4 February 2012 4:04 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The title, a misquotation from the most famous line of Robert Burns's poem "To a Mouse", directs us to John Steinbeck's novella, and indeed this modest movie is an urban reworking of Of Mice and Men in present day Nottingham. The kind-hearted mentally handicapped Lennie (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) becomes the gentle black giant Joseph. His devoted protector George (Stephen Graham) is turned into Danny, a petty Scouse crook, who's forced to hire out his friend as a bare-knuckle boxer to local gang boss (David O'Hara) to settle a debt. The film is a cut above recent British low-life crime pictures and finds suitable girlfriends for both men while ignoring the third of Nelson Algren's rules for life – never sleep with a woman whose problems are worse than your own.

CrimeJohn SteinbeckPhilip French

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- Philip French

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