"In his debut feature, Robin Pront artfully blends gritty kitchen-sink realism, forbidding noir and surprising, post-Coen Brothers humor to reveal a tense, humanistic and emotionally twisted drama of brotherly love and betrayal on the economic margins of contemporary Belgium. THE ARDENNES evokes the same petty criminal milieu as Bullhead (2011), and shares with the film a producer, Bart Van Langendonck, as well as a fixation on the blunt facts of life. Brothers Dave (Jeroen Perceval) and Kenny (Kevin Janssens) are lumpen Flemish hoodlums whose ineptitude causes Kevin to take the fall when a heist goes wrong. Four years later, Kevin is out of prison, but, as he slowly learns, things have changed. Unbeknownst to Kevin, his girlfriend Sylvie, played by Veerle Baetens (The Broken Circle Breakdown), has moved in with his brother Dave and is pregnant with his baby. Pront uses the unrevealed secret to sustain tension that seesaws against a backdrop of dark farce and tender remorse. We witness one of the uneasiest family Christmas dinners ever, as well as Kevin's ill-fated stint working at a car wash. Anger management is not Kevin's strong suit. Indeed, his feral impulses soon put the brothers on the wrong side of the law again, and in awkward collusion with Kevin's old cellmate Stef, portrayed by the brilliant Jan Bijvoet (BORGMAN) amid a gallery of bizarre characters in the depths of the forest that gives the film its name. While it nods to such classic crime stories as GOODFELLAS, TRAINSPOTTING and IN BRUGES, THE ARDENNES draws its stylish suspense from the specific, nuanced details of its luckless characters', their lowlife follies and tortured fraternity, underscoring the tragically profound hazards of brotherly love. "