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

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Blighty Brilliant - Colin Farrell's Charlie Brigante

Author: amesmonde from Novelist of The Final Version
24 March 2011

A London gangster is recently released from prison and tries to go straight after being offered a job by a clinically depressed borderline agoraphobic celebrity. However, he's forcefully reined back into 'the business' by Gant a psychotic criminal boss.

A star-studded and familiar face cast come together in William Monahan's passionate compelling and compulsory underworld film that manages to capture a contemporary 60's feel. It benefit's from an on location look which is wonderfully and stylishly shot capturing both beauty and darkness of L.A. and London. The back drop of London feels like a character itself with something interesting always going on screen.

For some reason despite the formulaically worn genre Boulevard manages to stay fresh. Colin Farrell's main character Mitchell is likable, interesting and dynamic with a Steve McQueen air about him.

The character relationship dimensions and interactions are intriguing and a little bit different from the usual Brit flick considering linear story thanks to a at times ambiguous script. Leads Farrell, Keira Knightley and Ray Winstone are on fine form. And both David Thewlis and Ben Chaplin steal the show with their contrasting character performances. There are loads of great supporting actor appearances, Eddie Marsan,Matt King,Tim Plester and Sanjeev Bhaskar to name a few. Notable is Briony, Mitchell 's alcoholic sister played excellently by Anna Friel.

US director Monahan has created a slick, witty, violent and soulfully hard hitting film. It's a quality production and despite the soundtrack being repetitive at times and a choppy last act - London Boulevard is near on perfection for the genre.

Reminiscent of Layer Cake (2004) quite frankly it's the UK's Carlito's Way (1993),which is a simply a good thing.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Perplexing and poorly-conceived movie

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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Strong performances despite its very disappointing end.

Author: INeedToSmileMore from United States
9 May 2016

It is a story of an ex-con Mitchell (Colin Farrell) who got out of prison and who wants to put his criminal past behind him. He takes a job to work as a bodyguard for a young and unhappy actress Charlotte (Keira Knightley) and to protect her from paparazzi. Unfortunately his friends from the past and a London crime lord named Gant (Ray Winstone) don't leave him alone and pressure him to join their gang.

The story may be a cliché but what makes this movie worth to watch is its cast. The scenes between Colin Farrell and Ray Winstone (especially their restaurant and parking garage scenes) were pretty intense and strong. I can say that these two actors' performances have kept the movie together. Colin Farrell was definitely in his best shape physically in this movie. He marvelously portrayed Mitchell, a gangster who doesn't want to be a gangster anymore and showed once again that he is a perfect fit for badass characters. I also liked watching David Thewlis who plays Jordan, Charlotte's agent. Unfortunately, Keira Knightley doesn't get much screen time and therefore her relationship with Mitchell neither.

I am not sure how much this movie reflects London's underground crime world since I am not from the UK, but it was a different scenery for me and I liked it despite its very disappointing end. The soundtrack of the movie is superb.

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Crime thriller that started well but petered out into a morass of violence

Author: sjackieveronica from Cowal, Scotland
2 October 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I agree with Matt Quigley (Belfast). I was expecting a satisfying British crime thriller, especially with such a good cast, but I was disappointed. The film's script let it down, and although the acting was up to par, especially Colin Farrell as main guy Mitchel, with a nod to David Thewlis as 'famous film star' Keira Knightley's sidekick protector, and Anna Friel as Mitchel's sister, the potential to make this a gripping tale was not realised.

The dilemma of Mitchel (Farrell) coming out of prison, trying to go straight, but given his previously high profile in London's gang underworld of serious crime, finding this impossible, could have been developed into a dark moral story with possible redemption. But the disjointed progression of scenes with so many mis-matched and disturbed characters, while underlining the fact that 'we're all fxxxxd', as Mitchel says at one point, fails to make sense.

