Peter Mullan Page 3

Peter Mullan

Peter Mullan Quick Links

News Pictures Video Film RSS

Boy A Review


Very Good
The title of John Crowley's Boy A comes from a court case where two young defendants are referred to as Boy A and Boy B. Both murderers before their proper teen years, these alphabetically-labeled tykes get sent to a juvenile facility; only one makes it out breathing.

The majority of Crowley's sophomore effort, after the jumpy gangster flick Intermission, focuses on the redemption of this young man in the public eye. Given the new handle Jack (Andrew Garfield), the titular young offender finds a job through his rehabilitation specialist Terry (Peter Mullan) at a warehouse and delivery service. With a new best friend named Chris (Alfie Owen) and Michelle, his new receptionist girlfriend (a superb Siobhan Finneran), Jack starts feeling at home in the small shady room he's given. The public remains unaware of him until, fatefully, he helps save a young girl from a car accident and gets his picture in the local news.

Continue reading: Boy A Review

Children Of Men Review


Excellent
Perhaps because of its bleak outlook, its lushly dark tones, or its often blunt criticism of the current world state, Alfonso Cuaron's fourth major film will have to fight just as hard as his two Spanish films to find an audience. The bearer of one the worst marketing and public relations campaigns in years, Children of Men could have been the wriggling stepson that Universal has made it out to be, but it turns out to be anything but.

It's 2027, and the youngest person in Britain (and the world), Baby Diego, has just been killed by a rabid fan; he was 18. Somewhere between 2006 and 2016, women started becoming infertile, causing mass miscarriages and major panics. Theo (Clive Owen) doesn't seem that concerned when we meet him, narrowly averting an explosion near a local café. He spends his time with his friend Jasper (a wily Michael Caine) who makes cannabis mixed with strawberry and tries to forget the family he once had. Julian (Julianne Moore), his ex-wife, has taken up with a pack of refugees that fight against the military state that has been active since London began understanding its grave future. When Julian stumbles upon a girl who miraculously is with child, she immediately kidnaps Theo and puts him in charge of getting the girl, Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey), to a specialized group of the world's smartest people known as the Human Project.

Continue reading: Children Of Men Review

On A Clear Day Review


Very Good
Over here in America, it seems we just cannot get enough of the gentle shenanigans of average, everyday Brits. If they are slightly older and perhaps finding themselves financially strapped and driven to eyebrow-raising lengths by the hard times, well, so much the better. Into this proud lineage comes On a Clear Day a charming, if slight, bit of fluff from across the pond that has nothing whatsoever to do with the similarly-titled Barbra Streisand musical from the '70s.Peter Mullan plays Frank, a quiet, middle-aged Scot who is left floundering when he is laid off from his shipbuilding job. He embarks on a mission, seemingly on a lark, to swim the English Channel in an effort to give himself purpose and shed personal demons that have plagued him for years. Admittedly, this is quite thin, plotwise, but if we learned anything but a new dance routine from The Full Monty, it's that working-class British fellows made redundant can be remarkably entertaining in keeping themselves occupied.Though he staunchly refuses to tell his family anything about his intentions, Frank has a small clique of friends - former coworkers, mostly - serving as his motley training crew, headed by a put-upon Chinese fish-and-chips vendor (Benedict Wong) and given hyper energy by the cheerfully hapless Danny (Billy Boyd). They are caught up in Frank's determination to change his life, and predictably inspired to do something new with their own, and it is remarkably sweet and uplifting in a straightforward and non-saccharine way, a rarity these days.First-time feature director Gaby Dellal has crafted a dutifully small and endearing bit of fluff, only faltering briefly with some easily-forgiven flaws. She does fall victim to a hallmark of young directors - the need to be unnecessarily flashy - with her shooting of action via its reflection in a small domed mirror or her slow pans of an ordinary boat. Also, the film is not adept at offering fleshed-out logic. Why this unassuming Scottish man takes on a personal mission to swim the Channel, or what he hopes it will accomplish - and what it does ultimately accomplish - is left unaddressed and open to interpretation. But if you accept the pull of those crazy urges we get from time to time - the desire to do something stupid, and hard, and to revel in a feeling of true accomplishment - then that is probably sufficient in the way of movie logic.What gives the film layers and makes it so watchable is the extremely capable acting. Mullan (My Name is Joe, Young Adam) is an immensely likeable actor, and his Frank is an amiable and capable fellow, but he can also be profoundly frustrating. Being taciturn is one thing, but he often seems to outright ignore his wife (the adorably floopy Brenda Blethyn). And he is deeply scarred by the death of his son nearly 25 years ago, but he's so distant from his surviving son that it borders on rude. This persistent haze that surrounds poor Frank, and mires him into such melancholic inaction, is what prevents On a Clear Day from being a straight-up comedy. All of the characters are witty and quirky (though not aggressively so) and have their moments of amusing antics, but they are also each battling a very real sadness, and the film does well in striking a balance between the two.There is little about On a Clear Day that is especially profound or innovative, to be sure. The most effusive praise it will likely garner is that it is genuinely cute and sweet without becoming twee or simplistic. That said, there is certainly a place - and a market - for films like these. I certainly know what I'll be telling my Auntie to see the next time she tells me they don't make "nice movies" anymore.Nope, can't see forever.

