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19 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Robbers, guns and money

8/10
Author: jc-osms from United Kingdom
24 February 2012

This four-part BBC drama made for gripping viewing from first to last. Centring on a multi-million pound heist at a money counting house, it imaginatively moves back and forth in time until both time-streams converge in a repeat showing of the violent robbery, by which point the viewer has become informed as to the lead characters' emotional make-up, weaknesses and motivations. In the most inspired piece of writing / direction in the piece, we're at that point shown the climactic holdup scene with the perpetrators both masked and unmasked, showing us not only who did what at that point but also letting the viewer see how the criminals themselves are reacting to the pressure of their nefarious task.

The programme is also about the three lead "inside men" and their relationships with the women in their lives, for one, the de-facto leader played by Steven Mackintosh, it's his chance to re-assert his masculinity in his stale marriage, for another, Warren Brown, like Mackintosh last seen in "Luther", the petty crook, shoot for the sky / land in the gutter, delivery man, he's desperate to set his girl-friend, (later wife) up in the rich lifestyle she craves and for the third, Ashley Walters, it's a chance to escape his background of a jailbird father and drunken mother in providing a steady life for his new girlfriend and their forthcoming child.

My only problems with the well layered narrative were the too-obvious way Mackintosh's wife worked out who her captor was and the unbelievability of Mackintosh's motive, culminating in a slightly anti-climactic ending, while the constant shifts in time just occasionally seemed dizzying and confusing. There was also an awkward, artificial scene where Mackintosh was lecturing his newly adopted six-year old daughter on how wrong is sometimes right, something I'm not sure even the most hardened crook would do.

These quibbles apart, the story was quite excellently acted, Mackintosh outstanding as the shrinking violet who finds within himself the tough guy he'd been suppressing for years, with Brown almost as good as the dim but game accomplice and Walters likewise very good as the security man wrestling with his conscience.

The direction rarely flagged with the tension kept close to boiling point throughout in what was one of the best home-grown mini-series I've seen in a long time.

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15 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

A gripping drama, excellent television.

Author: andyhalsall from England
23 February 2012

English crime dramas on the BBC tend to be good, so when I spotted the first episode on iPlayer I decided that I'd watch the first episode and take it from there.

I think I was hooked within 15 minutes, the pace was just right, rapid in places agonizing (in a good way...) in others. The way the story unfolds is especially attractive in that almost until the final scene you aren't quite sure of what will happen, even though it might have felt that after the first episode you already knew the entire plot.

The actors involved all gave first rate performances, all of them were believable and possibly more importantly, very familiar, at least on the surface. The way personalities change as the plot progresses (if not in episode order..) is very well done.

Lastly, the whole thing was utterly believable, everything from the methodologies and insecurities portrayed through to the social situations and environment were spot on.

I would recommend it to anyone who is into the genre and probably anyone who has the time to sit down and watch the whole lot. In fact the worst part of watching the four episodes that make up the whole was waiting for the next one to be aired.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Wonderfully thrilling!!

10/10
Author: Sridhar Rao from India
4 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have never been a believer in watching pilots. For me if a show is only good enough if it has lasted at least a few seasons before I get hooked on to it. But having a lot of free time I decided to give Inside Men a chance and boy was I glad to have done that!

The show is about a group of men working in a cash warehouse deciding to go for the long haul. So overview seems simple enough but mind you! there are a lot of things in store for you. The pilot was almost an hour long and was shot at a good pace, although some of the scenes appear quite slow but the overall pace of the pilot was great.

Steven Makintosh was superb and the acting was generally good on the whole. Although I didn't see any actors that I could recognize but they have done their part amazingly well.

It has got me hooked and I cant wait for the next episode.

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

A breath of fresh air..

Author: samwamburi
15 February 2012

I stumbled upon this series by chance to be honest and hence my expectations were not high. I figured the cinematography would be interesting given it is a BBC production so I thought "Why not?!"

While it is too early to give a concrete review, having watched the first 2 episodes just leaves one yearning for more. The storyline at first glance seems simple enough..3 employees staging a heist of a lumpsum of cash. The aftermath is what unravels as the core of this series, with the use of timely back-flashes to give the viewer a feel of what transpired before. The delivery of suspense, and drama is excellent along with the character choices, played marvellously by Steve Mackintosh (I only remember as the weed seller in Guy Ritchie's "lock, Stock and Two Smokin' Barrels") as the lead. The character development doesn't seem rushed and the sub-plots and dialogue make sense - which is a far cry from recent suspense/thriller/drama productions which are all effects and zero punch.

For those that are intrigued by heists and the what they entail along with the drama revolving around each character, this one's definitely for you. Edge of the seat stuff.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Insert gay joke here

7/10
Author: wandereramor from Canada
23 November 2012

Inside Men is the kind of antihero drama that's become so trendy lately boiled down to its essentials in four hours of drama. Steve Mackinotsh gives a great performance as the central character, who doesn't so much transform from nebbish bank manager to near-sociopathic bank robber as reveal the ruthless criminal that was always hidden beneath the benign bourgeois facade -- and that might be beneath our benign bourgeois facades too.

