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Welcome to the disappointment
mattbaxter7229 November 2010
In a lot of ways, this is a puzzling movie. Every single element of it is so right, so how does it end up being so completely uninvolving that I ended up nearly falling asleep halfway through? The problem isn't the casting; Colin Farrell makes a hell of a gangster, all smouldering machismo stomping through the streets of London. And with a supporting cast that includes Eddie Marsan (sleazy), David Thewlis (sleazier) and Ben Chaplin (sleaziest, and very, very good), Farrell has some excellent support. Ray Winstone has never been scarier, but of all people it's Anna Friel who takes the acting honours as Farrell's sister, a woman who out-sleazes Marsan, Thewlis and Chaplin combined.

The problem isn't the locations, or how true to life they are. I lived in London for a long time, and I've rarely seen the city depicted better, all back streets and alleyways with nasty bastards lurking around every grubby corner. Considering the film's writer and director William Monahan is from Boston, I was worried that this might be the tourist's eye view of London, but that really isn't the case. The film positively drips with atmosphere, and the expletive-heavy dialogue rings true.

And yet it all sits there, lifeless on the screen, a collection of images and characters that seem only vaguely related to one another. It doesn't help that the main plot - will Farrell become a proper gangster, or will he end up with Keira Knightley's way-too-good-for-him actress - is hardly new. But that doesn't have to be a deal breaker, and there are plenty of interesting minor characters to pass the time.

The problem is really that the film feels rushed. Those minor characters aren't given nearly enough time - Marsan gets three scenes, none of them remotely important to the plot, and even Anna Friel doesn't get a lot to do. She's still better off than Stephen Graham and Sanjeev Bhaskar, great actors who are cast in completely pointless roles that could have been played by anyone. And so much of this movie feels tacked on, from the dozen or so subplots, to Winstone's pointless murder of the wrong man halfway through, to the stalker, obviously based on Mark David Chapman, who makes several ominous appearances and is then dismissed in a single line of dialogue.

If some subplots and characters are pointless, though, the ending made me feel that way about the whole damn film. Without giving too much away, it's a horrible, limp lettuce of an ending, with none of the resonance that the film-makers clearly thought it had achieved. That's the film in a nutshell - it wanted to be profound, but ended up as a giant 'so what?'
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Entertaining if you can look past some of the poor writing & clichés
Jaime-b24 March 2011
This film was brimming with potential, an adept cast, some stylish directing & gritty yet beautiful set locations. However some of the story & the actions taken by its characters were implausible, & most of its ideas didn't develop effectively on screen.

Recently released gangster Colin Farrell meets a young female friend of reclusive celebrity actor Kiera Knightly & offers him a job protecting her from intrusive paparazzi. He shows up for work & What feels like a scene or two later they have (unconvincingly) fallen in love. parallel to this Farrels character is finding it hard to escape his past & is soon roped into a feud with gangster boss Ray Winstone. He is now faced with the dilemma of either returning to his previous nature or beginning a life of new found love in LA.

All this is played out with some very stylish moments, such as the dialogue between Winstone & Farrel in the restaurant or the artistic but realistic way in which the environment is captured. All the acting is well done & Its accompanied by a great soundtrack, but a huge amount of the script feels rushed & underdeveloped. As a whole it is entertaining if not taken to seriously but may not appeal to any serious film enthusiast.

I also felt that the ending of this film was brave but what I had seen prior to it lacked enough substance or attachment to make it stick & I think I would have been more satisfied with a conventional ending.
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You wouldn't believe how underrated this movie really is...
snookie18 March 2011
It just kills me that once again I had the (un)fortunate chance to trust someone with an answer to a simple "Is it any good?" question. People all around me were bashing this movie before I watched it and I heard so many things. I heard it stole the plot from Carlito's Way, I heard the ending was disappointing, I even read comments like "Keira Knightley has no tits and less talent". The only thing I'm disappointed of is myself for believing all of these s... tuff. Yet I'm kind of glad I read and heard all the negative responses, because it caught me off guard even more than it probably would've if I'd seen it without somebody's thoughts.

