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35 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars powerful, intense film
this is not a film if you are after an easy watch. it is intense and puts your nerves on end in places. brings out all sorts of emotions and is an excellent piece of film making. if you buy it for the Danny factor you may be disappointed as he does not have a huge part.
Published 9 months ago by lisa

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars OK until the end...
This is a movie that makes some fairly bold directoral statements early on. However, I'm not sure those gambits ultimately pay off. For example, fixed distance shots do nicely illustrate group dynamics, and create an increasingly bleak picture, but don't allow sufficient intimacy with the characters to sympathise with their situation.

We're initially...
Published on 14 Mar. 2007 by Seamus Spong


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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing in common with CLOCKWORK ORANGE, 27 Feb. 2008
Like one of its foulmouthed delinquents , this contrived teenage drama has got the swagger down but does not have the smarts to back it up. Its the story of a disaffected youth who ends up bothering car parks with the wrong crowd. Before long he is committing despicable acts of rape.

Suck lazy characterisation is unforegivebale , more so the clumsy attempts at drawing a parallel with Iraq to try and justify the carnage of the cringeworthy final scene. Total garbage.
Avoid.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't deserve one star, 4 Feb. 2008
By 
Mr. Tim Young - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I ruined my Sunday afternoon watching this vile pornography masquerading as post-modernist social realism (or whatever cliché you choose). Not only is it pornographic - in the extreme in the final scenes - it is quite simply a terrible film. No discernible plot, no characterisation, some appalling ham acting (TV food critic and wife). Do you know? I woke up this morning and put the DVD in the bin. I feel tainted by having watched this film, both as film-lover and relatively moral person. This film doesn't even deserve one star.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shame, could've been a contender, 8 Aug. 2011
This review is from: The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael [2010] [DVD] (DVD)
From the reviews here you'd think this film was completely devoid of merit, I don't agree, although I concede it has gaping flaws and is ultimately a failure. On the plus side its really well shot and makes great use of the surrounding locales. The director obviously has some talent and knows how to compose a shot. Should be noted that theres no violence for a good 80 minutes so this is no constant bloodbath.
On the down side the acting is am dram at times, the dialogue poor and characterisation unbelievable. One scene of the drama teacher asking the TV chef to look at his book is haunting in its awfulness. The infamous last 10 minutes is grim but doesn't feel remotely realistic, just shock for shocks sake. The similar scene in Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer showed less but felt worse. As for the decision to intercut war footage and the pretentious quote at the end, oh dear, less said the better. Pity, as this could have been a really good movie if it had kept the vibe of the first hour or so.
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1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, 26 July 2014
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Disgusting film which should have been banned. Shame on those involved in its production. Sick. Do not buy.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious shock-cinema that tries to be relevant, but really it's a "bad film"., 29 Oct. 2007
It's very easy to lose perspective. Even if The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael was a great film rife with rich performances, intelligent ideas and a genuinely revolutionary cinematic design, it would still be a film that shamelessly exploits violence and abuse for the sake of shock value, in an obvious attempt to get people to pay attention. But what are we supposed to be paying attention to?

The film is littered with social realist clichés, from the talented young protégé alienated from his middle-class surroundings, to his eventual descent into drug addiction, crime, rape and ultimately murder, all at the approval of his lower-class chums. If the plot wasn't hackneyed enough we then have the stilted direction, with the film borrowing heavily from the work of filmmakers such as Michael Haneke (Funny Games), Lars von Trier (Dogville) and Gaspar Noé (Irreversible), with those lingering long-takes, overly complicated tracking shots, match-cuts, spliced-in footage of actual war atrocities and much use of brooding classical music. All of this is combined with a drab and lifeless production design that is grey and pallid and only really helps to further bring out the squalid grime of the surroundings of these baseball cap wearing, track-suited stereotypes.

