Empire - 10/01/2008 4 stars out of 5 -- "Ritchie isn't reverting -- he's progressing, bolting this new, stranger, stronger visual style onto the kind of shaggy-dog tale that made him..."
USA Today - 10/08/2008
"ROCKNROLLA takes director Guy Ritchie back to London's gritty streets....There's plenty of mayhem and bullet-ridden violence, some of it quite jolting. Still, the film is punctuated with moments of dark humor."
Los Angeles Times - 10/08/2008
"Ritchie dials down the pace, soaking up the atmosphere....Ritchie whisks you along on a whirlwind tour, but he's not averse to putting on the brakes long enough to admire some of his favorite attractions."
Premiere - 10/30/2008
"ROCKNROLLA is a 21st century version of Guy Ritchie's earlier films. The banter is wittier; the criminals are slicker, sexier, and more devious; and the soundtrack is more rock 'n' roll than ever."
Box Office - 11/01/2008 5 stars out of 5 -- "ROCKNROLLA is simply a blast, a gleeful romp from start to finish, and by far Ritchie's strongest, most assured movie to date."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/17/2008
"Gerard Butler, from 300, uses his burly, earthy gruffness to ground the movie, and he's surrounded by terrific actors." -- Grade: B+
Total Film - 01/01/2009 4 stars out of 5 -- "The casting, acting, dialogue and direction are career bests, essaying a touch that comes with experience."
Guy Ritchie returns to form with this cockney crime caper starring Gerard Butler and Tom Wilkinson. Lenny Cole (Wilkinson) is a bungling London crime boss who calls the shots in London's underworld. We learn all about Lenny from Archie (Mark Strong)--his second in command--who serves as the film's sly narrator. When a wealthy Russian property dealer by the name of Uri (Karel Roden) looks to Lenny for help on a major new deal, Lenny is eager to assist (for a very large fee, of course). Uri agrees to pay, and as a show of faith, he insists that Lenny borrow his "lucky painting." Uri then asks his accountant, Stella (Thandie Newton), to transfer the money to Lenny, but things quickly go awry when two crooks known as Mumbles (Idris Elba) and One Two (Butler) intercept the money before it reaches him. To make matters worse, the lucky painting has mysteriously been stolen, and the number one suspect is a crack-addicted pop star, Johnny Quid, who is presumed dead. Violent hijinks ensue as Lenny desperately tries to locate the painting, Uri calls in some sadistic thugs to recover his money, and Johnny Quid suddenly resurfaces. Men are battered with golf clubs, fed to crawfish, and attacked with machetes, and a surprise twist ending neatly ties up the whole bloody mess.
Fans of Ritchie will likely be very pleased to see him return to his SNATCH-style of filmmaking. ROCKNROLLA has the same frenetic, humorous edge as the film that made him famous, though critics might complain that this particular style is starting to look a little dusty. Regardless, ROCKNROLLA features many fine performances, and once you get past the rather slow beginning, it kicks off into an entertaining and amusing romp.
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