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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "What Do You Think We Are...Criminals!"
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...
Published on 13 Mar. 2009 by Mark Barry

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cor Blimey, guv,nor
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...
Published on 18 Feb. 2009 by Charles Vasey


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cor Blimey, guv,nor, 18 Feb. 2009
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rocknrolla [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "What Do You Think We Are...Criminals!", 13 Mar. 2009
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of the same from Richie: Lock Stock all over again, 9 Nov. 2010
By 
The Truth "How it is" (UK) - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rocknrolla - Some rock, but fails to roll, 29 Aug. 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rocknrolla [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Guy Ritchie is obviously a strong adherent of the saying `if it ain't broke don't fix it', as this 2008 film is essentially another remake of his smash hit `Lock Stock and two Smoking Barrels', with which he made his name. Sticking rigidly to the formula of loveable rogues in London getting in to debt with a major local crime figure, and having to pull off some dodgy shenanigans to get the money to clear the debt, whilst in the background there is a hunt for some valuable object (shotguns in lock stock, a diamond in Snatch, a painting here) which served him so well in `Lock Stock' and `Snatch', he again weaves another tale of black humour and violence. Coming after the abysmal `Swept Away' and the disappointing `Revolver', it was a wise choice to return to the formula, and a halfway decent film results.

With a great cast to work with, including Tom Wilkinson who plays the viscous crime boss with just the right elements of brutality and inherent weakness, Mark Strong who makes and effective narrating voice and chief heavy, Gerard Butler and Idris Elba as the loveable rogues and a very hot Thandie Newton, some of the old Ritchie magic is back on display, and the big set pieces manage to impress. But the whole thing is let down by a feeling of having seen it before. Too many of the characters and too much of the plot are lifted directly form his previous films, and though this is reasonably entertaining it is starting to get a bit stale. It's a bit flat and never really catches fire (I wonder if a viewer seeing this without seeing Ritchies previous works would agree?) and there is often a feeling of going through the motions. So in all only 3 stars. Could have been a lot worse (and indeed, Ritchie has made a lot worse), but it isn't as good as `Snatch' or the Sherlock Holmes films.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 29 Sept. 2009
By 
O E J - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern take on the Mockney Ganster movie, 20 April 2009
By 
D. McClory "d." (London) - See all my reviews
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Much better than i was expecting with a good mix of drama and comedy. Characters are excellent, with some really good perfomances, especially from Toby Kebbell (Jonny Quid) and Mark Strong (Archy).

So no, its not an old school East London ganster movie, its a much more modern swing, based on the property market and the the old school meeting the new school of international big money criminals, power and influence meets the new big money (property).

It makes a tremendously watchable and entertaining movie, with some exceptionally funny and surreal moments. The HD makes it even more so immersive. The early reviews didn't give a fair view of the movie, with reviewers expecting something more along the lines of 'Lock Stock' or 'Snatch'. this isn't the same movie, it has very different style which demonstrates Ritchies ability to adapt and provide a very different, but equally entertaining experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fierce and funny caper, 24 April 2011
From writer and director Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and two smoking barrels and Snatch) comes a brilliantly funny crime caper with plenty of action and an all-star cast.

The film is about an old-school London gangster called Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson) who decides to swindle a wealthy foreign Mob boss with some property dealings, but in time both are getting played by a small crew of crooks. Things soon start to escalate out of control when a painting belonging to the foreign mob boss goes missing.

The Blu-Ray picture is excellent and the sound is superb.

Special features on the disc include:

* Commentary by writer/director Guy Ritchie & Co-Star Mark Strong
* Additional Scene : Will you put the cigarette out
* Blokes, Birds and Backhanders: Inside RocknRolla [in High-Definition]
* Guy's Town: The director reflects on his fascination with ever-evolving London [in High Definition]
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RockNRolla and Why, 19 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: Rocknrolla [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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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2.0 out of 5 stars Think, before you drink, before you drive me mad......, 1 July 2015
Lenny Cole, a London mob boss, puts the bite on all local real estate transactions. For a substantial fee, he helps Uri Omovich, a Russian developer.

As a sign of good faith, he loans Cole a valuable painting, promptly stolen off Cole's wall. While Cole's men, led by Archie, look for the canvas, three local petty criminals, the Wild Bunch, steal money from the Russian using inside information from his accountant, Stella.

Meanwhile, a local drug-addled rocker, Johnny Quid, is reported drowned, and his connection to Cole is the key to unravelling the deceits and double crosses of life in the underworld.......

Guy Ritchie has a lot to answer for. He resurgence the British film industry somewhat with LSATSB, and invented a new genre with that film, the genre of wide boy gangsters talking quite poetic in a narrative, and seamlessly branching several narratives into a for filling conclusion.

And since then, we have been inundated with some terrible, awful, poisonous copycats. So in a way, he helped, and then catapulted us back into the Stone Age.

And this movie again proves that he was a one trick pony. All the impressive visuals, impressive cast, and equally impressive soundtrack, cannot hide the fact that Ritchie is useless without Matthew Vaughn. Look at Vaughns resume compared to the auteur's, and you realise that Vaughn was a pinnacle in Ritchie's writing.

So again, as it is standard with these films, we have the crime lord who swears, shouts really loud, and uses slang in every other sentence.

Then we have our antihero, with his ragtag team of mates, who all have their own traits, and use slang in every other sentence.

And then finally, the crime lords sidekick, usually the narrator of the Basil exposition, is the clever one, the poetic one, and the one with whom reason is imperative.

Throw in a few more characters with quirky traits, and you have this film, and it's a mess.

There a double cross here, a double cross there, something gets stolen, and all the flashy editing and camera work cannot save it from the offensive mess that it is.

It's homophobic, sexist, agoraphobic, and one of the most chauvinistic piles of rubbish I've seen in a longtime.

And it's boring to boot.

Stick with the Long Good Friday, the film that this is basically ripping off.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Well, there is lock, half of the stock, but not really smoking barrels... not even one., 22 Nov. 2013
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rocknrolla [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
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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Rocknrolla [DVD] [2008]
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