6.2/10
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London Boulevard (2010)

Trailer
2:14 | Trailer
An ex-con with a reputation tries to go straight by working as a handy man for a reclusive actress but this is unfortunately not the wish of London's underground crime lord.

Director:

William Monahan

Writers:

William Monahan (screenplay), Ken Bruen (novel)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Farrell ... Mitchel
Keira Knightley ... Charlotte
David Thewlis ... Jordan
Anna Friel ... Briony
Ben Chaplin ... Billy Norton
Ray Winstone ... Gant
Eddie Marsan ... DI Bailey
Sanjeev Bhaskar ... Dr. Raju
Stephen Graham ... Danny
Ophelia Lovibond ... Penny
Jamie Campbell Bower ... Whiteboy
Velibor Topic ... Storbor
Lee Boardman ... Lee
Alan Williams ... Joe
Jonathan Cullen Jonathan Cullen ... Anthony Trent
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Storyline

Fresh out of prison, Mitchel wants nothing to do with crime but accepts a kip from Billy, a marginal grafter, and accompanies Billy on rent collection trips. He's also old school, wanting revenge on two youths for assaulting a mendicant he's befriended. He's got a strung-out sister to protect, and he's offered a job protecting a famous actress from paparazzi. The plot lines join when Michael finds himself attracted to the actress and Billy's Mob boss, Gant, finds ways to force Michael work for him. He also warns Michael off revenge against the assailants of his friend. What are Michael's options: is there any way to avoid Gant, protect his sister, and find a path to love? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Not every criminal wants to be one.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The book that Gant is reading in bed near the end of the film is the Penguin edition of "The Social Contract" by Rousseau. See more »

Goofs

When the camera angle switches between the two main characters while they are in a moving van, the difference in speed of passing scenery is very noticeable. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jailer: [to Mitchel] You. You're out.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in RTL Film: Episode #9.12 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Subterranean Homesick Blues
Written and Performed by Bob Dylan
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
Going Straight is never as simple as it seems...
27 November 2010 | by the_rattlesnake25See all my reviews

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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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 November 2010 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

London Boulevard See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,431, 13 November 2011

Gross USA:

$16,075

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,307,227
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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