74 articles

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Brent Ghelfi - Volk’s Game

24 Apr 20082 stars

CRIME THRILLER (Faber) This debut novel from former US Court of Appeals clerk Brent Ghelfi introduces us to Alexei Volkovoy. ‘Volk’ (‘wolf’), a one-time sniper for the Russian Army in Chechnya, is now an unscrupulous gangster commissioned to steal a…

In Bruges

10 Apr 20084 stars

CRIME/COMEDY (18) 107min A pair of mismatched professional hitmen are sent to the picturesque titular Belgian city to lie low after a job in London goes wrong. There, young philistine Ray (Colin Farrell) and older, cultured Ken (Brendan Gleeson) argue…


10 Apr 20082 stars

COMEDY/CRIME/HORROR (15) 94min If characters explode like tomatoes in microwaves, you’re probably witnessing the continuing rise of British splat-core comedy horror that’s had as many hits (Shaun of the Dead, Severance) as misses (The Cottage), the…

Scottish crime fiction

27 Mar 2008

Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers were arguably the most successful authors of the ‘golden age of the detective fiction’ in the 1920s and 30s while prolific contemporary thriller writers such as PD James, Ruth Rendell and Patricia Cornwell…

First Sunday

27 Mar 20081 star

CRIME/COMEDY (12A) 97min When trousers fall down to reveal brightly-coloured underwear, any comedy is instantly revealed as low-brow, yet this vehicle for ex-rapper Ice Cube written, directed and produced by his old promo director friend David E…

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28 Feb 20082 stars

CRIME/THRILLER (18) 100min What new wine can be poured into the cracked old bottles of the serial killer movie? Although the sub-genre is less than 20 years old (kicking off with Silence of the Lambs and peaking with David Fincher’s Se7en), it has…

The Frightened City

31 Jan 20082 stars


Chiefly notable for an early screen appearance from Edinburgh’s most famous former milkman, this somewhat pedestrian 1961 British film noir features Sean Connery in one of his last supporting roles, here playing a cat burglar the year before he was cast…

Scottish crime writing

1 Nov 2007

‘Ah, well. If you’re Scottish, and you’re writing crime fiction, at some point someone is going to hail you as “the new Ian Rankin” until they remember, no, actually Ian Rankin is still there. Alex Gray has been described as the Glaswegian Ian Rankin.

The Brave One

20 Sep 20074 stars

CRIME/THRILLER (18) 122min There is no actor working today who portrays motivational fear better than Jodie Foster. Her performances in The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs and to a lesser extent the more recent Panic Room and Flight Plan are…

Ecoute Le Temps

20 Sep 20073 stars

MYSTERY/CRIME (15) 87min There are echoes of Brian de Palma’s superb 1981 thriller Blow Out in this low-budget, high-concept drama from writer/director Alanté Kavaïté. A documentary sound engineer Charlotte (Émilie Dequenne, best known for her debut…

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One Last Dance

20 Sep 20074 stars

COMEDY/CRIME/ROMANCE (18) 110min (Tartan DVD retail/rental) Straight-to-DVD premieres no longer herald generally third-rate titles, as this off-beat Asian crime film proves. Written and directed by Brazilian filmmaker Max Makowski, and financed and…

Employee alleges Spector gun threat

28 Aug 2007

Employee alleges Spector gun threat Music producer Phil Spector twice threatened an employee with a gun, the Wall of Sound star’s murder trial has heard. Devra Robitaille, a former girlfriend and employee of Spector, told the court that he had…

Frank Muir

9 Aug 2007

If Festival visitors were asked where they expect Scottish crime novels to be set, a fair few would probably think of Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh first, or Denise Mina’s Glasgow.

Lin Anderson

16 Jul 2007

Flight of fancy Edinburgh crime writer Lin Anderson tells Allan Radcliffe that living in Nigeria and feasting on the news have both influenced her latest novel Lin Anderson has tended to get lumped in with the Tartan Noir squad of Scottish…

Lights in the Dusk

21 May 20074 stars

DRAMA/CRIME/COMEDY The final part of Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki’s ‘Loser Trilogy’ (preceded by Drifting Clouds and The Man Without a Past) concerns itself with lonely night watchman Koistinen (Janne Hyytiäinen) who has modest hopes of setting…

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Comics - Calvario Hills

7 May 20073 stars


Comics - Chicanos

26 Mar 20073 stars

Carlos Trillo & Eduardo Risso

CRIME Fellow Argentineans Carlos Trillo and Eduardo Risso’s fourth collaboration, originally published in Italy and France, is a New York City-set crime comic featuring a pointedly unconventional protagonist: a short, fat, ugly Mexican female…

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

27 Feb 20074 stars

(15) 98min

First time filmmaker and writer Dito Montiel’s vivid, inventive and energetic adaptation of his own allegedly true biographic novel may be the most self-indulgent and wilfully engaging US film of the year. The film is based around two narratives…

Tokyo Drifter - DVD review

12 Feb 20074 stars

Tokyo Drifter

CRIME/DRAMA One of three excellent reissues of the films of the great Japanese filmmaker Seijun Suzuki (the other two on release are his erotic and darkly humorous 1967 gangster film Branded to Kill and his most directly autobiographical film…

Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso

12 Feb 20074 stars

100 Bullets: Decayed (Vertigo/Titan)

CRIME Now possibly three-quarters of the way into this cracking crime drama (this tenth volume collects issues 68 through 75 of what’s perhaps going to be a double dead-eye 100), it’s clear just what an enormously impressive feat of writing 100…

Garon Tsuchiya & Nobuaki Minegishi - comic review

19 Dec 20064 stars

Garon Tsuchiya & Nobuaki Minegishi

MANGA/CRIME This is the crime manga that inspired South Korean director Chan-wook Park’s acclaimed Cannes Grand Jury prize-winning film of the same name. Translated into English for the first time since it was published in 1997, Dark Horse have…

I Saw Ben Barka Get Killed

7 Dec 20063 stars

(15) 102min

CRIME/THRILLER Ex-Cahiers du Cinema critic-turned-director Serge Le Péron revisits the intriguingly murky circumstances surrounding one of Gaullist France’s greatest political scandals. On 29 October 1965, an exiled Moroccan dissident Mehdi Ben Barka…

David Lloyd

10 Oct 20064 stars

Kickback (Darkhorse)

CRIME NOIR Well-established comic book artists usually get around to writing their own material at some point in their careers. Veteran British artist David Lloyd, who remains best known for his collaboration with Alan Moore on the virtuoso V for…

Nabiel Kanan

10 Oct 20064 stars

The Drowners (Image)

CRIME The US has the crime comic market sewn up with titles such as Stray Bullets and 100 Bullets. But this London-set, noir-styled murder mystery draws fine comparison with its Transatlantic cousins. UK writer-artist Nabiel Kanan’s fourth graphic…