*** (out of 4)
As a filmmaker, Lynne Ramsay has never shied away from gruesome material. Her first two features, Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar, respectively depicted garbage-infested slums and the aftermath of a suicide. Seven years ago, moreover, she achieved instant notoriety with We Need to Talk About Kevin, a film about a mother whose son kills several classmates at school. Now, in You Were Never Really Here, Ramsay has decided to tell the story of Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) – a lonely, hammer-wielding hitman who gets hired to rescue a 14-year-old girl named Nina (Ekaterina Samsonov) from an underage prostitution ring.