The acting and script were superb. Knightley's performances almost made my heart skip a beat, Farrel's teeth grinding and weird expressions got me all worked up about his problems, Winstone was giving me the creeps and Thewlis got me laughing out of my breath. "I'm an actor - I can feel anything about anything". Great script, superb acting - if you're a fan of one of the actors in here, a fan of British cinema, a fan of the crime genre or a fan of quality pictures in general - this is the movie for you. Oh and remember - when it comes to art and judgement - trust ONLY yourself! You owe it to yourself to go see this movie! 10/10
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Good movie, better cast.
lewiskendell25 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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Could have been so much better
jamesbrucedarroch25 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Glimpses of what could have been a far better film appear at regular stages throughout what is essentially another 'Landan' crime flick.

You could be forgiven for assuming the predictable plot is actually a clever ruse, with a huge twist or revelation certain to turn events on their head in the back end of the film. But alas, William Monahan's directorial debut points you in one direction from the start, then follows a fairly straight line for it's 100 minutes run time.

What elevates this movie from Danny Dyer fodder is the rather exciting cast of British and Irish big guns, with David Thewlis perhaps the most interesting character and screen presence. The likable Colin Farrel's posh-boy cockerney accent is consistent enough not to distract, and you certainly root for his reluctant protagonist Mitchell. Ray Winstone is typecast as the (needlessly racist) villain, and Anna Friel is perky and trashy as Farrell's screen Sister.

Ikea Knightley on the other hand, is wooden and unconvincing as the 'Superstar' whom Farrell's Mitchell is hired to protect. A limited screen presence at the best of times, it's hard to tell if Knightley's emaciated Supermodel/Actress is supposed to look so frail or if that's just how Knightley turns up to work... Either way, she makes for a particularly unattractive and unconvincing screen starlet, and when her Charlotte laments that Actresses are merely in films to make the male heroes look good, she struggles to do even that.

The under explored sub-plot regarding Mitchell and a young thug shamelessly bookends the film with a predictable climax 'borrowed' heavily from the far superior Carlito's Way, and left me for one, thinking about the far better film this so-so effort could have been.
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London Masquerade
martin-secker29 November 2010
The movie had promise - directed by The Departed's writer William Monahan and starring an eclectic bunch of British stars Colin Farrell, Keira Knightly, Ray Winstone, David Thewlis and Anna Friel. Even Eddie Marsan, Stephen Graham and Ben Chaplin make appearances.

Unfortunately despite a snazzy score and a stylish flourish, this movie is nothing more than a collection of London gangster movie clichés and stereotypes with an obvious script written by an unauthentic source. The characters can all be labelled with a single word (villain, victim, druggie etc), bereft of any depth or colour.

Farrell plays Mitchell, fresh from prison and determined to go straight, within half-an-hour, he has been offered a choice of two jobs. One working as a debt collector for tough and possibly homosexual (who cares?) gangland boss (Winstone, who else) and the other protecting a damaged & shy actress (Knightly). Needless to say, Winstone doesn't take kindly to being refused and sets his sights on hurting Mitchell as revenge (hasn't he got better things to do?) The movie doesn't ring true at every juncture and the only pleasure the viewer grab, is when watching Thewlis's thinly veiled Withnail impression or with the music on show.