The Claim Review


Good
In the vein of Unforgiven comes this moody western about another small town in the middle of nowhere, struggling with its place in a world quickly passing it by.

Central to the story is Daniel Dillon (Peter Mullan), mayor of the town of Kingdom Come, Nevada, located on the spot of the gold claim he struck during the 1849 gold rush, some 20 years earlier. Or so we are led to believe. As it turns out, Dillon's claim was given to him in trade -- in trade for his wife and daughter, sold as if they were slaves.

Continue reading: The Claim Review

Criminal Review


OK
Argentinian filmmaker Fabian Bielinsky enjoyed a surprise hit in 2002 with his crackling con artist scheme Nine Queens. The intricate thriller about an established crook and his inexperienced protégé moved at such a rapid clip that it left your head swimming with twists until all the facts finally crashed into the table.

Criminal, first-time director Gregory Jacobs' generically-titled attempt at an American remake, performs the cinematic equivalent of the doggie paddle. It takes Bielinsky's well-paced con and changes just enough so that the story no longer makes any sense.

Continue reading: Criminal Review

Young Adam Review


Bad
"That was pointless," muttered a fellow critic after leaving a screening of Young Adam. Well, he's almost right. The only discernable purpose of the movie is to have Ewan McGregor's solemn, conscience-deprived drifter Joe screw every woman in sight. I was immediately reminded of interviews with James Spader around the time of David Cronenberg's remarkable Crash, where he described his proactive role in the casting process because he gets to have simulated sex with each of his female co-stars. If that seems a shallow way of viewing this adaptation of Alexander Trocchi's celebrated beat novel (which has earned comparisons with Albert Camus's The Stranger), well, this is a pretty shallow movie from the word go. The images feel flat, the dialogue literary, and the performances strong but non-captivating.

Joe works a barge between Glasgow and Edinburgh, working for grouchy middle-aged public servant Les (Peter Mullan) and his miserable wife Ella (Tilda Swinton). Shortly after they discover a dead body floating in the water, Joe and Ella begin a torrid affair right under Les's nose. Much like the Jack Nicholson-Jessica Lange version of The Postman Always Rings Twice, this film adaptation keeps all the fleshy sex scenes front-and-center while losing the moral confusion and dark side of cultural idealism that can't be captured onscreen via Ewan McGregor's endless brooding and cigarette smoking and arid shots of Joe against industrial backdrops.

Continue reading: Young Adam Review

Miss Julie Review


Weak
After single handedly crafting the worst film of 1999, the unbearably heavy handed art house rubbish The Loss of Sexual Innocence, jazzy auteur Mike Figgis brings his experimental eye to an adaptation of August Strindberg's Miss Julie.

It's a brilliant play, one which observes naturalistic behavior and flawed, complex characters without judgment. It's filled with beautifully written scenes of emotional conviction. Naturally, Figgis is so hell bent on his radical tinkering with form and content that the story becomes a muddle of sensual implications taken straight from fashion magazine perfume ads.

