New York Times - 05/12/2006
"With its raw, grainy texture and forceful sense of urgency, Shane Meadows's unsparing revenge thriller DEAD MAN's SHOES is reminiscent of a kind of film prominent in the 1970's, most notably Sam Peckinpah's STRAW DOGS."
Box Office - 07/01/2006 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[G]ripping drama...thanks to a ferociously effective performance from Considine that turns the smallest of gestures and the gentlest of line readings into a controlled burn that takes no prisoners..."
Talented director Shane Meadows (A ROOM FOR ROMEO BRASS) teams up with fellow Brit Paddy Considine (IN AMERICA) for this exhilarating venture towards the dark edges of the human psyche. Considine plays Richard, a former military man who looks like life has chewed him up and spat him out in the most ugly way imaginable. As Meadows's film begins, Richard returns to his small home town along with his mentally challenged younger brother, Anthony (Toby Kebbell). It quickly becomes clear why Richard has returned: some years previously a gang of local thugs, led by the thoroughly unpleasant Sonny (Gary Stretch), tortured Anthony, and Richard is hell-bent on making them pay for their crimes. Meadows gradually allows Richard's psychotic tendencies and lust for revenge to unravel, crafting a number of scenes where Richard teasingly mocks Sonny and co. before delving into scenes of shockingly relentless violence.
An unusual film for Meadows, who has mostly plied his trade as a director of wry British comedies, DEAD MAN'S SHOES is packed full of unbearable tension and densely claustrophobic camera work. The film really belongs to Considine, whose impressive performance feels painfully real, often mirroring legendary on-screen psychopaths such as Robert DeNiro's Travis Bickle (TAXI DRIVER) or Michael Caine's Jack Carter (GET CARTER). Although the violence is unremitting when it comes, Meadows carefully judges it so the film doesn't descend into meaningless slasher territory, instead choosing to steer his film into a satisfying fantasy-revenge scenario aimed at anyone who has been tormented by small-town aggressors.
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