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London Boulevard
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Reviews & Ratings for
London Boulevard More at IMDbPro »

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27 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Not Bouled Over

3/10
Author: i-rispin from United Kingdom
13 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Good points: Ray Winstone is genuinely menacing. David Thewlis does a fun hammy turn. Colin Farrell is sympathetic and credible, as is Anna Friel. However, the plot is unbelievable (in the sense of not suspending disbelief). The contrived way that Farrell gets his job with Knightly is ridiculous, and although the contributions by Thewlis's character are fun to watch, you are not convinced by him. Knightly herself is hopeless. The dialogue is often risible, except when delivered by Winstone. Whilst I enjoyed this film as it ran, the overwhelming impression it leaves is what a piece of work "In Bruges" is. This film is rubbish by comparison, especially considering the pedigree of its scriptwriter. Even Rocknrolla knocks it into a cocked hat. DEEPLY DISAPPOINTING. Ooh, almost forgot! Liked the soundtrack.

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30 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Going Straight is never as simple as it seems...

6/10
Author: the_rattlesnake25 from Sheffield, UK
27 November 2010

You can guarantee if there's one area of the current employment sector which continually flouts the rules of a recession, it's the underworld London East End gangster. William Monahan's (screenplays for 'The Departed' and 'Body of Lies') directorial debut is an adaptation of Ken Bruen's 2001 novel 'London Boulevard' about a criminal who after being released from prison, attempts to go 'straight,' but despite his attempts, he can never truly escape his violent past. It's not a perfect film by any means, but capable direction, and solid performances from a primarily solid British and Irish cast, create a competent directorial debut for Monahan.

Mitchell (Colin Farrell) has just been released from Pentonville after a three year sentence for assault, when he exits the prison he is picked up by long-time partner in crime, and local enforcer, Billy (Ben Chaplin), who takes Mitchell to a party in his honour. Every East End drug dealing gangster is there to shake the hand of one of the most feared men in London, but all Mitchell wants is to get a job, and avoid being restricted to a sixteen by eight cell again. He manages to convince a beautiful, reclusive actress (Keira Knightly) and her pot-smoking-hippy-esquire-father-figure Jordan (David Thewlis) to hire him as a handyman around their paparazzi infested estate. But when the leading figure in the London underworld, Mr Gant (Ray Winstone) comes looking to place Mitchell high up in his crime organization, he must find a way to refuse the advances of such a dangerous man, while also protecting those closest to him.

For the first ten-to-fifteen minutes of the film, Colin Farrell's forced middle-class cockney accent takes centre stage, but once he settles into the role, his performance takes limelight as a sociopathic criminal with somewhat of a heart. His brash use of violence, and utter respect and protection of friends, family and confidants, provides a conflict within Mitchell that he constantly battles throughout the film. The only thing he knows what to do is enforce, and if he was a true gangster he would "kill everyone and take everything they had," but at the same time, the last thing he wants in his life is to return to that desolate hole known as prison. Aside from Farrell, both David Thewlis and Ben Chaplin give great performances as the hippy, wannabe actor and scared, low-level gangster respectively. While Anne Friel also plays the thieving, stubborn, childish sister of Mitchell's very well. Yet while Ray Winstone never puts a foot wrong, his role as the Underworld Godfather has become rather predictable and uninteresting, especially since every other word out of his Landan mouth is either f**k or c**t (or a combination of both). Monahan really missed a trick, by failing to provide Winstone's character with any further depth.

Also beside the main story as Mitchell battles his growing love for the reclusive actress and the life of a straight man alongside that of his violent past, and potential gangster future, is the sub-plot of Mitchell's old homeless friend Joe (Alan Williams) who is killed ruthlessly by a couple of youths and Mitchell's subsequent attempts to find out who is responsible. While it is an adequate underlying story to accompany the main narrative, neither Monahan's direction nor his screenplay seem to follow it to any decisive conclusion. It seems if anything, if this sub-plot is simply included to allow the subversion of the ending and provide a twist or surprise ending, which the film itself certainly does not need. 'London Boulevard' is a proficient first effort for Monahan, and while the film contains flaws, which you expect from a first-time director plying his trade, it is also an engaging gangster drama which is smartly written, and incredibly well-acted by many of the great British and Irish actors at the moment.

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13 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Mediocre at its best

2/10
Author: Angelus2 from United Kingdom
8 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mitchel is an ex-criminal who wants to leave behind his criminal ways and is offered a job as a handyman for a famous movie-star, but Mitchel find that a underworld boss known as Gant wants Mitchel to work for him.

I was expecting a suave British gangster movie, one that would put British greats such as Get Carter, Lock Stock, Snatch and the recent RocknRolla to shame, but what we got instead was a film that was barely gangster, comedy, drama and romance orientated. Secondaly when you consider the rich cast with the likes of Colin Farrel, Keira Knightly, Ray Winstone, Sanjay Bhasker and Anna Friel, its very disappointing.

Colin is someone I'd watch and even go far as saying is perhaps one of my favourite actors, but even he fails to entice his accent at times is dodgy but that is forgivable, in all honesty none of the actors were used to their full capacity and the script was terrible with the 'dead clichés' of gangsters seeking protection money.

Stay away from London Boulavard.

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Trite and Disjointed Gangster Flick

4/10
Author: danew13 from United States
23 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The heavyweight cast for this film might cause one to think he's in-store for an entertaining time...In truth this was a waste of time killing 90 minutes or so watching a tired old formula 60s style ex con can't seem to go straight story. The editing is terrible making you wonder what happened in certain scenes.

