Customer Reviews


80 Reviews
5 star:
 (26)
4 star:
 (17)
3 star:
 (16)
2 star:
 (8)
1 star:
 (13)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
It is a real pity the movie didn't match the story in the book, poor casting by the director as I'd have had Anna Friel playing the ageing thespian as opposed to Keira Knightly playing a movie star that is only famous for shedding her clothing at the drop of a hat
Published 20 months ago by smokywoods

versus
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A solid yet uninspired tale of the London underworld
Mitchell (Colin Farell) has just been released from prison. The one thing he has realised is that he never wants to go back, so when 'old friends' offer him work at his release party he is reluctant to accept. Meanwhile, young starlet Charlotte (Keira Knightley) needs someone a bit 'handy' around her property to keep out the hounding paparazzi and hires Mitchell to mind...
Published on 21 Mar. 2011 by J. Morris


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A solid yet uninspired tale of the London underworld, 21 Mar. 2011
By 
J. Morris "Josh" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: London Boulevard [DVD] (DVD)
Mitchell (Colin Farell) has just been released from prison. The one thing he has realised is that he never wants to go back, so when 'old friends' offer him work at his release party he is reluctant to accept. Meanwhile, young starlet Charlotte (Keira Knightley) needs someone a bit 'handy' around her property to keep out the hounding paparazzi and hires Mitchell to mind the fences. Mitchell's attempt to go straight is thrown off track when his past catches up to him and places his new employer in peril, will he manage to shake off his reputation and begin afresh with Charlotte?

London Boulevard is a sinuous London Gangster-movie with an all-star cast. Ray Winstone (The Departed) plays the sharp-suited and even sharper-tongued mob-boss with great aplomb. The stunning Anna Friel plays Mitchell's alcoholic sister with panache whilst David Thelwiss (Mr Nice) plays Charlotte's agoraphobic pot-smoking house-sitting personal aid Jordan with true flair, carrying most scenes he is in with his thespian-dramatic mannerisms. There are even familiar names in the smaller parts too: Eddie Marsan (The Disappearance of Alice Creed) plays a crooked cop and Matt King (Rocknrolla) is part of the mobsters inner circle. It's well directed by William Monahan with most of the metropolitan vistas featuring a billboard of Charlotte in a Warholesque print really bringing a theme of continuity to the film as Mitchell falls for her.

Where London Boulevard falls down is that it's extremely difficult to connect to any of the characters; Mitchell's past stays an allusion, Charlotte is distant and on screen for all of 6 minutes, we have no idea why Mitchell has this great compassion for the big-issue seller he visits, it all just feels a bit two-dimensional. Whilst you might not see the ending coming, the journey there is just tenuous in places; the plot is flimsy and it's upsetting to see so much on-screen talent wasted on a poor script. Farrell's performance is stoic and unmoving, Knightley plays herself pretty much and only Thewliss and Winstone stand out for any commendations.

Extra content: The theatrical trailer is included on the disc, along with some cast & crew interviews - nothing unique, but interesting nonetheless.

In conclusion, a stellar cast, well shot with a great soundtrack but just doesn't deliver on the story front. Definitely worth a watch, but it doesn't quite measure up to expectations.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promised so much, failed to deliver, 14 Aug. 2012
By 
Carty "Mister Wheezy" (Wolverhampton, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: London Boulevard [DVD] (DVD)
David Thelwiss is superb as Charlotte's personal aid, and Ray Winstone does what comes naturally as the rackateer boss, although the increasing use of that particular swearword is unecessary. Having read the other reviews, I think Anna Friel is overrated, but Farrell and Knightley are both dreadful. Farrell is wooden throughout and doesn't look remotely convincing when showing any resemblance of menace. Knightley just mumbles her way through the film and offers nothing. Despite the ending which leaves me more short-changed from a film than I can remember, and is a clear Layer Cake rip-off. The plot offers massive potential, unlike other British gangster films like Layer Cake and Lock Stock, which are best taken at face value, but leaves so much undeveloped that is falls into an exercise in style over substance. Could have been better if the casting had been properly though out and didn't rely on using big names to get the revenue back in.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a disappointing effort., 13 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: London Boulevard [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I am a huge Ray Winstone fan but he has really disappointed me in this film, his character was just so unbelievable and his henchmen were something from an old style comic book.

