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4.1 out of 5 stars215
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Guy Ritchie makes films for guys about guys, and frankly "my son", this one is loving it...

I say this because there's appalling film critic snobbery surrounding Ritchie and I for one can't stand it. Ok, so "RocknRolla" is not Shakespeare - nor David Lean - so what! When you sit down to it, you do so with a grin on your puss the size of Britain's National Debt. Why - because you just know you're going to spend the next two hours giggling and grimacing (for all the wrong reasons of course) and you're going to be rightly and royally entertained. And bluntly how many British film directors-cum-writers are 'this' good - can entertain you 'this' much? In an industry that seems to have lost the knack of actually turning us on, on the strength of "RocknRolla", I for one will be looking out for the Blu Ray box of Guy Ritchie films and not yet another version of Bourne or Aliens (good as they may be).

The story is layered and smart; the dialogue is either crude or ballbreakingly funny - or frequently both - and the casting is varied and immaculate - all of them clearly enjoying themselves. The songs are apt and used sparingly and there's an already classic one-liner that had many of our customers in the shop laugh out loud when we played the CD the other day (dialogue inbetween the music tracks).

The good news for fans is that the BLU RAY version of "RocknRolla" is beautifully filmed and I think actually suits Ritchie's film style to a tee - it makes the sharp suits and the London locations shine more. Actor wise - "RocknRolla" is crammed full of great cameos and has a lot of classy leading double acts. Tom Wilkinson is the bigwig old-school London criminal Lenny Cole with Mark Strong as Archie his sidekick. Both are typically outstanding. Gerard Butler as One Two and Idris Elba as Mumbles (the drug dealer Stringer Bell in The Wire) play their counterparts - the likely lads who get caught up in deals way over their small-time heads. Jimi Mistry is a corrupt London councillor, Jeremy Piven and Ludacris as producers and nightclub owners who can't control Toby Kebbell as the drugged up rock star Johhny Quid (feigning death to up his sales). The girls are all molls, there's the unkillable Russians, the thieving philosophizing junkies, ticket-touting gangsters covered in Bling living in Range Rovers and yobs who talk about art, culture and the beauty of cigarettes as they whack a difficult bouncer over the head with a bin lid....luverly!

I'll freely admit that as a dabbler in screenplays myself, I sat there with a huge streak of jealousy running through me, because there's truly fantastic writing and skill on show here. One example is the scene where Gerard Butler is sat at a dinner table in a posh London restaurant with the corporate lawyer totty that is Thandie Newton. Butler's character clearly fancies her, but suspects she's just 'too' dangerous and out of his league. Slipping the bulging loot bag he's delivering under the table towards her long and unfeasibly delicious legs, he relays how the swag was attained...with a "bit of bother". It then cuts back to the actual robbery - which of course goes horribly wrong - and then just get progressively worse - not too clever types doing not too clever things. From this hilarious flashback, the movie keeps flicking forward again to their sexually loaded conversation - and back again to more carnage with an escalating pumping soundtrack. It's kind of Ritchie's trademark style, but it's so damn good that you don't even notice how cleverly its been worked out and edited together. It's slick stuff and impressively so.

The movie is not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a damn good watch and more importantly - wildly entertaining. And come the sly and clever ending, you're left wanting more - and there's even a hint of a sequel in the closing credits.

In the vernacular "RocknRolla" is a blinding bit of fun and on Blu Ray - looks and is - the absolute business. Highly recommended and a job well done.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 29 September 2009
I really wanted to like this. I even expected to. It had all the ingredients: a great cast, Ritchie at the helm having penned it himself, and hey - just like the tagline says - a story about sex and thugs and rock 'n roll.

But it didn't work for me. It didn't have that X factor, that soul, that special stamp of identity that makes you remember it for years to come. The story was typically convoluted yet simple so any audience can 'get it', the characters brilliantly chosen and pushing the limits of stereotype but never really breaking through (so that's good), and the soundtrack, while uninspired overall, was still just right for the mood and Ritchie-stamp. Definitely a case of the whole not matching up to the sum of its parts and in the end, a really poor comparison to classics like Lock Stock.

