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The true story of London's most notorious gangsters, twins Reggie and Ronnie Kray. As the brothers rise through the criminal underworld, Ronnie advances the family business with violence and intimidation while Reggie struggles to go legitimate for local girl Frances Shea. In and out of prison, Ronnie's unpredictable tendencies and the slow disintegration of Reggie's marriage threaten to bring the brothers' empire tumbling to the ground.
This was largely given the green light because it was being directed by an American. The 1990 version of The Krays (1990) had been very British in tone. Working Title wanted this version to feel like an American gangster film, one that just happened to be set in London in the 1960s. Having directed thrillers like Payback (1999) and written L.A. Confidential (1997), Helgeland was the perfect man to helm the project. See more »
In the fight sequence between Reg and Ron in their club (Esmerelda's Barn), Reggie throws Ron over a table, Ron is seen lying on the floor with his glasses on, but in the next shot, Ron's glasses are lying on the floor next to him. See more »
London in the 1960s. Everyone had a story about the Krays. You could walk into any pub to hear a lie or two about them. But I was there and Im not careless with the truth. They were brothers, but bound by more than blood. They were twins as well, counterparts. Gangster princes of the city they meant to conquer. Ron Kray was a one-man London mob. Bloodthirsty, illogical, and funny as well. My Reggie was different. Once in a lifetime do you find a street-fighting man like Reg. ...
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"This motion picture used sustainability strategies to reduce its carbon emissions and environmental impact." See more »
Outstanding crime picture (and Hardy is a LEGEND).
The infamous Kray brothers – identical twins Reggie and Ronnie – are so well known in British gangster history they've already had multiple films made about them. What writer-director Brian Helgeland brings to the table with his take on the notorious siblings is exuberant storytelling, classy visual styling and a tour de force performance by Tom Hardy as both twins. Hardy's dual turn is undeniably the centrepiece of the movie. His Reggie is all charm and swagger, with intelligence and ambition to boot, whilst the schizophrenic Ronnie is a short-tempered ball of emotional bluster. Helgeland sensibly opts to make Reggie the focus; of the two he is the more grounded one, a gangster with lofty aspirations and the ability to interact on a human level with those around him to make his goals a reality. There is also genuine chemistry between Hardy (as Reggie) and Emily Browning, her fragile yet strong-willed Frances able to draw out the romantic side of Reggie, making his bursts of savagery all the more terrifying. Sporadically placed throughout the (overlong) two hour plus runtime, the bouts of violence bubble with intensity and exhilaration, often uneasily enjoyable thanks to moments of levity sprinkled alongside them. The 60s setting is capitalised on too, Dick Pope's elegant photography giving proceedings a classical feel while Carter Burwell's powerfully soulful score affects deeply at all the right times. There's a sense of glorification here that mightn't sit well with some audience members, however the Krays were adored in the East End and to deny the glitzier parts of their life would be to deny what made them popular to begin with. An exceptional crime picture with two outstanding performances from one man, proving again that Hardy really is an acting legend.
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