Not much of a story, there was no chemistry between the two leading actors and the ending was just pathetic (it was if the writers had lost interest and had decided to finish the film pronto).

The only highlight for me was the use of the Yardbird's classic "Heart full of Soul" on the soundtrack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 2 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: London Boulevard (DVD)
It is a real pity the movie didn't match the story in the book, poor casting by the director as I'd have had Anna Friel playing the ageing thespian as opposed to Keira Knightly playing a movie star that is only famous for shedding her clothing at the drop of a hat
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Sytlish and satifying., 2 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: London Boulevard [DVD] (DVD)
Hassle free transaction - no spoilers - just comment on the film.

Didn't really know what to expect with this one - I tend not to read too much about films before seeing them for fear of spoiling my entertainment. It nicely balanced a retro fell with contemporary relevance,

there wasn't much I didn't like about the film.
Knightly was a let down again. I've yet to see her anything where I truly think 'that performance was brilliant'. To be fair the performance here was ok but I think largely helped by the excellent scripting, directing and surrounding cast. she didn't engage my sympathy, she wasn't alluring enough, she didn't really DO anything. Admittedly, her functions were to provide motivation and hope for Farell and to perhaps revel the truisms of life at the end. Ironically the one character that is supposed to be the object of our sympathies hardly even registered on my radar. A shame really as I'd like to see more of her and have her turn in just one star status justifying performance. Or at least do a convincing love scene.
Farrel, who I always have worries about confounded me yet again - the anti knightly if you will - in that every time I see him in a film he is better than I expect. here he could be suave, violent, sensitive, low key intelligent and soulful - but always a presence and the sense of caged power. I could easily see him as a convincing Bond.(one for the future perhaps? )
David Thewlis also gave an excellent performance. subtlety, whimsy whit pathos and liekability all emanated from this character and Thewlis did it brilliantly. Initially I didn't like the character but it just worked and grew before your very eyes.
Winstone is rapidly becoming one of those actors who is always himself 'appearing' in a film 'in the role of...' . to say he typecast is like saying I think the Sun will rise tomorrow. I don't know what he is like as a person but here the character is more of a caricature, but serve the purposes well. Menace was only a wrong word away.
Chaplin is a fine-ish actor and I Think his character was meant to be irritating. He did it well.
Friel was - as most of the performances I've seen form her - excellent. her part could have had slightly more filling out but what there was was well done easy, on the eye and left you wanting more. in one scene - you'll know it when you see it - what you don't see has much more impact than what you do.
The rest of the cast was well thought out and blended well.

The overall product was entertaining, intelligent, stylish and very pleasing. I always have problems with the ends of films. I either want happy endings or realistic endings. Often what you get is an 'oh.... is that it then?'' Here the ending was in keeping with the film and I think the overriding point of the film was 'Cuz that's what life is'.