Don't get me wrong - Tom Wilkinson was funny as old-skool hood Lenny Cole and it was great to see him back on home turf after putting on some less than convincing accents on the other side of the pond. His back-up man Archy was played by Mark Strong - who was outstanding in the lead role in The Long Firm - and although I think he makes for a better front-man than support it was great to see him here and he added some of his own particular gravitas to the cast. Another welcome player, albeit peripheral, was Idris Elba (Stringer Bell in The Wire) but overall I found myself enjoying the performances of individual actors rather than the unity of the team, and feeling that there was something missing that could and should have given the finished article a special attitide, an edge, something to remember it by. I can understand why many viewers would like like it and maybe even like it a lot, but as for me, I have to reluctantly say that it missed out.

Yet again it's difficult to offer comparisons between this Blu-Ray version and the standard DVD as I have only seen this one, but I would say that it is one of the better Blu-Ray films I have seen from a technical perspective. As for extras, there's a 'Behind the scenes' commentary by Guy Ritchie and Mark Strong, together with some explanations of how some of the trademark scenes were shot. There's a deleted scene too, called 'Will you put the cigarette on?'

I really wasn't expecting to be let down by this, but I was; I don't think Vinnie Jones would have saved it. I can't believe that there's a sequel in the pipeline, and I will be very surprised if it's better than this even if that's the only direction any sequel can go. In a nutshell, this will probably disappoint fans of Snatch and Lock Stock, indeed it's probably more on a par with Revolver. Which isn't saying a lot.
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on 19 February 2010
This film is an amazing piece of work from Guy Richie.
From the very beginning to the very end this film will keep you interested and entertained.
It has a brilliant soundtrack, good cinematography, and a strong storyline with good actors.
The one fault with this film is that you have to really listen to what everyone says to get the storyline properly, but if you buy this cheap DVD then you can watch as much as you like so you won't miss a thing.
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This is a light-hearted (trans: unrealistic) tale of London criminal skullduggery during a property boom (whatever one of those was). It opens with a CASINO like sequence describing how money can be made and lost where crooked councillors fix planning permission. But thereafter it rolls into a tragi-comedy of errors with overly wordy repartee. Occasionally violence penetrates the jolly atmosphere but usually in a cartoonish way (the Russian/Chechen heavies in the chase scene), a possible exception being a Joe Peschi pencil job on the bouncer. All the characters are unpleasant and it is hard to care who comes out on top. The actor playing the Russian oligarch has a strange resemblance to...... someone else.

Better than revolver, nowhere near SNATCH, what would Brick Top say!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 February 2016
We all know ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ as the film that practically reinvented the modern day British crime thriller (not to mention launch a certain Mr Ritchie’s career) and then ‘Snatch’ as the sort-of follow up starring Brad Pitt which was a kind of compendium piece to Lock, Stock. Then Guy Ritchie’s name got attached to a singer and things didn’t go so well for a while. Then came ‘Rocknrolla’ – which everyone (especially Guy Ritchie) made clear was not just a return to form, but a return to his gangster roots.

It’s about yet another gang of mockney London scoundrels who fall foul to yet another London kingpin gangster and have to come up with yet another crafty plan to come up with the cash and save their own skins in the process. Yes, it’s basically the same plot as Lock, Stock and Snatch. That should be a drawback, but it’s still fun.

I think if you compare Rocknrolla to Lock, Stock and Snatch you may be a little disappointed, as it’s not quite as uber-cool as either of them. However, if you compare it to the plethora of other imitation Guy Ritchie British gangster films, you’ll realise it’s actually pretty good. Or at least definitely watchable if you’re a fan of the genre.

I would say that Gerard Butler is the star, but he doesn’t seem to be in it enough to be classed as the ‘definite’ star. I know Ritchie’s films are famous for their use of multiple characters and storylines all crossing over and finally coming together, but Rocknrolla seems to have one or two too many stars in it. The cast is indeed impressive and almost every ‘hood’ is recognisable, but that just means that not all of them are fully developed as characters – Idris Elba, Geoff Bell and Thandie Newton in particular. In fact, it’s really Mark Strong (who is basically doing a ‘Vinnie Jones’ kind of role, only slightly more expanded) who holds it all together and steals every scene he’s in.