Do yourself a favour and watch Layer Cake instead.
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A cool, calm and collected classic
isisofeygypt27 November 2010
If I only had three words to use to describe this film they would be Classic, Cool and Clever. Ray Winstone's (Gant) presence is eagerly anticipated and arrives at last almost a quarter of the way into the film. An impressive stately Rolls Royce signals this is the arrival of an important person even before he steps out onto the pavement. The clichéd story line of the ex-con walking from prison set on a life of 'going straight' and that 'one last job' springs to mind seem not to be irritating. Colin Farrel (Mitchell) could be auditioning for James Bond. He is cool, calm and collected. Nobody and nothing spook him. Everybody smokes, a lot, and swears, a lot. However, this is a crime thriller/gangster movie after all and is to be expected. It's just that those two words 'f**ck off' and 'you c**t' are said with such conviction but in a cool and effortless manner by both Gant and Mitchell. The film has a calm linear flow for a crime thriller but several twists and turns toward the conclusion remind you that within this genre,clever can often be more stimulating than too much blood and violence. Although there are a few quite gruesome scenes. However, the nasty bits are not dragged out and enough is seen for you to get the picture of what's going on!Winstone, Farrel, Thewlis, Friel give good performances and present interesting roles. Knightly however gives a rather wooden performance in a boring role. Humour is weaved within this relatively serious film and classic 60's music from bands such as the Yardbirds add to the recipe which make this rather tasty. A few unexpected twists of fate toward the end seal this stylish film.
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Boulevard or Bust
bartireid28 November 2010
London Boulevard is a big screen adaptation of Ken Bruen's 2001 fictional crime novel of the same name and a directorial debut for William Monahan of Departed (2006) fame, for which he contributed the screen play in Martin Scorcese's seminal Oscar triumph. Monahan manages to assemble a pretty interesting cast for the job matching big name attractions notably Colin Farrell for the lead of Mitchell an ex-con trying to place his life on the straight and narrow who finds complications aplenty but centrally in the shape of Keira Knightley playing Charlotte, a reclusive actress in need of Mitchell's muscle in order to fend off pesky paparazzi, perform some odd jobs around her abode whilst also seeking comfort in his softer side when making use of Mitchell as a confidante.

The strength of the piece is in the supporting cast who mainly transpire as conduits for Mitchells struggle with the temptations of a potential return to his old ways. Leading the second tier is Ray Winstone as crime lord Gant who genuinely creates an atmosphere of dread when on screen as he attempts to lure Farrell back to the dark-side. David Thewlis is equally adept as he plays Jordan a drug induced failed thespian who is Charlotte's business manager. There are also roles for Ben Chaplin as a blundering hood whilst Stephen Graham and Eddie Marsan are shamefully under used in their minor roles.

As you might be thinking there is a lot a going on here and that's sort of where Monahan gets into trouble, the narrative is littered with plot-holes and semi developed ideas and characters such as Anna Friel who pops in and out the story as a Mitchell's troubled sister, this is largely a product of the derivative nature of the project. Monahan seems to be tipping his hat at the types of movie he himself has indulged, for example there is clear a sense of early Guy Ritchie in style of the visuals, soundtrack and occasional attempts at humour. The mood and tone owes more to Scorcese traits such as an angry gratuitous racism and overly proud glorification of the gangster life style. It's a rarity when a film could be said to be too short, but one way London Boulevard could have been improved is an extra 45 minutes or so to pay attention to its many details.

The major task London Boulevard will have is proving it has any substance, it will be interesting to see if William Monahan will be encouraged to take this debut any further and perfect or enhance his directorial style with future work, if so this could be remembered more fondly as part of a bigger picture. If not it will fall through the cracks of irrelevance rather quickly.
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good movie
o_marick4 March 2011
I really enjoyed this movie, kept my eyes on the screen till the end. I just couldn't get bored when the movie is full with events and so many interesting characters. These characters are having their own interesting stories, and I think it was a good decision not to develop it more. We see only what's relevant to Farrell's character.

"London Boulevard" is about a man in some troubles, surrounded by people with their problems. It's a mess from which the main character must get out. This movie isn't supposed to be profound, it's intense. it's not about how Farrell makes his decisions and his inner conflicts, we just get to see how he tries to break through.

I enjoyed the storyline and wouldn't even dare to judge its credibility. I just put this in the "inside view" category. It's London the way tourists wont see it probably. Acting was great for all cast! This is the right place for Farrell. I would only object Knightley, but this could be just my taste.

