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|Index||495 reviews in total|
299 out of 351 people found the following review useful:
Seriously addictive movie - The most balanced movie ever made?, 18 December 1999
Author: CriticNick from NY, USA
The first time I saw this movie I had difficulty in understanding a lot of
the dialogue not just because of the weird accent, but because the actors
spoke so damn fast. But despite this I became literally addicted to it.
begin with my wife got pretty annoyed because any other movie we rented
would be ejected after about 20 minutes of viewing and in would go LS&2SB.
Now she is hooked as well.
I have lost count of the number of times I have seen LS&2SB and still cannot put my finger on why I find this movie so good to watch. I suppose the most obvious feature of this movie is that it is beautifully balanced between being serious and humorous at the same time. The characters are two-dimensional. The villains are menacing, and yet they are made to look like idiots, and the good guys think they are so smart yet keep getting the rug pulled from under them. They are all projected as 'cool' yet the situation is always out of their control. Maybe it could be called a satire on true life.
The style of this movie is unique, full stop. I cannot think of any movie that can be compared to LS&2SB. Quite a few people say that the style is a mix of 'Pulp Fiction', 'Goodfellas', 'Trainspotting' and 'Reservoir Dogs', but I think that you would make that kind of description only if you are really desperate to match LS&2SB to something.
The best description I can think of is 'MTV does a crime comedy', and I honestly don't think there is anything wrong with that. Like music videos, it is all non-stop movement and sound. Something is always happening but unlike music videos, not without reason.
The humor is incredibly sharp yet 'as a matter of fact'. No one is really trying to be extraordinarily funny, but again it is the balance between being menacingly serious and funny that the humor really flies at you. I think that it is for this reason that a few people are really disappointed with LS&2SB. If you are expecting a 'belly laugh Leslie Nielson, Jim Carrey, Steve Martin, typecasted' type all out comedy, or a serious 'Al Pacino, Andy Garcia, DeNiro typecasted crime thriller, you will find this movie a big let down.
My favorite characters are Rory Breaker (Vas Blackwood) and Big Chris (Vinnie Jones) mainly because their two dimensional over-the-top characters are the most obvious. Big Chris takes his son with him debt collecting, and while he beats up someone who owes chastises him for swearing in front of his son and Rory Breaker is the most idiotic drug-lord you could come up with.
I haven't even mentioned the excellent and unique camerawork, speaker blowing soundtrack, beautifully threaded plot, perfect ending and the grittiest visuals I've seen. You wont see any reflective glass laden sky scrapers here, or 'over head city shots', or incredible special effects. This movie has actors I have never heard of, dialogues that you have to rewind and replay to understand, buildings that look as though they have been condemned for demolition, cars that wouldn't even be seen in our scrap yards, has probably been made with a budget that most movies in Hollywood use for make-up alone, has no love scenes, or romance or complex relationships, no Oscar-worthy performances, and yet is perfect entertainment.
Where our movies normally rely on budgets, this movie works on human talent alone.
If any movie deserves a 10 out of 10, then this is it.
'And there's one more thing...............it's been emotional'
155 out of 193 people found the following review useful:
Have a butchers..., 1 March 2002
Author: Quag7 from Tucson, AZ
I was a total and complete sucker for this film.
If I were to write and direct a movie about gangsters or crime, this would be it. I wouldn't change one damn thing. Not a thing. Everything in this film was, to my eye, perfect - casting, the camerawork, the excellent dialogue ("It's been emotional.")
Now I don't have much to compare this to, and I've heard some criticism that it basically draws quite heavily from older British crime dramas. I've got a bunch of these on my queue to rent, but I doubt you could make a crime film better than this.
This film oozes with style, class, dark humor, plot twists and turns, and doesn't drag one bit. The casting and characterization is perfect, and Ritchie isn't afraid to move the cameras around; no pretense is really made here at "realism" - Ritchie doesn't mask the fact that it's a film and he runs with it.
