Sam Riley

  • 08 March 2006

Date of birth

8th January, 1980







Leeds 'lad' Sam Riley has recently been causing a stir with his on screen debut in Aton Corbin's film 'Control'. Control tells the story of northern legend Ian Curtis of the band Joy Division. Sam takes the lead role in the film as Ian.

Sam Riley was also in a band with his brother George they were called 10,000 things & released 1 album and a handful of singles on Domino Records.

Sam is also part of the infamous 'Wu's Crew'!

From Love & Mercy To Sid & Nancy: 7 Best Musical Biopics Of All Time

By Holly Mosley in Movies / TV / Theatre on 08 September 2018

Brian Wilson Paul Dano Ice Cube Sam Riley JOY DIVISION Sex Pistols Johnny Cash Chadwick Boseman Bob Dylan

Some of the most explorative biopics ever made.

Here at Contactmusic, we can't get enough of a good musical biopic whether it's 'The Runaways', 'The Doors' or 'Nowhere Boy' - the list is endless. There are only a handful, however, that make for a truly evocative and memorable experience of some of the most influential artists in the world.

Here are our seven favourite musical biopics of all time:

Paul Dano in 'Love & Mercy'

Continue reading: From Love & Mercy To Sid & Nancy: 7 Best Musical Biopics Of All Time

Free Fire Review

Very Good

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley (High-Rise) is using a group of wildly offbeat characters to play a hilarious riff on Tarantino-style dialogue and violence. So while there's not much to it, the actors have plenty of grist to bring their roles to life. Which makes the film funny and intense all the way through, even if there's no emotional connection at all.

The entire film is set in a warehouse in 1978 Boston, where Justine (Brie Larson), Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) have gone with their drivers Stevo and Bernie (Jack Reynor and Enzo Cilenti) to buy a cache of guns from the swaggering Ord (Armie Hammer) and his mercurial arms dealer Vernon (Sharlto Copley), who has brought ex-Black Panther Martin (Babou Ceesay) as some muscle, plus bickering drivers Harry and Gordon (Jack Reynor and Noah Taylor). All of them greet each other tensely, but they make the deal with a bit of offhanded banter and wary respect. But just as they're all getting ready to leave, Stevo and Harry spot each other. And both are still feeling wounded after the nasty encounter they had last night.

What follows is an explosion of utterly pointless violence. All of these people are nervous and trigger-happy, so it doesn't take much to set them off. The carnage that follows isn't like most movies, because people don't get shot and just lie on the ground; they crawl off injured, regroup and rejoin the fray. Alliances shift, and every moment of panic leads to even more chaos. And right in the middle, there's a bag of cash and a crate of rifles that everyone has an eye on. Wheatley stages this in real-time, with a steady flow of jaggedly witty conversation between the gunshots and constant sight-gags in the action mayhem.

Continue reading: Free Fire Review

Enzo Cilenti, Michael Smiley, Ben Wheatley, Armie Hammer, Sam Riley, Cillian Murphy, Babou Ceesay, Sharlto Copley and Jack Reynor at the BFI London Film Festival Closing Night Gala of 'Free Fire' at the Odeon Leicester Square, London, United Kingdom - Sunday 16th October 2016

Sam Riley at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival premiere of 'Free Fire' held at Roy Thompson Hall - Toronto, Canada - Thursday 8th September 2016

'Pride And Prejudice And Zombies' - The Critics' Verdict: A Great Cast In A Mediocre Parody

By Holly Williams in Movies / TV / Theatre on 03 February 2016

Lily James Sam Riley Matt Smith

Only funny if you like that sort of thing.

The long-awaited film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' (itself a humorous horror take on the Jane Austen novel) has finally hit cinemas, and the critical reception is predictably mixed. Overall, it seems that it's a low-budget laugh, if lacking a stimulating plot.

