New York Times - 06/18/2004
"Mr. Hodges directs with a jazz musician's self-contained suavity. His tricky, dazzling technique is deployed with almost casual professionalism..."
Los Angeles Times - 07/02/2004
"[A] minimalist, almost experimental noir, a stunningly stylized film that is intent on pushing genre boundaries."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/26/2004
"With quick dialogue, clever editing, and a somber noirish sense of intrigue..."
Uncut - 07/01/2005
"[A] gripping thriller..."
Cars full of fast-talking British hoods and rain-soaked city streets in the dead of night--that's the stuff of which Mike Hodges's (CROUPIER) impossibly cool neo-noir gangster thriller is made. Clive Owen plays Graham, a former top mobster who has since retired to a nomadic life in the woods. His little brother Davey (John Rhys-Davies) meanwhile swaggers through posh parties back in the city, dealing drugs and engaging in freewheeling sex and petty thefts until he's violently sodomized by a white-haired car dealer (Malcolm McDowell). His subsequent suicide brings Graham back into the seedy underworld he left behind on a mission of revenge. Before he can find his brother's rapist though, he has to tangle with the new head bad boy in town (Frank Stott), who thinks Graham's come to take his old spot back.
Much like Simon Fisher Turner's dissonant, avante-jazz score, the film dodges a straight-ahead story and instead breaks out in moody variations in the key of noir. Fatalistic dialogue, extreme masculine anxiety, a cast teeming with eccentrics, desolate streets, gray beaches, darkened elevators, and foreboding alleyways all blend into an atonal crime-jazz poem. The inestimable Charlotte Rampling plays Graham's concerned, and much older, ex-girlfriend. Fans of the more classic gangster entries may rest assured Graham eventually does rain violence down upon the deserving.