17 user 7 critic

The Criminal (1999)

R | | Action, Drama | January 2001 (UK)
A musician is plunged into a world of femmes fatales, espionage, deceit, state-ordered executions and trial by media.


Julian Simpson


Julian Simpson

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Steven Mackintosh ... Jasper Rawlins
Bernard Hill ... Det. Insp. Walker
Eddie Izzard ... Peter Hume
Natasha Little ... Sarah Maitland
Yvan Attal ... Mason
Holly Aird ... Det. Sgt. Rebecca White
Andrew Tiernan ... Harris
Jana Carpenter Jana Carpenter ... Grace
Justin Shevlin Justin Shevlin ... The Barker
Barry Stearn Barry Stearn ... Noble
Norman Lovett ... Clive
Timothy Bateson ... Thomas
Abigail Blackmore ... Arsey Barmaid
Matthew Blackmore Matthew Blackmore ... Guy
Ingrid Bradley Ingrid Bradley ... Scantily dressed woman


Jasper Rawlins, a none-too-successful musician, finds himself chatting with a beautiful woman at his neighborhood bar. She goes home with him, direct and frank in answer to his nervousness. During the night, someone breaks into his flat and cuts her throat. He runs into the arms of the police, who dismiss his story, but release him while they search for the weapon. He investigates the crime, and over the next few days, meets a knowing pornographer, hit men, and other schemers. As dead bodies pile up wherever he goes, the police are soon looking for him with guns drawn. As he discovers secrets about a shadowy corporation, the police close in. Can he find someone to trust? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Innocence Is No Protection


Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, violence and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

January 2001 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El criminal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Peter Hume: The refugees, genocide... they're just a sideshow, distracting everyone from the real agenda: power and influence.
See more »


References The Parallax View (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

Superb recreation of 40s noir with terrific performances.
3 March 2003 | by allen214-3See all my reviews

'The Criminal' is an overlooked gem that I hadn't heard of prior to it showing up on cable. It captures classic noir in a modern framework with all the appropriate darkness and unsympathetic characters. The British have a knack for such crime drama, and I cringed throughout imagining what the Hollywood version would be like. (I'm surprised filming hasn't already begun.) The cast is brilliant from the top to the bottom of the credits, and the lead, Steven Mackintosh, is particularly outstanding as the trapped innocent attempting to piece together what he's fallen into. When it comes time to pull together the plot elements, writer/director Simpson makes a long stretch and comes up with something outrageous and a bit too easy, and some of the concluding twists feel somewhat contrived, but by this time, it really doesn't matter. The film's fast pace, great acting, and dark cinematography have already succeeded in making it a thoroughly entertaining noir.

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