The Sweeney Movie Review

The iconic 1970s British TV series gets the big screen treatment from crime-drama aficionado Nick Love (The Business). And this slick cop thriller is enjoyable even if the plot never amounts to much more than an extended episode of a television show. But it looks great, and the cast is thoroughly entertaining.

Jack (Winstone) is a grizzled veteran of the Flying Squad, known in rhyming slang as "the Sweeney", an elite team of undercover London cops who deal with armed crime. His right-hand man and protege is George (Drew), and as they investigate a suspiciously messy jewellery heist, they are distracted when internal affairs officer Lewis (Mackintosh) starts looking for a reason to shut them down. Their captain (Lewis) tries to help, but things are complicated by the fact that Jack is having an affair with Lewis' wife (Atwell).

Yes, the script is a mixture of police procedural and soap opera, with heightened drama and a series of events that feel contrived to crank up our emotional involvement. For the most part, this strategy works. We never really care about the convoluted central mystery, because we know it will be resolved in due time. And all of the interpersonal nastiness is just as predictable. So it's up to the adept cast to provide the interest, which of course Winstone can do in his sleep. He's such a magnetic presence that he holds the whole film together, and his repartee with Drew is packed with lively camaraderie.

Meanwhile, Atwell manages to inject her somewhat thankless role with some intriguing depth. And everyone else makes the most of their one-note characters.

Unlike most London crime thrillers, Love shoots this film in more gleaming, modern settings, making terrific use of flashy office blocks and sleek cars while sending the action out into the river, the parks and, in the film's heart-stopping centrepiece sequence, Trafalgar Square itself. So it's a bit of a shame that the story feels as small as it does, never really catching our imagination the way the characters do. But it leaves us looking forward to the next episode.

Rich Cline

Cast & Crew

Director : Nick Love

Producer : , Rupert Preston, , Christopher Simon, Felix Vossen?


The Sweeney Rating

" OK "

Rating: 15, 2012


More Ray Winstone

20,000 Days on Earth Movie Review

Far from the standard biographical documentary, this is a strikingly artistic exploration of the life of musician, actor and writer Nick Cave, assembled with the...

20,000 Days On Earth Trailer

In true Nick Cave style, the lines between real-life and fiction are blurred in a drama documentary based on a supposed 24 hours in the...

'Point Break' Remake: What We Know So Far

So, it looks like the Point Break remake is set for release in August 2015. Directed by Ericson Core, whose only other big directing job...

Noah Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky continues to ambitiously experiment with genres in this Old Testament blockbuster, but this is his first real misstep as a filmmaker, as the...


Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth Arrive At 'Noah' NY Premiere - Part 2

Onscreen siblings Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth were spotted arriving at the premiere of their biblical epic 'Noah' held at the Ziegfeld Theater...

Noah Trailer

The cast and crew of ‘Noah’; director Darren Aronofsky, actors Russell Crowe and Emma Watson, and production designer Mark Friedberg; discuss the creation of the...

Noah Trailer

Noah is a normal family man faced with major responsibility when his dark visions lead him to see God's plan to wipe out the corrupt...

Mars Needs Mom, R.I.P.D, 13th Warrior: The Forgotton Box Office Flops

You know that old saying ‘Money can’t buy you happiness’? Well it can’t buy a box office hit, either! You can pump millions of dollars...