Gangster

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Snow in Paradise

9 Feb 20153 stars

Gangland thriller from Andrew Hulme that's undermined by clichés

If nothing else, British gangland thriller Snow in Paradise provides a fantastic showcase for Frederick Schmidt. Previously seen in Starred Up, the lean, charismatic Schmidt shows signs of the brooding intensity that has propelled Tom Hardy and Jack…

Scarface re-released

14 Aug 2009

The greatest of all modern gangster films returns, but why now?

It’s been twenty six long years since Tony Montana (Al Pacino) invited us to ‘say hello to my little friend’ in director Brian De Palma and then screenwriter Oliver Stone’s Reagan era update of Howard Hawks and Ben Hecht’s gangster polemic of the same…

Paris Lockdown

3 Jul 20083 stars

GANGSTER (18) 143min (Momentum DVD retail/rental) This brutally efficient, thoroughly gratuitous French gangster film from Frédéric Schoendorffer, director of Scene de Crime and Spy Bound, explores the lives of various gangsters on the make.

Played

14 Feb 20082 stars

GANGSTER/THRILLER (15) 84min (High Fliers DVD rental) We love, love, love filmmakers who sod the restrictions imposed by low budgets by using every opportunity they can lay their hands on, including mates’ mates who happen to be famous actors. That’s…

Sugarhouse

23 Aug 20071 star

(15) 90min

Based on Dominic Leyton’s play Collision about a middle class man (Steven Mackintosh) who finds himself forming an unlikely alliance with crackhead D (Ashley Walters) when a volatile gangster Hoodwink (Andy Serkis) comes after him. Hammy, dull and…

Smokin' Aces

20 Dec 20062 stars

With Narc, director Joe Carnahan made a sterling contribution to the cop genre. Noteworthy for its grim bad cop/bad cop partnership the film was completely different to the usual dross. So it’s even more cringing that Smokin’ Aces is such a poor effort…

London to Brighton

27 Nov 20063 stars

‘One year they wanted my ho to be a poster girl... for birth control.’ Jackson Brown, US comedian, pimp. It’s just after 3am in a rundown London toilet and seasoned prostitute Joanne (Georgia Groome) is trying to console a tearful young girl…

Idlewild

2 Oct 20063 stars

(15) 121min

GANGSTER There is a tendency in African American cinema and culture (think Chester Himes novels) to romanticise the 1930s, a world depicted in Harlem Nights, Cotton Comes to Harlem and the first hour of Malcolm X as a time of black gangsters that…