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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly enjoyable
Redemption and hope are sought in a Faustian tale set in a Shorditch full of velociraptor faced demon hoodies, murder and stylized gangs.

If you don't like the sound of that then this isn't the film for you (and you're weird - why wouldn't you like that?). Heartless refers to various elements of the film but mostly to our hero's (Jim Sturgess - if hero is the...
Published on 8 Aug 2011 by James Rands

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Heartless review
A very bizarre film, which takes a knee-jerk halfway through but pulls it together in the end.
Heres my review -
[...]
Published on 14 Jan 2012 by pauldowney


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly enjoyable, 8 Aug 2011
By 
James Rands (Europe) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heartless [DVD] (DVD)
Redemption and hope are sought in a Faustian tale set in a Shorditch full of velociraptor faced demon hoodies, murder and stylized gangs.

If you don't like the sound of that then this isn't the film for you (and you're weird - why wouldn't you like that?). Heartless refers to various elements of the film but mostly to our hero's (Jim Sturgess - if hero is the right word) birthmark which renders him an outsider and awkward. He stumbles upon a gang who he realises are not human and begins his descent into anarchy and darkness. There are various story strands; his fear of the marauding gangs, his search for revenge after the violence comes home, his infatuation with an Eastern European model he meets at his uncle's studio, his friendship with his new neighbour (Noel Clarke)and said neighbours dark past and a vicious gang leader with a claw for a hand intetn on mayhem. So far this is a film noir set in a grimy and dangerous East London but it becomes clear very quickly that there is a strong supernatural element here (the review title "Harry Brown in Hell" sums it up pretty nicely). Soon the hero must face his worst fears and gets an offer he can't really refuse taking him deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness but offering him the hope of a good life.

The grainy and grimy feel of rundown London estates makes for a perfect backdrop for the unfolding story which contrasts nicely with some of the ancient buildings and the green fields of London parks. The film looks great and the fact that special effects are used rather sparingly means that they work when they are. Okay the velociraptor faces are a little bit iffy but fleeting views in the shadows mean that is being very picky.

What distinguishes this from most horror (especially recent British horror - a lot of which has been pretty ropey) is that has genuine tenderness. No one in this film is just monster fodder. Everyone gets a chance to grow and develop and everyone matters. There aren't many deaths in this film (compared to most horror) but you care about all of them. You will find yourself conflcited about some of the choices that the hero has to make.

This is an intelligent, well scripted, well acted, beautifully shot and well constructed piece. It feels like it has tried to be too many different things but it succeeds pretty well. There are some very strange choices of style for example the murder of a gay prostitute is pretty much a comedy scene but somehow it all works. There is gore but it is the atmosphere which picks at your nerves. And it really does unnerve the viewer - especially when you wodner what you would do.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Brown in Hell: An original piece of UK cinema., 19 Dec 2010
By 
The Truth "How it is" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Heartless [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I was very impressed with Heartless. Writer & director Phillip Ridley has managed to pull off something to be very proud of. The story is unique and of the moment. It's also exciting, intriguing and very touching too.

It ends with some quite beautiful words of wisdoms that wrap up the film in an unexpected ending M.Night Shamallam would be proud of; and the direction, lighting and cinematography are all well handled, getting the most out of some great sets and locations.

The acting and characters are all very good and very believable, and you become invested in them emotionally. There's also a brilliant appearance by Eddie Marson, who is surely one the UK's top acting talents... If you don't know the name, you'll know his face when you see it.

The musical score is good and adds to the film in all the right places, and the film itself has more than it's fair share of twist and turns; ones that I'm happy to say you don't see coming a mile off.

The CGI is good too, and one thing I'm really pleased about is that this film didn't feel cheap or 'British'. A lot of UK cinema, good as it might be, sometimes feels very 'made for TV', low budget, or film school, but this didn't at all. I think that that is in no small part thanks to Philip Ridley.