Image caption Pride And Prejudice And Zombies divides critics

Basically, the story follows that of 'Pride And Prejudice' in that the Bennet sisters' mother is attempting to marry them off to wealthy suitors, with the added idea that their father is having them undergo weapons training to defend themselves against the zombies that roam the land.

Continue reading: 'Pride And Prejudice And Zombies' - The Critics' Verdict: A Great Cast In A Mediocre Parody

Alexandra Maria Lara , Sam Riley - European Premiere of Pride And Prejudice And Zombies held at the Vue West End - Arrivals. - London, United Kingdom - Monday 1st February 2016

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies - Teaser Trailer

In a world where the undead are waiting around every corner to tear you limb from limb, naturally you have worries more pressing than trying to penetrate the brooding aloofness of Mr Darcy. And yet, Elizabeth Bennet's dexterity in destroying zombies leaves her able to ponder the trivial moments of her life; not that potential marriage is regarded as such within the Bennet household. Elizabeth's parents are determined to wed their daughters to some wealthy newcomers, and while she isn't the prettiest of her sisters, her down-to-earth and bookish nature is enough to catch Mr Darcy's eye. But this isn't a straight-forward relationship; this couple have a lot of feelings to unlock while defending each other against flesh-eating fiends. Let's just hope death doesn't get in the way of what could truly be a match made in heaven.

Continue: Pride And Prejudice And Zombies - Teaser Trailer

'Suite Française' Adapts A Miracle Book

By Rich Cline in Movies / TV / Theatre on 13 March 2015

Kristin Scott Thomas Margot Robbie Ruth Wilson Michelle Williams Matthias Schoenaerts Sam Riley

'Suite Française' has been miraculously adapted from one of the first pieces of World War Two fiction ever written, by one of the most tragic authors in history.

The new period romance starring Michelle Williams and Matthias Shoenaerts is based on a novel that survived World War II against the odds. Irene Nemirovsky was a well-known novelist in pre-war France, and as the Nazis occupied her country she began writing a sequence of five novels about life during wartime. But in July 1942, she was arrested as a Jew and deported to Auschwitz, where she was killed.

Matthias Schoenaerts as Bruno von Falk in 'Suite Française'

At the time of her deportation, she had only completed the first two books in the series, handwritten in notebooks that were collected by her daughters. Thinking they were journals, the women were afraid to read about their mother's wartime experiences, and left them untouched. More than 50 years later, elder daughter Denise looked through them, discovering the two novels written in microscopic handwriting over 140 pages. The two books were titled 'Tempete en Juin' ('Storm in June') and 'Dolce' ('Sweet'), and were published together as 'Suite Française' in 2004 along with notes from Nemirovsky including the outline of the next book 'Captivite' ('Captivity') and the titles of the final two books in the series: 'Batailles' ('Battles') and 'La Paix' ('Peace').

Continue reading: 'Suite Française' Adapts A Miracle Book

Suite Francaise Review

By Rich Cline


Even though it's made in a style that feels familiar, this World War II romantic drama takes a much more complex approach to the period, most notably in the way that it refuses to let anyone become a hero or villain. This is because author Irene Nemirovsky wrote the source novel at the time, not in retrospect, which gives it an unusual kick. And the film also benefits from an extraordinarily textured performance by Michelle Williams.

She plays Lucille, who in 1940 is living in the French country town of Bussy with her mother-in-law Madame Angellier (Kristin Scott Thomas). Since her husband is missing in action at the front, Lucille is feeling trapped in her life with the madame, who cruelly increases her poor-farmer tenants' rent even during these hard times. Then the Germans arrive to occupy the town, and officer Bruno (Matthias Schoenaerts) is billeted in their house. Initially a horrific presence, Bruno turns out to be a soulful young man who misses his family. As he composes music on Lucille's piano, she reaches out to him in friendship, surprised to find a spark of attraction. But things get more complicated when Lucille and the madame begin to help a neighbour (Sam Riley) who crosses the Germans and needs to be hidden from view.