ACID TEST: would I buy/watch again, or recommend? YES
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Better than I was expecting, given other reviews, 7 Jan. 2014
By 
Terrahurtz (Kidlington, Oxon) - See all my reviews
This review is from: London Boulevard [DVD] (DVD)
This is a solid - if not life changing - gangster flick, stylishly directed and well acted for the most part. Despite the warning on the box, I didn't notice any particularly objectionable language or violence and surprised it warranted an 18.
It has in Keira Knightley and Anna Friel two of the most beautiful actresses to grace our screens in the last 10-15 years. Friel doesn't have that much to do beyond strut around looking sexy. It's something she does very well, but it's a role that could have been done by(say) Kelly Brook or any other 'model' turned aspiring actress and an odd role for an established and experienced actress now in her mid-30s to take. Anyway, I enjoyed looking at her and she smoulders charismatically. Whilst Knightley is undeniably beautiful, she lacks on screen charisma and I am yet to be convinced that she is a great actress.
Most of the men are OK, although I can't believe I'm the only person to find it difficult to take Sanjay from the kumars seriously in a proper acting role. Winstone is good, although fans have seen him do this sort of role many times before.
warning - plot alert - the screenwriters decided they wanted to kill off nearly everyone in the last few minutes of the film. Even the resting actor who lives with Knightley seems to be contemplating - and possibly committing - suicide as the final credits roll, but I really can't see why. Maybe someone reading this can enlighten me.
Anyway, not bad at all, doesn't outstay its welcome at around 90 minutes and Anna Friel is in it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Ken Bruen's book is better...more wit...less noir..., 30 Dec. 2012
By 
janebbooks (Jacksonville, FL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: London Boulevard [DVD] (DVD)
At the time I read the book London Boulevard by Ken Bruen, it was being filmed in Great Britain by William Monaghan, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "The Departed," who was making his directorial debut. (Monaghan also writes the screenplay for this British film.) LONDON BOULEVARD was not widely shown in American movie houses: it took me a while to find the dvd. I wish I had just re-read the book.

The story parodies the 1950 movie by Billy Wilder called "Sunset Boulevard" by changing cities. In London, an ex-con leaves prison, doesn't want to return, and finds employment as a handyman with a reclusive actress who lives grandly in a large home. Her only servant is a butler. The ex-con soon shares gifts and other favors from his beautiful employer.

The film is well cast. Colin Farrell plays the lead role of the ex-con and Kiera Knightley the beautiful, but reclusive young actress. Beautiful people with not much chemistry...in the movie: Mitch spends his time shooing away the paparazzi. Anna Friel plays Mitchell's sister Briony. In the book she is slightly mad, a confirmed shoplifter, often forgetting her husband is dead. She arrives at Mitch's Welcome Home party "looking like a radiant bag lady" and apologizes for Frank's absence. In the film she is love-crazed and well-dressed...just another ditzy gal. David Thewlis plays an effete butler. He wears wrinkled hippy-like clothes, rarely shaves and has long straggly hair. Wonderful wit but not a bit like the proper and tuxedoed Max Von-something in "Sunset Boulevard." Thewlis plays a careless protector who mainly sits at a kitchen table smoking funny cigarettes and talking about his career as an actor. Ray Winstone has the plum role of the vicious crime boss Mr. Gant. He constantly growls with murderous intent in the film. In the book a well-dressed Gant invites the well-dressed Mitch to a posh restaurant in Covent Garden to help him organize his debt collections and to steal Lillian's Silver Ghost Rolls-Royce.

Although the funeral of Joe, Mitch's favorite newspaper seller, is somber here...it's out of control in the book. The only mourners, Mitch throws a copy of "Big Issue" on the lowering coffin and Briony invites a street musician dressed in kilts to play the bagpipes.

Monahan would have done well to let Ken Bruen write the screenplay. Bruen's characters are funny and quirky. And he saves the violence for the end of the story.

I should have watched the dvd with subtitles...did I miss the Bruen wit? And don't blink: you'll miss the fancy vintage cars...and the love scenes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, if not taken seriously...., 12 Nov. 2012
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: London Boulevard [DVD] (DVD)
This is my second viewing of this often maligned take on the modern London gangster scene and the fact that it's quite shambolic and non-sensical is both its charm - and its downfall.

Many of the characters are pretty stereotypical and many really quite outlandishly so but these are played by some great Brit acting talent who are a joy to watch anyway, notably Anna Friel as the emotionally (not to mention mentally) unstable sister to main man Colin Farrell and David Thewlis, a RADA thespian who's now discovered pot.