This film is perhaps only really worth 4 stars - it had it's flaws and, perhaps, one or two twists too many, but I'm so impressed by what was attempted - and more to the point - what was achieved, that I'm going to give it 5 stars. I'll certainly be talking about it down the pub tonight and look forward to seeing what Phillip Ridley gives us next.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising British film, 22 July 2010
By 
PJ Rankine (Wallington, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heartless [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Although billed in many places as a horror film this is more of a supernatural thriller set in London's East End but this is the East End of tower blocks and derelict sites not cheerful cockneys, and demons lurk in the shadows. A young man with a disfiguring heart shaped birth mark on his face dreams of life as a 'normal' person whilst fleeing from a strange gang of hoodies who appear to be real demons with metal teeth. This is a well produced and directed British movie which shows off life in the East End with warts and all but somehow just didn't quite hit the spot for me. It's one of those movies where the ending leaves the whole film open for interpretation and discussion, I actually thought it was a portrayal of mental illness but I'm equally sure you'll see it in a different light. All the cast give a good performance and the blu-ray transfer is sharp with a good precise soundtrack but little in the way of surround sound. Well worth a watch and reassuring to see that quality British cinema is not a thing of the past.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad as films go!, 9 Mar 2014
By 
Mr. M. K. Johnson (Norwich,England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Heartless [DVD] (DVD)
I purchased this film for my daughter who likes something different, This film has a different taste from the usual suspense films,as You do not know what will happen next-it keeps You on the edge of your seat,if you are not under it,that is!
A real must have for those who want something different.
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5.0 out of 5 stars UNDERATED BRITISH HORROR, 15 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Heartless [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This film is a morality tale and has been told many times in many ways.
What makes this film special is the acting of the central character and the way this character is manipulated from the begining.
It will have you jumping and leave you with a feeling of sadness for a person who never seems to fit in but is truely loved.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Horror, comedy and a great setting, 15 Jan 2013
This review is from: Heartless [DVD] (DVD)
I'm a little biased as I know all the locations very well and live very close by, but was really entertained by this. None of the elements are original, but I feel it was put together very well. I loved that Eddie Marsan was in it, his scene was darkly funny, and then the prostitute scene just funny (very well acted by that young man). The horror elements I think have probably disappointed some horror fans (not scary), they probably are mostly the 1 & 2 * reviews, but the horror element, whilst holding the film together for me was not a huge part of the film. I can see that maybe also up and down in tone did not please some viewers but it didn't bother me.
I saw it with no expectations and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Film, 28 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Heartless [DVD] (DVD)
Good film. Quite possibly overlooked by many.
Had from Lovefilm and really enjoyed, so ordered on here.
Has a good moral too it as well.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Heartless review, 14 Jan 2012
This review is from: Heartless [DVD] (DVD)
A very bizarre film, which takes a knee-jerk halfway through but pulls it together in the end.
Heres my review -
[...]
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1.0 out of 5 stars I feel like I was watching something different to the others..., 13 July 2011
This review is from: Heartless [DVD] (DVD)
Well obviously it's a subjective issue but I really felt like this was a very poor film. The way it was shot was good, and so was the setting but there my praise ends. I felt the acting was corny, like people who had failed an eastenders audition got scooped up for this film. The plot was just like the Chemical Brothers video for galvanise only substitute machines for demons and stretch it out for 2 hours. Really not for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More like this please, 5 Jun 2011
This review is from: Heartless [DVD] (DVD)
If you like intelligent and original horror this film may be for you. If you are interested in characterisation rather than a reliance on special effects this may also be for you. If you like films that are not predictable and challenge, again this may be for you. This is a great film and you have to think a little bit outside the box to get it.

Great acting throughout, I empathised with all the main protagonists (alrmingly this included - up to a point - the "Devil") and woke up the next morning still trying to sort the whole thing out. A real surprise. Called Heartless but ultimately this film had a lot of heart and I found it quite moving. And the icing on the cake - it's British!
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Heartless [Blu-ray]
Heartless [Blu-ray] by Philip Ridley (Blu-ray - 2010)
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