After watching the movie, there was only one thing that disappointed me, and that is - the end. This is not a philosophical movie, the end shouldn't raise questions. And the question raised at the end is not even philosophical... it's just lack of information. Still... I don't think one minute ruined the film.
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Seriously Cool Film
s-connor24 November 2010
Really, really, enjoyed this film. Colin Farrell is back on form. He should stick to straight forward, tough guy, black comedy rather than galavanting around on a horse in Alexander! The film reminds me of the type of filming that made me love 'In Bruges'. The atmosphere between Farrell and Ray Winston is pretty intense. Lady actresses Anna Friel and Keira Knightly are gorgeous and Anna plays a great role as Farrell's pain in the ass sister. David Thewlis is great and actually enjoyed seeing a cast made up of mainly British actors/actresses. I would strongly advise going to see this film. Better than expected. Only thing I would have changed was a different last minute to the film.
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Solid movie
Notumforce6 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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Expected better
mattquigley197825 November 2010
I went into this film expecting a cool,tense,exciting Brit thriller. The trailer looked decent and the acting talent on show made me want to give it a go. Overall though it failed to deliver on the promising looking opening credits. It lacked any real tension or suspense, the story felt underdeveloped with too many subplots and a lot of it just fails to convince. Many parts of the film are just not believable enough.

The acting is fairly strong and there are a couple of elegant visual touches;(Farrell in the car for example).In my opinion,the soundtrack is the best thing about the film. Serge Pizzorno from Kasabian had a hand in the music on this one and he has done a good job with a 60's/70's spaghetti western/French art-house vibe if you can imagine such a thing!

Finally its worth noting that I asked my girlfriend to contribute her thoughts after seeing the film and she gave me a one word reply..........."sh*te"
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Going Straight is never as simple as it seems...
the_rattlesnake2527 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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Not Bouled Over
i-rispin13 December 2010
Warning: 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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Trite and Disjointed Gangster Flick
danew1323 March 2011
Warning: 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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Unbelievably Rubbish
philliperry19 June 2011
Warning: 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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Mediocre at its best
Angelus28 April 2011
Warning: 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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London Boulevard rocks!
jonoratner25 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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Underrated and confused
clive_slatter19 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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Perplexing and poorly-conceived movie
freddy54-211-4690547 December 2011
Warning: 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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I will hurt someone before they hurt me.
Spikeopath26 March 2018
London Boulevard is written and directed by William Monahan. It stars Colin Farrell, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone, Ben Chaplin, Keira Knightley and Anna Friel. Music is by Sergio Pizzorno and cinematography by Chris Menges.

After serving his stretch for GBH, Harry Mitchel (Farrell) returns to his manor and finds gangland boss Rob Gant (Winstone) wants him as one of his charges.

Written and directed by the man who co-wrote The Departed, it's not hard to guess what sort of tone London Boulevard is set at. Which for anyone who follows neo-noir will find plenty to like here, not least the stylish and tonally compliant photography of Menges.

However, falling under the neo-noir banner becomes a curse in a way because there are far greater films of this ilk to liken it too. Pic at least does have the courage to not cop out in resolutions, but again there is no surprise factor for the genre faithfuls.

The narrative often meanders, shoehorning in Knightley's (underused) harassed actress as a love interest in the process, and London accents are choppy. It also is criminal to have Stephen Graham and Eddie Marsan in your movie and barely give them screen time!

On the plus side of things, the violence and dialogue is often taut and tart respectively, backed by a scorching rocky hipster soundtrack. Farrell is good value as a tough guy, Winstone does what he does best, menacing of course, while Thewlis steals the film as a wired cool cat with menace surprisingly lurking in is heart.

As a whole it fails to hit all the right spots, but enough in here for neo-noir fans to feed on as an appetiser to a more fulfilling noir meal. 6/10
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From the writer of 'The Departed', a British gangster movie with a twist…
ajs-1013 November 2011
I remember when this came out it didn't make any big ripples in the pool of critical acclaim. Just another British gangster movie was the vibe I got from various sources. Even so, when it recently aired on TV I decided to give it a look. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised to find a very understated, but at the same time, quite violent film that I quite enjoyed. It does have its faults though; I'll get to them after this very brief summary.