Director Saul Dibb (The Duchess) shoots this in a fairly straightforward costume-drama style, with sun-dappled cinematography and lavish settings. But the film rises above the genre in the characters, who are never allowed to become the usual stereotypes. Both Lucille and Bruno are intelligent young people aware that they're in the wrong place at the wrong time, so it's hardly surprising that they are drawn to each other, and Williams and Schoenaerts spark vivid chemistry that never boils over into forbidden-love melodrama. Each of them is a bundle of contradictions, remaining sympathetic even when they make bad decisions. And Scott Thomas adds further texture as the harsh madame who reveals her own unexpected shadings.

Continue reading: Suite Francaise Review

Suite Francaise Trailer

During the Second World War, France was quickly and violently taken over by the German army. Now, under enemy occupation, the residents find themselves having to house and shelter their victorious enemies. Lucille Angellier (Michelle Williams) is one of these people, having to share her house with Commander Bruno von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts). Despite being on two different sides of the conflict, the two find a strange attraction to one-another, and a romance begins to blossom. But Madame Angellier (Kristin Scott Thomas), Lucille's mother-in-law, distrusts the German officer, leading to a series of events that will test the strength of love and trust, in a time of war.

Continue: Suite Francaise Trailer

Sam Riley - Maleficent Video Interview

Sam Riley plays Maleficent's shape-shifting assistant Diaval in 'Maleficent'; the re-make of the classic Disney animation 'Sleeping Beauty'. In an interview, he talks about working with director Robert Stromberg, getting into character and his hardest scene on the set.

Continue reading: Sam Riley - Maleficent Video Interview

Maleficent Review

By Rich Cline


Disney rewrites its own history again with this revisionist version of its 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty. As she did with Alice in Wonderland, screenwriter Linda Woolverton uses simplistic plotting and clumsy dialogue to turn a children's story into an eerily dark Lord of the Rings-style effects extravaganza. Fortunately, it's held together by an imperious performance from Angelina Jolie.

She plays the story's wicked witch as a misunderstood hero, a happy fairy who grew up in a magical realm next to a kingdom of humans who were constantly afraid of what they didn't understand. And things take a grim turn when her childhood friend Stefan (Sharlto Copley) brutally violates her in order to become the human's king. Now the two lands are at war with each other, and in a fit of rage Maleficent curses Stefan's firstborn Aurora (Dakota Fanning) to fall into a deep sleep before she turns 16. So Stefan hides her in a country house cared for by three bumbling pixies (Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville and Juno Temple). But it's actually Maleficent who watches over Aurora, and as they bond Maleficent begins to wish she could undo that pesky curse.

Yes, this is not remotely the familiar 17th century Sleeping Beauty fairytale: it's a completely different plot that reduces the "sleeping" bit from 100 years to little more than a power nap. It also re-casts Maleficent as a woman who had one brief moment of nastiness, while the increasingly paranoid and cruel Stefan is the real villain of the piece. The problem is that this shift leaves all of the characters feeling shallow and uninteresting. Aside from Jolie's fabulously prowling horned fairy, no one on-screen really registers at all. The terrific trio of pixies are sidelined in silly slapstick, while the Handsome Prince (Brendon Thwaites) is utterly hapless and Maleficent's crow-like sidekick (Sam Riley) is the victim of an over-zealous make-up designer.

Continue reading: Maleficent Review

Maleficent - Featurette

'Maleficent' stars Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning talk about the upcoming fairytale movie alongside screenwriter Linda Woolverton and director Robert Stromberg in a short featurette.

Continue: Maleficent - Featurette

Alexandra Maria Lara and Sam Riley - World premiere of Rush held at the Odeon Leicester Square- Arrivals - Monday 2nd September 2013

Sam Riley and Vanity Fair - Sam Riley and Alexandra Maria Lara Los Angeles, California - Private view of 'Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913 - 2008' at LACMA - Arrivals Tuesday 21st October 2008