I really don't think of myself as easily impressed, and I have seen a hell of a lot of films in my time, but this one instantly made my Top 10 after only a single viewing. Yes, I'm raving about it, and while it may not be "spiritually enriching" or contain any deep sociological content (which I actually do look for in films), somehow it still scores as one hell of a film; memorable and entertaining, and stands up well to multiple viewings.
I am a bit dismayed to see some of the marketing of this film comparing it to other things like Quentin Tarantino films or Trainspotting. It really does it a disservice because this film really is its own phenomenon and stands on its own two feet; if anything it is similar to Trainspotting and Tarantino films only because it actually has its own bold style.
Can't recommend it enough.
118 out of 134 people found the following review useful:
The essence of late 90's cinema -- hip, highly stylized, VISUAL, 19 February 2003
Author: David Ross Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Washington, DC
Guy Ritchie's hip, highly stylized 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' is
a truly remarkable film, not only for its appropriately pyrotechnic camera
work, but also for its seemingly flawless, puzzle-perfect script/screenplay.
While the picture's main focus is on a group of lads who invest money in a
high-stakes, rigged card game and lose, the broader story concerns
approximately eight different groups of criminals whose paths cross (more>
than once, in some cases) during various illegal pursuits: money, guns,
drugs, even revenge. The film is quite violent, both on and off screen, but
it's also uniformly humorous throughout. It's important to note that the
four central characters (a cook, a card sharp, and a couple of guys who sell
"discounted" items) are interested only in acquiring the money to pay off
their enormous debt; they kill no one. The same applies to the laid-back
college boys who "grow copious amounts of ganja".
The cast is comprised of mostly young, veteran, male actors. In fact, the only female in the film doesn't even speak, though she handles a machine gun fairly well. Sting appears briefly in several scenes as a bar-owning father figure. While his secondary performance is solid, as usual, it is also unmemorable. The soundtrack is first-rate, from the 60's hits of James Brown to the contemporary beats of London's underground. The groovy, pulsating music and lyrics are often succinctly synchronized with the action and dialogue in the film, creating a theatrical rhythm that is fairly uncommon in cinema (from any period).
Critics and audiences over the years have often dismissed stylized camera work as pretentious and unnecessary, stating that it detracts from the story, bogs it down, or pads it; however, the film medium has the luxury of actually "displaying" a story for its audience, unlike the written word alone. It's what the medium is all about -- it's VISUAL. Hence, one of the reasons a filmmaker chooses such visual displays is to "brand" his or her work, in the same way as writers like Cummings, Hemingway or Joyce did with their medium. It's hard to imagine a cinema without Hitchcock, Kubrick, or Scorsese to represent it. To this end, Ritchie has taken his first step in establishing his own brand. His energetic, ultra-contemporary camera work incorporates (through a fresh perspective) such devices as slow motion, fast motion, and freeze-frame coupled with narration. It is at times reminiscent of (and actually expands upon) Martin Scorsese's patented visual stylistics and camera movements, like those found in 'Mean Streets' and 'Goodfellas'. But the similarities with Scorsese's work end there.
Critics' endless comparisons of Ritchie's film with the works of Quentin Tarantino and Danny Boyle's 'Trainspotting' stand mostly unwarranted, as these comparisons take away from the inventiveness and originality of 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'. Ritchie's film is a much more involved, complex, layered work than the aforementioned comparisons. While Tarantino's films are very strong on dialogue, screenplay, and editing, they often lack creative camera work and direction. Boyle's 'Trainspotting' does have a resembling "feel" to 'LS&TSB', but aside from its Great Britain origins, there really is no need for comparison. 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' is essential viewing.
93 out of 122 people found the following review useful:
, 20 February 2000
Author: Shannon Duston (email@example.com) from Savannah, GA
Incredibly funny and entertaining story of four young "criminals" out for big money. This is one of the most intelligently written stories I've ever seen. If you like to write screenplays, let this one take you for a spin. Very fast paced film with great editing techniques and a hilarious cast and storyline thats sure to entertain, as long as you can handle the accents. Great cinematography as well. This story will send you through a cork screw. See it once, then see it again to see what you missed.
