The characters are trapped, suffocated, pushed through a story that gives them very little room or time to figure themselves out, and that finally turns their feelings into the wan stuff of fable.
The acting - particularly the moving performance of Olivia Colman as a battered spouse living in a grim corner of Leeds, England - is fierce and committed. So why doesn't its impact linger?
Paddy Considine's first feature as writer-director comes off like a playwriting exercise, with familiar characters taking every opportunity to wage messy, cathartic arguments or exhume traumatic memories.
Brit thesp Paddy Considine makes a strong writing-helming feature debut with "Tyrannosaur," recycling the same cast, characters and setup he used for his 2008 award-winning short "Dog Altogether."