Everyone is screwed up: Charlotte (Keira Knightley) with all her money is now utterly vulnerable, Mitchel can't get away from his heavily criminal past, his sister can't overcome her addictions, Charlotte's protector, Jordan (Thewlis) is beyond help in drink and drugs. Even the doctor (Sanjeev Bhaskar) who befriends Mitchel and ends up with his sister is seen as utterly flawed. Gant (Ray Winstone), the underground criminal overlord is horrible and you know things are not going to end well.

The only redemption in this film comes to Charlotte. Mitchel's attempt to revenge his down-and-out friend's death rebounds on him badly and the irony of the knife he gave the friend becoming his own nemesis is unflinchingly bitter and cruel.

The film is over-littered with bad language and the screenplay is unconvincing. The violence is extreme and only visual reticence makes it watchable. In retrospect I can see the point of the film/story, the moral dilemmas, the effect of crime, money, drugs, drink, violence, on the human psyche, degrading it to the point of self-destruction and destruction of others, but despite the actors' every efforts to make the whole thing work, by the end you just feel the whole thing has just been an exercise in exposing the violence people are capable of and gathering as much of it as possible into one film. I was left feeling unsatisfied, queasy, and with little faith in human redemption which is not pleasant. Hardly entertainment!

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Never really gets into the right gear

Author: Ole Sandbaek Joergensen from Denmark
15 September 2015

I have been wanting to see this for some time, there is just something special about British action movies, the language is just so much cooler and the characters for some reason gets more evil without being anything different or doing anything different then what they would if it had been an American flick.

This is just moving a bit slow, there are some very nice scenes and good dialogs, but the pace of the movie is a bit boring. It never really gets into fourth gear, sometimes gets up to the third, but never higher and that is a shame. The acting is great, the characters also great, the scenery very fitting and the story also quit good, but the fast paced, hard hitting action is missing.

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It works well, but so does castor oil supposedly.

Author: carbuff
5 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just another British gangster flick? That's what I was afraid of. It starred Colin Farrell, so I thought I would have to at least give it a try.

Farrell, like most actors, has a limited range, but when he fits a role, he usually excels, as he does in this flick. Of course he plays the brooding, soulful, powder keg criminal with a heart of gold (whose sister, well acted by some relatively unknown performer, is a mentally disturbed hooker with a heart of stone). Very pleasantly, the storyline, which is punctuated with some pretty rough violence and a killer soundtrack, is quite unpredictable (at least, I thought so).

Even though I watched it a couple of days ago, I'm still not certain about how I feel about the ending, which will likely leave a sour taste in a lot of people's mouths. Still, I can't say that I saw where the plot was going, or where it was going to end up, which is one of the characteristics I value most in a film experience.

Because my mind hasn't made complete peace with the ending, I'm holding back full marks, although I think there are arguably legitimate artistic reasons for how it was all wrapped up.

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Too many things

Author: cinecephale
6 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am very ambivalent about this film. It is a real pleasure to see so many great actors, all at the top of their game: Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Ray Winstone, Thewlis. But the script is all over the place and in the end, deeply unconvincing. It is as if the filmmaker couldn't make up his mind about what story he wanted to tell: a story about celebrity? cinema? gangsters? a love story between a star and a nobody? revenge? redemption? Maybe a better writer could have pulled it, but it is not the case here. Just the duel between Winstone and Farrell would have made a great movie, but why throw in a traumatized movie star, and a nymphomaniac sister and a killer producer and who the hell was Joe that was killed in the beginning?! It is just too much, too many useless characters, to many storie lines, too hard to believe, too much plot holes. Still it is weirdly entertaining, thanks to Winstone and Farrell's wonderful charisma. It is really a case where the actors pleasure and work almost redeem a very, very bad script.

