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Barney Thomson (2015)

The Legend of Barney Thomson (original title)
Unrated | | Comedy, Crime | 24 July 2015 (UK)
1:51 | Trailer
Barney Thomson (Robert Carlyle), awkward, diffident, Glasgow, Scotland barber, lives a life of desperate mediocrity and his uninteresting life is about to go from 0 to 60 in five seconds, as he enters the grotesque and comically absurd world of the serial killer.


Robert Carlyle


Douglas Lindsay (based on the book "The Long Midnight of Barney Thompson"), Richard Cowan (adapted for the screen by) | 2 more credits »
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Carlyle ... Barney Thomson
Emma Thompson ... Cemolina
Ray Winstone ... Detective Inspector Holdall
Tom Courtenay ... Chief Superintendent McManaman
Ashley Jensen ... Detective Inspector June Robertson
Brian Pettifer ... Charlie Taylor
Kevin Guthrie ... Detective Inspector Callum MacPherson
James Cosmo ... James Henderson
Stephen McCole ... Wullie Henderson
Martin Compston ... Chris Porter
Samuel Robertson ... Detective Sergeant Sam Jobson
Anne Downie Anne Downie ... Lizzie
Ann Scott-Jones Ann Scott-Jones ... Theresa
Eileen McCallum Eileen McCallum ... Mrs. Gaffney
Matt Costello Matt Costello ... Chris' Creepy Neighbour


Barney Thomson (Robert Carlyle) is a sad sack of a man. He identifies himself mostly as a barber, Hendersons' Barbers in a working class neighborhood of Glasgow, Scotland, where he's worked for twenty years. More introspective than extroverted, which does not work well for the business, he has fewer and fewer customers, and as such his current boss, Wullie Henderson (Stephen McCole), son of the retired owner James Henderson (James Cosmo), who originally hired him, is moving him further and further away from the spotlight of the shop. Meanwhile, five men so far have been killed by who the general public is nicknaming the "Body Parts Killer," as the murderer sends through the post body parts of the victims to the victims' loved ones. Lead investigator, Detective Inspector Holdall (Ray Winstone), assisted by Detective Inspector Callum MacPherson (Kevin Guthrie), is no closer now to discovering the Body Parts Killer's identity than when the murders started two months ago. Wanting results,... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's just not cut out for murder. See more »


Comedy | Crime


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The building next to Henderson's barbers "Olympia House" is the headquarters of the Orange Order in Scotland See more »


Barney: I'm 50 yrs old, got nothing to show for it. Live in this shitey flat/ not had a ride since Shakin Stephens had a number one, a mother who sticks her claws in like an old buzzard. A man by rights should live to reach his full potential and have a kick at the ball.
See more »


Born To Cry
(Dion Di Mucci)
Published by Bronx Soul Music Inc/Universal/MCA Music Ltd
Performed by Dion
See more »

User Reviews

The darkest comedy gets, and I love it
15 February 2016 | by NateWatchesCoolMoviesSee all my reviews

Robert Carlyle's directional debut The Legend Of Barney Thomsen is as pitch friggin black as dark comedies get, and is a side splitting royal circus of cheekily depressing, gloriously gory antics that would make the inhabitants of Fargo run for cover. It also has the distinct flavour of Scotland on its side, every character articulating with a soup thick, snark oozing brogue that throws a devilishly funny haze over the already hilarious comic material. Carlyle plays pathetic barber Barney Thomsen, a volatile, feeble little man who's been relegated to the worst chair in the barbershop, and told what an aggravating, listless nonce he is by his colleagues ("you look like a haunted tree" his supervisor intones in dead seriousness). When they threaten to fire him, he accidentally murders his supervisor with a pair of scissors, and kicks offa blood soaked odyssey of such head banging idiocracy that one can only view this as an ultraviolent looney toons cartoon of murder and madness. Barney finds himself in way over his head and tries to excavate himself out of the dodgy situation he got himself into. There's also a serial killer on the loose in Glasgow that likes to mail body parts to the police, including a dick and a full severed human buttocks, in giddily explicit detail. He's pursued by a maniacal police detective played by Ray Winstone, who plays the role like a Christmas ham hooked up to jumper cable powered by methamphetamine. For an actor to out-crazy Robert Carlyle takes a lot of effort, but Winstone is game, pulling the cork of sanity right out for a howlingly funny piece of work. And then there's Emma Thompson. Holeee crap. I've never seen her cut loose like she does here, playing Barney's cantankerous, potty mouthed, shrivelled old walnut of a mother. She's caked in paper mâché looking makeup and gurgles forth the funniest Scottish accenting the film. You'd have to check the credits to know its Thompson having a bit of fun from her usual serious fare as this skanky, deplorable old baboon and loving every minute of it. Thrown in James Cosmo and a priceless Tom Courtney as a cynical Superintendent, and you've got a cast that's game to give their all for director Carlyle, whose already established competence in off kilter comedic acting clearly extends wonderfully behind the camera as well. A blistering powder keg to kick off 2016, and a full on blood soaked barrel of laughs.

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24 July 2015 (UK) See more »

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