Continue reading: Miss Julie Review

My Name Is Joe Review


Bad
Okay, so your name is Joe. So what?

Joe turns out to be a recovering alcoholic, and in 28 Days fashion, winds his way to recovery, stopping only for a tepid romance with a lady friend. Then My Name is Joe turns gangsterish, before an abrupt and uninteresting ending -- which might have been redeemed if the film was remotely interesting anywhere along the way.

Continue reading: My Name Is Joe Review

Session 9 Review


Excellent
Director/writer Brad Anderson, who turned heads with the winning romantic comedy Next Stop Wonderland, does a narrative about face with Session 9, a creepy, psychological thriller more likely to twist heads than turn them. After displaying a knack for witty dialogue and strong pacing with Wonderland, Anderson applies those skills to the difficult horror genre, and delivers an exciting, low-key treat.

You can think of Session 9 as a kind of 5 Angry Men meets The Shining. A crew of asbestos removal workers -- played with solid force throughout, with notable performances by David Caruso (Kiss of Death, NYPD Blue) and Peter Mullan (The Claim) -- has the unenviable task of spending a week in an enormous, abandoned insane asylum, gutting it at a fever pitch pace in order to make it safe for renovation. The hospital once housed 2,300 "patients" at its peak, and very few of them were happy. Makes for an excellent haunted house story.

Continue reading: Session 9 Review

Ordinary Decent Criminal Review


Bad
I can only imagine one thing worse than Kevin Spacey trying on an Irish accent, and that's sultry Linda Fiorentino doing the same thing.

Accents are hardly the biggest problem with this movie, though. It's a dull-as-a-Nerf-ball script that makes Ordinary Decent Criminal far less than ordinary. It's almost painful sitting through its rote heist vignettes and endless expository scenes in between them. A bunch of IRA rhetoric doesn't add anything to Spacey's cryptic criminal, who just wants to help out his family while avoiding a fearsome prosecutor.

Continue reading: Ordinary Decent Criminal Review

The Claim Review


Weak

It's clear from the almost corporeal sense of time and place achieved in "The Claim," a tightly-wound melodrama set during the twilight of the Gold Rush, that director Michael Winterbottom made a very great effort to bring a broad vision to the screen.

The beautifully photographed High Sierra township of Kingdom Come, where the film is set, stirs with a sense of hardship and rugged lives. It feels entrenched against the harsh wintry elements that besiege it. It feels civilized but dangerous. It's a place for people who sold their souls to thrive, or maybe just to survive.

Daniel Dillon (Peter Mullan) runs this town -- scratch that, he owns it. But it came at a greedy price that has haunted him for 18 years. Trekking west as a young '49er, Dillon swapped his wife and baby daughter to a miner in exchange for his claim -- a claim that made him the rich and powerful baron.

Continue reading: The Claim Review

Miss Julie Review


Bad

"Miss Julie" announces its madly pretentious art film intentions with the very first, ear-piercing screech of its cello-raping soundtrack -- scored by director Mike Figgis -- and its gratuitous (and, for a period piece, distractingly inappropriate) hand-held cinematography that jerks around wildly for no reason at all.

"This is an important costume drama!" it insists. "This is art! If you don't like it, you're a philistine!"

OK. I'm a philistine.

Continue reading: Miss Julie Review

Session 9 Review


OK

A new entry in the recent trend toward more cerebral/psychological haunting movies that aim for something more than cheap, popcorn-spilling jolts, "Session 9" is blessed with a great concept but burdened by bland execution.

The hauntees are members of an asbestos haz-mat team hired to clean up Massachusetts' Danvers State Hospital, a vast loony bin abandoned in 1985 when Ronald Reagan slashed funding for mental institutions. Director Brad Anderson ("Next Stop, Wonderland") actually shot the film on location, and the eerie empty corridors of the joint are the film's most dynamic characters -- especially since Anderson props up his goosepimply atmosphere on the most incidental of chills, letting the viewer's cerebrum build tension all on its own.

It's an effective technique since the movie keeps you on edge for an hour and a half with very few genuine frights. One team member (Stephen Gevedon) takes his breaks in a basement storeroom, listening to tapes -- left behind by a doctor -- of a schizophrenic murderer cycling through multiple personalities.