Ray Winstone is playing totally to type, as the Don, or main gangster or whatever they're called these days but even this is done joyfully and almost endearingly. He's more wicked Uncle than bruiser, though those who receive his knuckle and wrath probably wouldn't say that! Farrell himself is OK, understated, which is quite a good thing and then there's loads of other familiar faces popping up, rather like the joke papparrazzi stalking Knightley, like Meerkat, on the horizon. These include Eddie Marsden as a really badly dressed, crooked cop and Sanjeev Baskar as a hospital doc who gets his way with Friel (yes, I said not to take it seriously!)

There is a story in there somewhere but it's easy to lose thread of that and does it matter, anyway? - it's not particularly credible in any case.

As others have said, the soundtrack is a real bonus, almost a Tarantino style jukebox of (mostly) classic 60's golden hits, which nod affectionately to a gone-by, swinging better London. Indeed, there are many directorial threads that, to me, seem to nod to Lock, Stock & some Tarantino's, though, before you get all excited, these are really only skin deep and London Boulevard never reaches the standard of those, by quite a way.

The disappointment for me and I'm sure for many, is Keira Knightley. For someone who is supposed to be a naughty film-star, caught in other people's beds by the Paps just a little too often and now in hiding, her character is just plain. Yes, boring, uncharismatic and even rather unattractive, physically, which we all know Keira is not. And so, the 'romance' between Farrell and her is tepid and a waste of time, really. The other pitfall is having too many other characters, whose relevance we forget or are simply too irrelevant to have any real purpose. These do not add interest, just create confusion.

The bottom line is this - there have been SO many attempts at re-visiting Lock Stock territory and its cash-generating capabilities, that a whole load of really dreadful "movies" have come out, all citing to be the new, 'the' best and utterly original London gangster portrayals and most funded by the National Lottery. And, frankly, they're not.

London Boulevard fails on quite a number of levels but it does have many that it does do quite well and enjoyably, including not taking itself too seriously and so I would say give this one a chance. Yes, four stars are TOO generous but I like it and three is too little, so 3.5
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Where the streets have no name..., 5 Nov. 2011
This review is from: London Boulevard [DVD] (DVD)
...as in America- this British film noir has the tell-tale footprint of an American director ,(who doesn't have the necessary sympatico of the streets of London), from directorial newcomer and screenplay Academy Award winner, William Monahan.
The accolades he brings to the set are from his handy-work from the iconic Scorsese film The Departed and it becomes quite evident that Monahan tried to mimmick Scorsese's panache using staccato editing with a contrasting up-beat rock and roll score.
However, he fails miserably with a transparent screenplay and two-dimensional characterizations.Farrell is focused here and has matured into an interesting thespian and manages to keep the audience intrigued, though the plot is convoluted and empty. Monahan had an absolutely riveting cast- desperate to tell a tale; the versatile and marvelous Anna Friel,who is Farrells convincing fringe alcoholic sister, albeit too brief a narrative; Winstone , who could have been much more menacing here, comes across as a frustrated sexual deviant with too much money and guns; David Thewlis's character was believably played, although Keira Knightly always seems too self-conscious of the camera, emitting tepid chemistry with the edgey Farrell.
Although rated 18, this film fails to satsify this very adult certificate; hence the dodgy reception.Where the audience felt the mounting fear of Winstones wrath,visually the momentum is lost, by very bad direction and editing- the audience isn't granted the climax- therefore supremely unsatisfying. It's not that the audience is expecting blood-lust ,but Monahan is too quick to deliver the outcome, he doesn't sustain the fear.- Worth a watch for some good performances, but be prepared for the let-down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a bit odd with a crappy ending, 17 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: London Boulevard [DVD] (DVD)
The film is about a guy who gets out of prison and tries very hard not to get sucked back into his criminal lifestyle despite the fact that everyone he knows is invloved in crime. He meets a film star whos is too scared to go out. This is where the film gets a bit weird and loses the plot. The end is abrupt and disconnected with the rest of the film and left me with a cheated feeling. Even though I own the DVD i dont think I'll ever watch it again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

London Boulevard [Blu-ray]
London Boulevard [Blu-ray] by Keira Knightley (Blu-ray - 2011)
£2.68
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews