Review: Sam Neill's new movie Rams is a 'quirky unexpected tale'

Audiences have been flocking to cinemas to see Sam Neill's new movie Rams, taking it to the top of the Australian and New Zealand box offices.

Sam Neill plays Colin and Micheal Caton plays Les, brothers in farms, who haven't spoken for four decades.  

It's the grudge that keeps on giving, as these two fine actors go head-to-head on the big screen in the most pleasing of ways.

This tight-knit sheep farm is very soon thrown into the ghastly nightmare of a contagious disease in their midst and the rare breed of sheep the brothers' pride themselves on come under threat.

Hiding sheep in the bathroom was always going to have its challenges, as Colin tries to pull the wool over the eyes of the government authorities, and his brother.

This quirky unexpected tale is a re-imagining of an Icelandic film of the same name, and in the hands of Australian filmmaker Jeremy Sims and of course with Caton and Neill in the fray, this Rams is immediately and nourishingly antipodean. 

There are no surprises it's gone straight to the top of the box office here and across the Tasman.

It's a cinematic rule of thumb that anything starring our national treasure Sam Neill is worth the ticket price and Rams is no exception. 

There's far more grit and heart than expected in a story which deserves to play well for a wide audience, urban and rural alike.

Three-and-a-half stars.