Continue reading: Session 9 Review

Criminal Review


Good

It's almost always a good sign when a movie jumps right into a pivotal scene, not bothering with opening credits, establishing scenes or any pre-fabricated title sequence.

It means the filmmaker is focused on telling a good story, and in "Criminal," director Gregory Jacobs wastes no time showing a very green small-time con artist (Diego Luna) being rescued from arrest by a life-long (but no less petty) short-con expert (John C. Reilly) who had been watching him pull a clumsy $20 scam on several casino waitresses.

In need of a new partner, Reilly takes the kid under his wing, and in a matter of hours they've swindled $200 from a little old lady (while butting heads over Luna's hypocritical selective conscience), ripped off a restaurant for another $100 in a change scam, and faked a minor car accident to get a stranger to pony up for gas money -- all in a day's "work" for the unconscionable elder crook.

Continue reading: Criminal Review

Young Adam Review


Weak

The unimpeachable talents of Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Peter Mullan and Emily Mortimer go for naught in "Young Adam," a film of dark, disenchanting characters who tread water in moral ambiguity for 98 minutes.

McGregor plays Joe, a nebulous, failed beatnik writer who has deliberately dropped off the face of the earth by taking a grimy, hard-labor job, working (and living) on a cramped little coal barge that travels the shallow, narrow backwater canals of 1950s Glasgow. Vacant of disposition and void of moral fiber, he's become both a reluctant drinking buddy to his boss Les (Mullan, "Session 9") and an opportunistic lover to the boss's weary, vinegary wife Ella (Swinton, "The Deep End"), which soon upends all their lives.

Proving he hasn't abandoned his provocative sensibilities to Hollywood, McGregor makes Joe's soulless impalpability curiously absorbing in a performance full of furtive nuance and vague instability -- the signs of which grow as he finds a young woman's dead body in the water and director David Mackenzie slowly reveals that his protagonist may have had something to do with how she got there in the first place.

Continue reading: Young Adam Review

Peter Mullan

Peter Mullan Quick Links

News Pictures Video Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Actor


Peter Mullan Movies

Tommy's Honour Trailer

Tommy's Honour Trailer

Tommy Morris is an expert golfer who learned the sport from his father; the greens-keeper...

Sunset Song Movie Review

Sunset Song Movie Review

This isn't your usual period movie. A powerfully emotional depiction of rural Scottish life at...

Hector Trailer

Hector Trailer

For the past 15 years, Hector McAdam has been somewhat of a drifter having left...

Sunset Song Trailer

Sunset Song Trailer

Chris is a young heroine from a rural Scottish community, with an intense passion for...

Hercules Movie Review

Hercules Movie Review

Far more entertaining than it has any right to be, this is a big, messy...

Hercules Trailer

Hercules Trailer

Following his deadly ordeal of being put through the Twelve Labours by his father Zeus...

Hercules - Trailer Trailer

Hercules - Trailer Trailer

Hercules is a bitter and haunted demi-god filled with resentment for the people and the...

The Liability Movie Review

The Liability Movie Review

Blackly comical writing and direction add a playful slant to what could have been a...

The Liability Trailer

The Liability Trailer

Adam is just 19-years-old but, after managing to prang his mother's mobster boyfriend's car, is...

Welcome to the Punch Movie Review

Welcome to the Punch Movie Review

After the tiny drama Shifty, British filmmaker Creevy turns to both Hong Kong and Hollywood...

Welcome To The Punch Trailer

Welcome To The Punch Trailer

Max Lewinsky is a determined police detective who remains bitter about never managing to find...

War Horse Movie Review

War Horse Movie Review

Spielberg takes the hit stage play (based on the Michael Morpugo novel) to the big...

Tyrannosaur Movie Review

Tyrannosaur Movie Review

Actor-turned-filmmaker Paddy Considine expands his 2007 short Dog Altogether into his first feature, and it's...

Tyrannosaur Trailer

Tyrannosaur Trailer

Widower Joseph spends his days walking the streets and frequenting various pubs in an industrial...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.