In the late 80s, Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt) was the most famous police detective on television, but fast-forward to the present day and he's balding, ungroomed and trying to convince himself that he is exactly where he needs to be in life with desperate daily positive affirmations. Fate does have one more adventure in store for the actor, however. A suspected serial killer named Paul Melly (Russell Tovey) has escaped from a secure unit at Darkmoor Hospital and is now taunting Isle of Man police that more will die unless he can speak to Detective Mindhorn. The police are well aware that Mindhorn is just a TV character, but they try their luck and enlist the help of the actor who plays him nonetheless. Unfortunately, Thorncroft turns out to be much less efficient than his onscreen persona, as much as he'd like to believe otherwise.
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Lewis Shaler may have a well-paid job as a doctor and a beautiful young son named Max, but his life is far from perfect. Being a single father in a highly demanding career leaves him with little time to enjoy a personal life, but when he becomes engaged in conversation with a pretty girl named Sarah Barwell on a late London train, he begins to wonder if his life is changing for the better. However, his moment of bliss turns into a horrific nightmare when it becomes clear that the train guard is nowhere to be found and their journey becomes chaotic and dangerous. Their driver is a suicidal psychopath with plans only to make one stop and crash the vehicle, killing all on board.
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Sadly, there has been such a glut of gun-packed London crime thrillers, that it simply isn't enough to make one that looks good and has a fierce energy: you need a solidly structured plot that goes somewhere unexpected. And that's where this film struggles. It's slick and atmospheric, with a terrific cast, but the story is so overcomplicated that it's almost impossible for us to maintain any interest in what happens.
At the centre is Detective Parker (Sewell), a shifty cop who's playing a very dangerous game as he tries to crush mobster Corso (Byrne) by undermining his cash-flow and threatening his son (Mascolo). Parker gets help from his rather reluctant partner Sands (Maynard), but rookie Riley (Gregory) is horrified to see the corruption he has wandered into. Then the efficient hitman Riley (Stephens) walks straight into the middle of everything, unaware of what's going on. He hides out with an old friend (Paraky) whose husband was also caught in the crossfire. And none of them realises that they're on a deadly collision course.
Isaac has a superb eye for catching London on-screen, using striking iconic locations and placing the action within the sweeping scale of the city. But his overuse of shoot-outs and car chases makes it feel deeply implausible. And his screenplay makes little concession to the audience, as dialog is peppered with references to earlier events we know nothing about. Clearly there are all kinds of interconnections between these people, but it's impossible to untangle them so that things make sense. Much more interesting is the way everyone gets caught up in the moral ambiguity of each decision they must make.
Continue reading: All Things To All Men Review
After four years in prison, on the anniversary of his young son's death, Jack (Lynch) finds out that his wife is leaving him. Meanwhile, new young inmate Paul (Compston) is quickly taken under the wing of tough-guy Clay (Parkinson).
Seeing this, Jack and his friend Ahmed (Malik) start to worry about Paul's safety. Sure enough, things turn violent, so Jack arranges to help Paul cope with the situation and becomes his mentor-protector. But there are more tensions brewing between various factions of inmates, and clearly things are going to get much worse.
Continue reading: Ghosted Review
Robert (Schofield) is a teacher who is still stunned after being attacked by a teen student. He also has a seriously strained relationship with his ex-wife (Aubrey) and teen daughter (Bennett), which isn't helped by the fact that he puts her in detention. Then one night after hours his worst fears are realised when a group of disgruntled students stealthily invade the school, killing people one by one on their way to Robert, who had the nerve to give them F's against the advice of his boss (Gemmell).
Continue reading: F Review
In the late 80s, Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt) was the most famous police detective on...
Lewis Shaler may have a well-paid job as a doctor and a beautiful young son...
Sadly, there has been such a glut of gun-packed London crime thrillers, that it simply...
This dark British prison drama is a bit too overwrought to keep us engaged right...
Writer-director Roberts makes the most of a relatively simple premise, using sleek filmmaking and introspective...
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