81 out of 101 people found the following review useful:
Brilliant script, brilliant cinematography, great acting and soundtrack, 5 November 1999
Author: jedidp from United States
Best comedy in years, friend turned me on to this hilarious comedy of errors and glad she did. The film is damn near flawless, forces you to pay attention to the twists and turns through it's witty dialogue. Wonderfully photographed with brilliant camerawork but not overdone. Worth several sittings and we could learn alot in Hollywood from this one....
59 out of 70 people found the following review useful:
Comedy Noir well done, 15 February 2000
Author: ExtraCrispy-2 from DeepFriedHappyMice.com
I'm not sure whether to call this a black comedy or a comedy-noir. The story
is about four working class lads who have each managed to save up 25,000
pounds to spot their card-shark friend for a high-stakes poker game with
"Hatchet" Harry, the local gangster.
Unfortunately, Harry's game is rigged and the four end up owing Harry half a million pounds, with just one week to come up with the cash. What ensues is a set of schemes, counter-schemes, rip-offs, and bad/good luck that demand you pay attention. On several occasions I had to pause the video just to take stock of which gang was planning what.
The final thirty minutes of the film, as the plots all collide and overlap, turn set-piece shoot outs into comedic punchlines. The comedy is driven by exploding our expectations of what are otherwise pretty standard scenes from the film-noir genre.
The acting is strong and the script very tight. Although I am not normally a fan of voice overs, this one informs without spoiling the action. And I liked the use of the slow-motion to disrupt the action and keep me paying attention.
While this film may not be for everyone, if you enjoy a darker pallette, this may be right up your alley.
59 out of 77 people found the following review useful:
As T.C. said, this movie rocks!, 14 January 2000
Author: Sean Gallagher (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Brooklyn, NY
You all may know the story at how Tom Cruise saw this movie at a screening in London, and afterwards said, "This movie rocks." Whatever you may think of Mr. Cruise, I happen to agree after watching this film. Although I had trouble following the story at times, it was a lot of fun, and Ritchie managed to juggle all the characters around and keep me interested and compelled to watch. I also didn't have any trouble understanding what the characters were saying, and I think those who blind themselves to films like this by saying, "Oh, I can't understand them" lack patience. I also liked all the actors, particularly, of course Lenny McLean and Vinnie Jones(one of my few complaints is I would have liked to see more of them in the film). And for a film which feels violent, there's surprisingly little actual violence, which is refreshing. Overall, not a particularly deep film, but a lot of fun.
58 out of 77 people found the following review useful:
Plot twists and turns amongst the seedy London Underground, 14 July 1999
Author: Cameron Koo (email@example.com) from The Gold Coast, Australia
LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS ( rating, * * * * out of 5
Four lesser thieves from the East End of London find themselves dangerously in debt to a local smut peddler - the result of a fixed poker game. The consequence being that until they repay the money owed, each one will lose a finger for each day the payment is late.
While trying to figure their desperate predicament, they overhear their gangster neighbors setting up a score from some slumberous marijuana dealers and decide that knocking over the neighbours is their only way out.
After the triumphant thievery, they discover that the pot belongs to the same menacing individual they want to fence it through - a black psychopath whose history reads like the Anti-Christ's resume. Enter a miscellany of desperadoes and hoodlums who target our four lads.
For the first time since 'Pulp Fiction', a movie comes along that breaks the shackles of tedious cloning. This film is entertaining and moves along at a cracking pace. Guy Ritchie's script is a tapestry of well-written characters, sharp dialogue that says what needs to be said and leaves the unsaid as food for thought, and a mesh of sub-plots that interlace together with imagination and expertise.
His direction is crisp and inventive allowing the cast of eccentric characters to move about freely while maintaining that erratic edge. In this slick piece of film making, Guy Ritchie denies hackneyed Hollywood trends by scripting no true good-guys just varying degrees of bad ones.
