The Sunday Telegraph dubbed it "One of the most powerful films of 2011."

The American film critic and blogger Jeffrey Wells was so taken by Tyrannosaur after seeing it at the Los Angeles Film Festival that he started 'Hollywood Elsewhere's Tyrannosaur fundraising campaign' with the idea of raising $2,000 to cover the rental of a screening room so that the film could be shown in Hollywood with the hope of gaining recognition. Wells claimed this was the first screening financed by a critic.[7]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4, calling Peter Mullan's performance muscular and unrelenting. He also remarked: "This isn't the kind of movie that even has hope enough to contain a message. There is no message, only the reality of these wounded personalities."[8]

Mark Kermode of BBC Radio 5 Live, hailed the film as one of the 11 Best Films of 2011.[9] Kermode went on to award Olivia Colman Best Actress in his own Annual Kermode Awards. She tied with Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk About Kevin.

By 18 December 2011, the film had won 21 awards from 28 nominations worldwide.

When the BAFTA Award nominations were announced on 17 January 2012, the omission of Olivia Colman in the Best Actress category led to global trending of both Olivia Colman and Tyrannosaur on Twitter.[10]


Year Group Award Result
2011 Sundance International Film Festival Award The World Cinema Award for Directing: Dramatic Won
World Cinema Special Jury Prize for Breakout Performance: Peter Mullan Won
World Cinema Special Jury Prize for Breakout Performance: Olivia Colman Won
Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema – Dramatic Nominated
Nantucket Film Festival Award Best Writer/Director Won
Munich Film Festival, Germany CineVision Award Outstanding Debut Feature Won
Voices Festival of independent European Cinema, Russia Voices Festival Prize: Best Film Won
Best acting prize: Olivia Colman Won
Dinard British Film Festival, France The Golden Hitchcock: Grand Jury Prize/Ciné+ Award Won
The Allianz Award: Best Screenplay Won
Chicago International Film Festival Silver Hugo for Best Actress: Olivia Colman Won
Zagreb Film Festival, Croatia T-Com Audience Award: Best Film Won
Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Greece Fischer Audience Award (For a film in the Open Horizons section) Won
Mar del Plata Film Festival, Argentina Jury Special Award Won
Silver Astor for Best Screenplay Won
Argentine Film Critics Association ACCA Award Won
2nd place SIGNIS (World Catholic Association for Communication) Award Won
Stockholm Film Festival, Sweden Best First Feature Won
British Independent Film Awards Best British Independent Film Won
Best Director: Paddy Considine Nominated
The Douglas Hickox Award [Best Debut Director]: Paddy Considine Won
Best Actress: Olivia Colman Won
Best Actor: Peter Mullan Nominated
Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Marsan Nominated
Best Achievement in Production Nominated
International Press Academy Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Motion Picture: Olivia Colman Nominated
Best Screenplay: Original Nominated
Best First Feature Won
2012 Independent Spirit Awards Best International Film Nominated
The Guardian First Film Award 2012 Best First Film Nominated
London Critics Circle Film Awards The Virgin Atlantic Award – Breakthrough British Film-Maker: Paddy Considine Nominated
The Moët & Chandon Award – British Actress of the Year: Olivia Colman Won
British Actor of the Year: Peter Mullan (For Tyrannosaur & War Horse) Nominated
British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) Outstanding debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer (Considine/Scrimshaw) Won
Evening Standard British Film Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Actor: Peter Mullan Nominated
Best Actor: Olivia Colman Won
Best Screenplay: Paddy Considine Nominated
Kermode Award Best Actress: Olivia Colman (Shared with Tilda Swinton) Won
Jameson Empire Awards 2012 Best British Film Nominated
Citroën Best Actress Award: Olivia Colman Won
Bucharest International Film Festival (Bucuresti IFF) 2012 Best Film Won
Critics’ Choice Award Won
Transilvania International Film Festival, Romania FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Award Won


  1. ^ "Paddy Considine on Tyrannosaur - Film4". Web.archive.org. 16 February 2011. Archived from the original on 16 February 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Tyrannosaur (2011)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Tyrannosaur (2011) - Soundtracks". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Tyrannosaur (2011) - International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. 12 January 2012. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Tyrannosaur Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  6. ^ "Tyrannosaur (2011): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Tyrannosaur Dollars...Yes!". Hollywood Elsewhere. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger (30 November 2011). "Tyrannosaur Movie Review & Film Summary (2011) | Roger Ebert". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  9. ^ Mark Kermode. "Mark Kermode's film blog: Eleven from Eleven". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Olivia Colman snubbed by BAFTA, loved by Twitter | DollyMix". Dollymix.tv. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2016.

External linksEdit