The film hints at the psychological depth and subversive black and white morality of the filmmakers aforementioned but really lacks any such weight or integrity, instead coming across like a Daily Mail article committed to film by Peter Greenaway's retarded younger brother. Certainly it's fine for a filmmaker to take influence from those that came before, as it is with any form of art, but instead of being inspired and influenced by people like Haneke and Noé into creating a thought-provoking and provocative drama, Robert Carmichael's director Thomas Clay has instead learned the lesson that shock sells; so we get the home-invasion theme from Funny Games played out with cynical black humour replacing Haneke's skilful attacks at this kind of film's violence for violence sake; all wrapped up in an awkward attempt justify these actions on the grounds of apathy, and then topped off with the graphic, prolonged rape-scene as central talking point concept lifted from the genuinely thought-provoking (if no less morally dubious) Irreversible.

With almost every conceited plot-device - from the drugs, to the rape, to the life of violence - we see the filmmakers striving to get a reaction out of their audience no matter how far they have to go to contrive the drama or compromise the integrity of their characters. It's less about intelligent filmmaking and more akin to a toddler banging a saucepan with a wooden spoon while shouting "look at me, look at me". You have to ask yourself what you hope to get from this film, because at the most all it offers is a lot of drifting shots of nicely lit locations, two-dimensional characters swearing and being angst-ridden with each other and the lurid and offensive notion that the rape sequence is the film's "unique selling point".

Many who appreciate the film like to read into it as a critique on the war in Iraq, which is an interesting idea but one that I feel gives the filmmakers far too much credit. Regardless of how many atrocities are committed in war, or even on our streets and behind closed doors, to document the graphic gang-rape and abuse of a helpless couple in their own home is irresponsible. As with violence, scenes of sex and indeed, rape, are never entirely relevant to the story at a hand, but are rather, stylistic devices that a director exploits for various dramatic reasons; be it for the sake of accuracy or to make a point. What we have with Robert Carmichael is a film that uses rape for the sake of having a controversial talking point. If the rape was central to the story, then Clay could have pulled away and cut to another scene and still conveyed the weight of dramatic tension through the subtext of the writing and the performances of his actors. Understandably realising that his script was weak and his actors were weaker (you know you're in trouble when the aptly named Danny Dyer gives one of the strongest performances in the film) Clay resorts to a lengthy fixed-camera affair, in which a bound husband has to watch his wife violated by a group of leering yobs.

So, what real reason is there to watch this film? Nice cinematography? I suppose so. I guess it also taps into the recent demonising of any young lad wearing a baseball cap, with the film probably making perfect conversation fodder for middle-class dinner parties, but really - in terms of telling an interesting, stimulating and thought-provoking story - I'm afraid to say, it falls flat.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish!!!, 14 Nov. 2007
By 
Philip Collinson "phil_collinson" (South Shields) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ok, so here I am, reviewing 'The 'Great' Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael.' This . . . film, has to be the worst one to ever come out of Britain, which is such a shame because I love new British movies, especially by new/young directors. But THIS, what was this? There was NO meaningful dialogue and absolutely NO characterization or plot. The fact that the only scene I can remember is the last one (a brutal gang rape of a woman in front of her husband which is shown in the most violent and horrific detail I have ever seen) shows what an appalling movie this really was.

Oh and there are many people who are talking about "art" and asking us to "look within the film to see its true messgage." I did...it was still rubbish. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 25 Sept. 2014
Works fine and item received with no damage. Delivered on time too :)
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars pretentious attempt to shock and impress, 7 Feb. 2007
what a disapointing dull little film this is. I was very interested to see it after the furore it caused and my overiding feeling is that thefilmmakers were out of their depth. There are so many character non-sequitors, jumps in assumption and simple bad story telling that it is difficult to take this film seriously. The cinematography is sometimes lovely, often striking, the use of music is full of cliche but effective.

The ending is inept, not so much shocking as witless and cruel. Save your money; there are many more interesting debut films around.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not that good i'm afraid..........., 2 Dec. 2010
This review is from: The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael [2010] [DVD] (DVD)
Dissapointed with this movie, i was expecting more- the trailer is better than the film. Danny plays his usual 'ned/chav' character and was ok but the movie was dire. Sound is pretty poor through home cinema kit as well. Going to sell this dvd or give it as a gift at christmas. Its no 'footbal factory' or 'human traffic' standard.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible!, 22 Sept. 2008
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One to avoid.This is someone trying to outdo Clockwork Orange and it does not even come close.There are no good points to say about this film,the best thing is when it ends.
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The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael [2010] [DVD]
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