This is a terrific movie. It is violent but not extreme considering the subject matter and cast of cut-throat characters. The language is strong and the humor is black where you'll find yourself belly laughing at the brutal misfortune of others. If this makes you uncomfortable, then this film is not for you. It is also not for those who have been trained by television sit-coms to laugh on cue.
Broadminds are required to enjoy this fine British film where it will definitely add some zing to your day. So stick your tongues firmly in your cheeks and hop on the thrill a minute ride that is 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'.
68 out of 102 people found the following review useful:
`100 pounds is still 100 pounds!' `Not when the price is 200 pounds!', 3 February 2000
Author: Gregory Day (Master of Insanity) from Piacenza, Italy
If this film had been dubbed for American viewers, (even if it would have lost the magic of the cockney accent), not one person from the States would have said this wasn't a really good film. I didn't even understand most of the dialogues, but the weirdness of the characters and of what they did was really funny. Not hysterically funny, but Funny! The mixture of comedy and violence was the thing that most amused me. The story itself isn't of the most original, but surely efficacious. The photography and the soundtrack were also brilliant and to finish, I saw Pulp Fiction, I loved it, but after seeing LS&2SM I was too busy thinking over and over how much I liked it for noticing a whatsoever similarity with PF. 10 out of 10 is a bit too much but 9/10 definitely isn't! Watch it!
77 out of 133 people found the following review useful:
Now do you understand everything I've said? Because if you don't, I'll kill ya, 12 December 1999
I've avoided this movie for sometime now. Firstly because friends told me
that it was 'Pulp Fiction'-ish (and boy do I hate that movie). Secondly,
because its British and although I'm from South East London myself and love
British television comedies, I have rarely found British humour well
translated onto the big screen. Normally it is toned down to plain
slap-stick goofy uncomplicated Inspector Cleuseau type humour tailored for
But to find not just British, but straight-faced East London cockney-slang and swear filled humour in a really stylish movie was a revelation.
I have always believed that British humor, especially East London humor is much more sophisicated than American humour. Maybe the reason why American audiences have been more forthcoming with LS&2SB is that despite the accent, they finally 'get it' without having to have it remade into an American version, ala Faulty Towers and Threes company and other British comedies. Yet, I believe Tom Cruise is remaking the movie with an American cast. I suppose for those who just cannot understand English unless its spoken in an American accent. That is really a shame as there are so many diverse accents all around the world and LS&2SB could not have been done in any accent other than cockney.
Still, there are bits only the British will get, like the scene with the three guys pouncing on the traffic warden in the back of the van. That scene had me clutching my sides. Only someone living in London can feel true loathing for a traffic warden, the most hated person in Britain.
Cinemtography was superb. I wont go into who's already done the slow-mo's and stop action argument. It is near impossible to do anything in a movie today that has not already been done. You can either do nothing - or do whatever you can as long as it suits the mood and the flow of the movie, and Guy Ritchie just cannot be faulted. He projects the seedy, thin laned, miserable weathered London, yet with such style that you want to see more. The camera work could not have been better. Just see the projection of Eddy's unsteady, light-headed wooziness as he gets up from the gambling table having lost everything and owing even more. Brilliant.
The Soundtrack was as diverse and yet brilliant as I have ever heard in a movie. I dont want to look like waving the Union Jack here, but this movie shows that the British have a more diverse taste in music. From Reggae, to Ska, to Rock, to Mikis Theodorakis every track played just added to the scene showed.
In short, LS&2SB is a movie that just does not stop for a second, is full of refreshing humour, filmed with style, has a lively soundtrack, some violence thrown in for good measure, and a story with more twists and turns than a bowlfull of spaghetti.
Dont let this movie slip you by. You'll either love it, or hate it.
If this movie was not British, I'd give it an 8/10, but since it is, it gets 9/10 from me.
Favourite dialogue: Rory Breaker: If you hold back anything, I'll kill ya. If you bend the truth or I think your bending the truth, I'll kill ya. If you forget anything I'll kill ya. In fact, you're gonna have to work very hard to stay alive, Nick. Now do you understand everything I've said? Because if you don't, I'll kill ya.
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