Stars Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley and Ray Winstone do good jobs, although I found Keira to be sleepwalking the role..but maybe that was because of the the dope that was everywhere. Still,their roles don't hold together unlike far better films such as Get Carter and Point Blank. Perhaps if Farrell's character stayed more on track with Knightley instead of running around most of the time, yet going nowhere, the film would have had a better feel and focus.

From start to finish there is a hopeless feel about the main characters and there is the rule in the UK that goes back to Shakespeare: Bad guys have to meet with their dramatic resolution. Even that's hard to swallow in this flick. I just wonder if the stars got paid for this turkey.

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11 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Unbelievably Rubbish

1/10
Author: philliperry from United Kingdom
19 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is truly awful. Badly acted, Hollyoaks level direction, not even Hollyoaks level editing, but worst of all the script. Lets start with the 'star'. Colin Farrell's cockney accent sounds more South African. Was the director to scared to tell him its sounded wrong? The script feels like its written by a white supremacist who's never actually been to London, and thinks its still like it was in the 60's. So Farrell gets a job looking after a poor millionaire film star who doesn't like being snapped by the paps. Well boo-hoo. How are you supposed to give a toss about that? Ray Winstone says the 'C' word a lot. Wow. How edgy. Anyway, you get the idea. This film makes a Guy Ritchie film look like a masterclass in filmmaking. I guess the director has sucked all the right pricks.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Good movie, better cast.

7/10
Author: lewiskendell from United States
25 February 2012

"That's why nobody wants me to be a gangster. Because I could not stop if I started."

I mainly wanted to see London Boulevard because of the pairing of Keira Knightley and Colin Farrell, and that part of the movie certainly didn't disappoint me. This is definitely Farrel's film, and he carries it well. Knightley is much more a side character, despite her prominent place in the posters and advertisements. And while she's good in her part, Farrell is what makes this interesting. The guy is absolutely ferocious in this movie, and any fans of his will be pleased. 

The story of a man, fresh off of time in the prison, struggling not to be drawn into the violent criminal world that everyone around him seems to think he belongs in, is an average one. It feels a bit haphazard at times, which seems due to the way the plot continued to change as the film was being made. It progresses in leaps and fits and starts, without ever really establishing a steady flow. The scenes with Knightley and Farrell together seem from a completely different flick than the scenes with Farrell in his violent criminal element, due to the drastic differences in tone between the two. That's not a flaw in itself, but it highlights how piecemeal the whole film can feel at times. 

What makes London Boulevard a memorable movie despite its issues is the characters. Beyond Farrell and Knightley's hounded actress, Anna Friel, David Thewlis, and Ray Winstone each help carry the story along with interesting roles that they play just perfectly. 

I recommend London Boulevard if you're a fan of anyone involved, but don't expect a traditional English gangster flick. Or a perfect one. 

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Solid movie

7/10
Author: Notumforce from Sweden
6 May 2012

Im no expert so I'm not gonna use many words.

But if you like slick crime drama then this is the movie for you. Good actors, solid screenplay , and Keira Knightley And Colin Farrel had a very good chemistry on stage. And i really like David Thewlis more for every movie i have seen him in.

The movie do has some negatives but i truly don't think they will impact so much they could maybe sharpened the story a tiny bit more. And maybe chosen someone other than Ray Winstone for his part. Also the settings was maybe to shallow.

Anyway solid movie for a Sunday afternoon .

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Underrated and confused

Author: clive_slatter from United Kingdom
19 August 2011

There is hardly a bad performance in this film providing you ignore Keira Knightley. The premise is good, an ex convict (Farrell) trying to go straight but running foul of a local gangster (Winston). He takes a job bodyguarding an actress but falls for her. Right, basics sorted. Where this film falls short is in the number of sub plots it tries to keep going. The other problem I have with the film is the setting. The feel for it is all very 70's with the fashions and cars and settings. The score also lends itself to the period and yet there are constant modern references such as smoking laws and mobile phones.

I actually quite enjoyed it but is quite quite a mash of ideas and concepts.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Perplexing and poorly-conceived movie

2/10
Author: freddy54-211-469054 from United Kingdom
7 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really wanted to admire this film but the confusing plot, unintelligible dialogue(particularly from Ray Winstone) and ridiculously loud music soundtrack spoilt it for me. There were sudden plot twists and developments that made no sense, as if the continuity department had pasted scenes together in random order. The ending was tacked on to end the movie just for the sake of it. What I wanted to know is what motivated David Thewlis' character to commit murder? Who was the Bosnian guy? Why is Anna Friel's character so annoying? Why do I care? If you wish to see a first-rate British crime movie, watch "Harry Brown".

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22 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

London Boulevard rocks!

9/10
Author: jonoratner from London
25 November 2010

I love the style, unpredictable nature, the casting, the music and more. I went with no preconceptions, possibly the best way to see it (and any other film I would argue).

I found myself being swept along with every minute. If I had to be ultra critical there seemed to be a sound problem and some of the lines seemed mumbled, which was a pity. It could have been the cinema I was in.

There was no gratuitous violence, which you might expect from a brit gangster flick like this. Every scene had its place. The aggression was implied without being rammed home.

Some beautiful character defining moments from Farrell, Thewlis and predictably Winstone, which I won't describe as you'll enjoy these yourself on first viewing.

In all an really enjoyable way to spend an evening or afternoon!

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