But, don’t let that minor gripe put you off. If you like your gangster films, or enjoy Ritchie’s (gangster) work, you should find this pretty pleasing. I hear that it was meant to be the first film in the start of a trilogy (eight years on and we’re still waiting for part 2!). Perhaps that’s why there were so many characters in it? Maybe those who didn’t get enough screen time here would have had more to do in the subsequent sequels? No matter I guess – still a fun little ensemble piece.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 November 2013
After watching and adoring "Lock, stock and two smoking barrels" and "Snatch", I had high hopes for this film, especially considering the cast - but I was ultimately a little bit disappointed. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

I will not say much about the story, it is for you to discover, but this is another Guy Ritchie British gangster film, so you can expect to find a mob boss (played here by Tom Wilkinson), a femme fatale (played here by Thandie Newton) and three small time crooks somehow overwhelmed by the stuff they got themselves into (played here by Gerald Butler, Idris Elba and Tom Hardy), as well as some other colorfoul characters.

There is some humour, as the director attempted to repeat the success of his earlier British gangster films, but this movie is really significantly less funny than the two previously mentioned masterpieces. Also, some characters are simply impossibly annoying, like Johny Quid, the prodigal son of the mob boss (and also terminal junkie).

Some dead bodies will drop, people will get double-crossed, there will be some robberies, sex, Russian gangsters, an appearance of the Old Bill, etc. - but somehow all this doesn't work as it should. Also, a part of the plot is in fact simply copy pasted from "Layer Cake" - and that really wasn't necessary... Finally, some things are not definitely explained at the end of the film (it concerns mostly Thandie Newton's character), as if it has been poorly edited and some important scenes were removed by mistake. And I absolutely hate when it happens.

So, notwithstanding good actors and some good moments (especially two really hilarious robberies), this film is definitely a lesser thing than previous British gangster movies by Guy Ritchie. Watchable of course, but do not get your hopes too high.
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on 7 January 2011
Personally I prefer this film to snatch , don't get me wrong its a good film but this has the edge for me.

Its a fun watch and for those who struggled to keep up with the twisty turny plots of LOCK STOCK and SNATCH this is simpler to follow.

This is good stuff to have on your DVD shelf for those "umm what should I watch" days.

I look forward to the release of The Real RocknRolla ( the sequel ).
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on 15 January 2011
This film is another triumph for Guy Ritchie. I dont usally like films like this but as soon as i saw the trailer i was hoooked. This film never gets old with funny one liners and monologues from all the characters which have me and my friends quoting to eachother. Acting is amazing espcially from Tom Hardy, Mark Strong and Toby kebbell and the many more of the cast. This is definatly worth the money infact its a bargain. With Action and Comedy this kept the film entertaining every minute.
A definate must see film!
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This is basically exactly the same Guys Richie's film Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels. It is the same 'circular' idea - A robs B who robs C who robs A - except this time it's more of a white collar crime caper.

It takes the flood of foreign investment, money and power, that changed the face of London during the property boom, as it's base. Some might suggest this foreign money - lots of it belonging to the big Russian oligarchs who came to town - had a 'slight' criminal element behind it, which is the crux of the story, as east meets west and clash.

Gerard Butler is good in the lead and there are one or two very good scenes (namely the scenes with the eastern European hit men) but other than that, the film lacks originality which makes you end up feeling very much like Guy might be 1 trick pony.

Fans of the brilliant film 'Dead Man's Shoes' by Shane Meadows will recognise one of the cast members - which without giving too much away - looks like he'll end up being the main character in Rock 'n' Rolla 2 - which we're promised is coming soon, but as of yet hasn't appeared. My guess is it never will.

It's not bad - but it's not great, and it went on about 20 minutes too long for my liking, but overall it was an OK watch. One for TV though... I sold my copy, which incidentally I brought 2nd hand too. Not sure what that says about it - but it probably supports my theory of wait to watch it on TV.
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on 5 February 2009
Great film action as you would expect from a Guy Richie film (not as good as lock stock or snacth) still worth a watch keeps you watching up till the end. I need to watch this one again.
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