WOLF (2021) Reviews of species identity disorder film

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Wolf is a 2021 mystery drama about a young man who believes he is a wolf trapped in a human body.

Written and directed by Nathalie Biancheri (Nocturnal). Produced by Jane Doolan, Jessie Fisk, Mariusz Wlodarski and Agnieszka Wasiak.

The British-Irish-Polish co-production stars George MacKay, Lily-Rose Depp, Senan Jennings, Darragh Shannon, Elisa Fionuir, Lola Petticrew, Amy Macken, Fionn O’Shea, Paddy Considine, Karise Yansen and Eileen Walsh.


Jacob (George MacKay), a young man who believes he is a wolf trapped in a human body, is sent to a clinic by his family where he is forced to undergo increasingly extreme forms of “curative” therapies at the hands of The Zookeeper.


Jacob’s only solace is the enigmatic Wildcat (Lily-Rose Depp), and as their friendship blossoms into an undeniable infatuation, Jacob is faced with a challenge: will he renounce his true self for love?


“While Considine is eerily convincing as the callous doctor, the performances that truly bring this tale to life is that of the teens experiencing dysmorphia, particularly MacKay and Depp, though the ensemble is quite moving […] The set design for the facility is intriguing…” Digital Journal

“Somewhere in here is a highly disturbing flick about society’s lack of acceptance, but it’s mainly content to function as acting vehicles in every which direction; humans poetically mimicking animals and dialed-up turns from psychopathic doctors. It’s a shame Wolf has nothing definitive to howl about species dysmorphia, although it’s arguably as visually hypnotic as staring at a crimson moon.” Flickering Myth

“While Wolf occasionally tips into melodrama, the kind of tones that seem to accompany more “traditional” stories of bad therapy experiences, those sequences are often immediately followed by more daring, original bits.” IndieWire


“The best part of Wolf is of course McKay’s decent performance as Jacob. He definitely commits to the wolf aspects of Jacob but he brings more to the table as the conflicted young man. It’s just a shame that the film couldn’t tap into that more. Depp was underwritten and dull as Cecile, a thin and empty love interest. Considine as Dr Mann was entertaining to watch…” Keith Loves Movies

Wolf is thought-provoking, to be sure. And it makes you wonder if the filmmaker is about of bounds for holding satiric attitudes that were fine when she started shooting and might seem dated and inflexible a few years later. I found the whole thing more tiresome than intriguing.” Movie Nation

[May contain spoilers]: “There’s an opportunity here to unpack interspecies relations and humans’ responsibility to non-human animals, but Wolf ultimately collapses under its One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest ambitions […]The uprising is more silly than compelling. At this point, one can only cackle like a hyena.” That Shelf


In the USA, Wolf will be released by Focus Features on December 3, 2021.

Filming locations:



Production companies:

Feline Films
Head Gear Films
Kreo Films FZ
Lava Films
Metrol Technology

Fun facts:

Lily-Rose Depp’s mother is French singer Vanessa Paradis and her father is American actor Johnny Depp.


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