When Mitchel is released from prison having done a three year stretch for an assault he finds it all too easy to slip into his old ways. An old friend, Billy Norton, sets him up with somewhere to live and takes him out collecting protection money in the high rise flats. It's not what Mitchel wants though and he is tempted with an offer of a job looking after reclusive actress, Charlotte. Her assistant (for want of a better word) Jordan shows him the ropes but he is always being dragged back into the world he is trying to escape. A big crime boss, Gant, wants him to steal from Charlotte, but he has become very attached to her. Can Mitchel get away from the life that sent him to jail or will he be sucked back into that life to protect what he holds dear? There is much more to it than that but the Spoiler Police have threatened to take away my PC if I say any more.

A very well made film with some interesting performances. I thought Colin Farrell did a decent job as Mitchel, although I did find his English accent a bit odd. Keira Knightley also put in a decent turn as the slightly paranoid Charlotte. David Thewlis as Jordan and Anna Friel as Briony (Mitchel's sister) were excellent. Finally, Ben Chaplin as Billy Norton and (of course), Ray Winstone as Gant both did excellent work also.

I found the film quite confusing at first, there were many threads that started and didn't really seem to go anywhere. Once the Mitchel/Charlotte storyline gets established though, it does become more coherent. As I said at the beginning, it's quite violent and so maybe not one for the more squeamish. Rather a lot of time is spent on establishing Mitchel as a gangster and not enough on his blossoming romance with Charlotte. This meant that I ended up not really convinced by their relationship in the end and so it didn't quite work (for me). It is still worth a watch though and I'd still deem it… Recommended (just).

My score: 7.1/10 IMDb Score: 6.3/10 (based on 13,450 votes at the time of going to press).
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Not for everybody, but definitaly for me!
Stanislav Beran25 November 2010
Absolutely stunning must-see movie for people, who really can appreciate good drama/thriller kind of movies. I enjoyed every single bit every single sequence and cut was made really good. Movie reminds a little bit retro style sometimes from 1960's a definitely puts cigarette's as a cool thing to do, which I really did not mind, but some other people might be concerned. Otherwise, I could not find any mistake, I really liked how cut played around with some scenes and it made felt like I feel everything what director wanted to show and I was inside every single scene. Actors have done perfect job. The director is showing, the very bottom of London's society to the very top and switching between these pictures very precisely, as it is showing power of some people and how influenced it can be. I know it does not make much sense now, but really cannot tell you much more. The very end is unusual and destroys everything what movie was about!(Great performance and fun placed in one of the most dangerous cities in the world, though not for popcorn kind of crowd) 8.5/10
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brutal but very original story
antoniotierno13 June 2011
Colin Farrell is totally credible as a tough guy but the movie features other stunning performances like Keira Knightley and Ray Winstone, who make the film pleasant and interesting. Monahan borrows something from other famous flicks such as Martin Scorsese's The Departed and Carlito's way. The story plays out perfectly and the pleasures are many, including Farrell's reflective smiles when things go wrong and Knightley's depiction of a beautiful woman (with fame and money but always needy and selfish). Not to mention the London perfect locations and the believable depiction of the mob's underworld. The finale leaves a bit a bad taste but the story is wonderful on the whole
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So much promise
pastabake-111 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Starts well, great soundtrack and packed full of quality actors. What more could you want? Sadly it's just too obvious and the ending is such a complete let down that you'll wish you hadn't bothered. Perhaps the writer and director don't watch films or even read books because if they did they would have realised that the chain of events that creates the films narrative has been done so many times before that it's become stale and fails to provide satisfaction. Another reviewer mentioned Layer Cake which basically has the same ending. i.e. marginal character kills main protagonist. Layer Cake can be forgiven in that there never was a substantial reason to kill or incapacitate the character. Here however, there was not only a reason but a clear opportunity to do so ... I'm guessing that they thought we'd think what a nice guy at heart Mitchel is. Sure killing a 16 year old murderer might have twinged his conscience but considering what he'd done to get the boys name the least he would have done is kneecap him. Of course doing so would have ruined the films contrived and pointless ending.
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