Ashley Waters, Warren Brown and Nicola Walker also give great supporting performances, and what helps them out is a script that makes their characters every bit as interesting as Mackintosh's. These characters are the starring roles in their own lives, and we get enough of these lives (in particular a very real depiction of working-class British life) to be interested in them. Inside Men occasionally uses melodrama in place of backstory (Chris's mother springs to mind), but for the most part the time spent in these worlds is rewarding.

Some other narrative choices are less successful. The flash-forward structure, while striking at first, quickly becomes burdensome and removes a lot of narrative tension from the events in the past. In the last episode in particular the series seems to be unable to figure out what to do with the plot. And even though a lot about Inside Men is well-done, I always found myself wondering a bit what the point was. As I said above, this is a condensed version of a show like Breaking Bad, but condensation often takes out the flavour, and what we have is a narrative we've seen done better before.

It's perhaps unfair to compare Inside Men to all previous shows with this narrative trajectory, which include some of the best TV shows ever. It's good enough to stand on its own. But in the end it comes off as just a well-executed crime story. If that sounds up your alley, give this one a shot.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Good at first but declined right at the end.

2/10
Author: shedmcnee from France
28 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Loved the first 3 and a half episodes of this. It was building up and up and up to something really good and then fizzled out with a stupid ending. It was just daft. I notice there are a few reviews where the viewers have only seen the first one or two episodes and then left a review. I would've said it was really good as well watching just the first three but the ending was very disappointing. One of those endings that left you thinking "I've just wasted 4 hours of my life" you know? What goes through the writers head I don't know. I won't actually say what happens as I'll leave that for other viewers to see. Just personally I found it disappointing and unbelievable. To go through all that worry and fear, planning and recruiting and then just to end on such a note - well - very poor indeed!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Inspired by The Lavender Hill Mob

7/10
Author: Wajid Malik from India
10 February 2013

I read all the reviews before deciding to contribute my own.

Did anyone notice that this series is inspired, and in fact, an extended version of the movie The Lavender Hill Mob(1951). Steve Macintosh plays the part of Alec Guinness in this series.

It's good to know that all good things that are old are not eventually forgotten. Kudos to the playwright and producer to decide to make this TV Series.

Having said that, this TV adaptation does justice to the movie. In fact, it is more riveting than the movie itself. Being a TV series, it enjoys the luxury of giving time for each of the characters to develop.

"Look at him. He is human. He is tempted!"

I recommend both the movie as well as the TV version.

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Spectacularly bad!

3/10
Author: Khun Kru Mark from Thailand
23 December 2016

Spectacularly bad!

The usual UK TV faces are wheeled out to play one-dimensional characters in this TV 'cartoon' heist.

One is a mild-mannered milksop who has somehow managed to find himself in charge of a money counting house. One is a warehouse man with the intelligence of a... well, a warehouse man with connections to the criminal world. The other is a security guard with a dodgy dad and a drunk mum! Yeah - the writers thought of this all by themselves!

Each of them manages to make appalling decisions which lead to them banding together to make off with the biggest cash robbery in UK history.

The writing is forced and unimaginative and borders on cringe-worthy in many instances... and the time-line jumps backwards and forwards in an attempt to make up for it.

The real letdown, though, is it's simply unrealistic to the point of farce...

Early on - 50,000 quid goes missing and the company owners laugh it off over a phone call as something they'll sort out later! The middle-aged manager and his barren wife have somehow been fast-tracked through the adoption process and take on a six-year-old girl. The security guard decides it's a good idea to shack up with a 17-year-old immigrant worker who just got fired from the money counting house! The idiot warehouse man is in a bit of money trouble early on and decides to draw up a plan of the cash-counting building and tries to sell it!

Things quickly fall apart as these idiots can't get things together at all and despite planning a massive cash haul, they take it about as seriously as nicking a carton of milk at the local Tesco Express!

And throughout all of this lunacy, we are subjected to the various domestic dramas of these clowns. And the women standing by these men are just horrible, too... ungrateful, money grabbing, greedy, emasculating and entitled scumbags.

If the unnecessary diversions and subplots were edited out of the four- hour run-time it would have made a pretty slick 90 minute TV movie... as it is the run time is bloated with filler and is excruciatingly dragged out.

But I seem to be in the minority here as ALL the other reviews submitted so far (just eight so far) have been positive! Maybe I'm just a miserable git that's impossible to please, eh?

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

WOW! So few reviews for a masterpiece of action and character...?????

Author: Transformers_Of_The_Caribbean
20 November 2012

WOW! So few reviews for a masterpiece of action and character...?????

This is the perfect screenplay. I've written a few, and this is class! Its only 4 parts but it explores every avenue of action and character. I was blown away! I had to stay awake and watch all 4 episodes till 4 am! The lead character at times reminded me of the bravado of :-

Mesrine: Killer Instinct (2008)...

This is a total gem in this age of marvel comics remakes and transformers crud! You wont be disappointed. It has an edge to it like the also excellent Ken Loach directed

My Name is Joe (1998)...

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