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Too many stories going on

Author: SnoopyStyle
11 June 2014

Harry Mitchel (Colin Farrell) just got out of prison. He's a criminal of some notoriety. His old friend Billy Norton (Ben Chaplin) is a low level gangster. Briony (Anna Friel) is his wild sister. Penny (Ophelia Lovibond) has a small job with reclusive somewhat retired actress Charlotte (Keira Knightley). She's holed up in her mansion with friend manager Jordan (David Thewlis) surrounded by the paparazzi. Corrupt detective Bailey (Eddie Marsan) tells Mitchel to avoid Billy but he still follows Billy collecting money. Billy has a proposal from his boss Rob Gant (Ray Winstone) to rob Charlotte's mansion for the car collection. Gant wants to pull Mitchel into his organization but Mitchel resists. In another side story, a couple of kids kill a homeless friend and he feels a need to get revenge.

There are a couple of good performances in this pulpy British gangster movie. Colin Farrell is quite good in a darker moody role. Ray Winstone comes in and blows this movie up. There are quite a few wonderful British actors that I love. There is just too many stories going on. It would be better off concentrating on a few less characters and put more attention to Gant. This has a scatter shoot effect.

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Nasty, but entertaining gangster flick

Author: OJT from Norway
8 January 2014

A surprising movie in many ways, Londm Boulevard rewards the watcher. It's filled with classy British acting, and a great script. A slow, but stylish story, which kept me entertained way better than expected, with a poster looking quite more like a crime story. It's bleach, no doubt! Well, criminal it is, for sure. But it's more brutal than you expect, based upon a novel by Ken Bruen, of which I knew nothing about in beforehand.

Mitchel gets out after three years in prison, determined that he wants to get away from the criminal scene, which is obviously a merciless environment. But that's almost impossible, as his old pals are all expecting him to do jobs. He takes a job as a lifeguard for a famous actor, but is this his way out. Well he thinks so, though his led environment both is difficult to get rid of, and the marks on his gangster soul is also difficult to run from.

Colin Farrell is better here than I've ever seen him. Keira Knightley dies a good job, but doesn't steal the screen from him. But then the film is followed by great acting in minor roles by a load of great British actors. I must say I started loving each and every one of them, down to the brief encounter with the youngsters in extra-roles. What a great instructor director William Monahan is!

And not only that! The film is scattered with a great soundtrack which is almost worth watching the film blindfolded! Starting off with (what I believe is a '66) Rolling Stones tune, we follow up with the Yardbirds, Pretty Things, the 22-20's, the Nox Tops, Drek and Cluve, the Electric Banana, the Knickerbockers, Kasanian, Bob Dylan, Annu Malik and a lot of other great stuff which I don't recognize, all with a sixties feel. Simply marvelous! And very suitable for the flick as well. Yummy! This was well suited.

Maybe the best British gangster movie I've seen, if you not count in the couple which are all a big laugh as well. Because this is hasn't got the wit of "Snatch." or "Two smoking barrels", but is way more serious.

This film was so great that I watched it a second time, on which I added an extra star! Look out for this film maker! I certainly will!

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London boring

Author: rowmorg from Eel Pie Island
15 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Colin Farrell plays an orphan just leaving prison for GBH (he was innocent, of course) who within a few minutes is mixed up in two employment offers. One is from a ghastly, brutal, psychopathic killer (Ray Winstone), the other from a fey, titless actress who also has no family (Keira Knightley). Colin's supposed sister (Anna Friel) is the worst-mannered person on earth, but he loves her deeply. Ray offs her without ceremony, using a hammer. Meanwhile Keira has quit her upstairs painting to dally in bed with Colin, delicately hiding her absence of bust from the camera. He's pretty fuelled, because they can be seen together in the USA, where she is going. Sadly, he has to knock off a couple of louts and Ray first, in a sequence of brutal murders. Then, sadly, he is stabbed many times by a street oaf he had been after for killing a good mate of his who was a wino down-and-out. End of story. No tears for him, then. And Keira? Who gives a damn? They blew UKP25 million on this phony piece of rubbish. I hope they had fun, because we didn't.

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