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4.1 out of 5 stars
24
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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After passing on The Full Monty in favour of Brassed Off, the now all-but defunct Film Four were quick to throw money at Peter Cattaneo's next comedy and confidently launched a huge marketing campaign for Lucky Break secure in the knowledge that they had the big local hit of the year. Subsequent excuses for the film's disastrous performance at the box-office varied from good weather putting people off going to the cinema to the revelation that the screenwriter had done time for IRA offences (subsequently overturned, but still about as endearing to the British public as Al Qaeda are to Americans). For some reason no-one mentioned the fact that it's not any good. At all.

A grab-bag of second-hand ideas from Two-Way Stretch, The Tall Guy and others, it's a laugh-free zone that goes out of its way to avoid surprises while failing to ever find its own tone, nodding to half-baked attempts realism and wildly underdeveloped comedy without ever committing to either. Even the tried-and-trusted routines don't work here: Bill Nighy is just irritating as he tries to splutter some life into unfunny dialogue while Timothy Spall does his dishevelled hamster shtick yet again, while the amateur musical used as a backdrop for the planned prison break seems simply amateurish and unfunny. Quite dreadful.
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on 28 April 2009
This was a great film. I had never heard of it, and caught it on late TV one evening. James Nesbitt does a great job, Bill Nighy hams it up dreadfully for England and enjoys himself enormously, the backdrop of the musical preparation, as cover for the prison break, is so silly yet completely entertaining. The main chorus for the musical is awful but hilarious, in a "the office" sort of way. Timothy Spall is slightly typecast but touching. The only weak spot, if any, is the romance, which is not credible, I guess its the way to get the main character to do the right thing. Highly recommended.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 October 2012
I love Bill Nighy as an Actor I have yet to see a film he is in that I havent enjoyed and this was no exception. I wont give too much away but basically James Nesbitt, Nighy and Timothy Spall amongst others are inmates at a high security prison and as we know now prisoners are not punished but rehabilitated and this job falls to Olivia Williams as the prison phycologist. The inmates perform a musical about Lord Nelson written by the prison governor and lead roles in this are Nesbitt and Williams. The musical is in fact a foil for an escape plan. Very funny and very sad too in one instance I enjoyed it and so did my family easy plot to follow feel good movie.
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on 11 February 2008
It's an okay for a rainy Saturday afternoon when nothing else is on type film. It's inoffensive.

There is one thing going for it though. If you're a fan of Julian Barratt, and even if you're not, this is a great find. He is the best thing in this film. He cracks me up. The 2 stars I've given it are both for him.
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on 1 May 2010
Lucky Break is one of the best prison films I have ever seen, and has humour and good scripts. The film features a very good cast of actors including James Nesbitt, Bill Nighy and Timothy Spall. Highly recommended if you like prison films like this one.
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on 13 November 2007
Small-time crook Jimmy Hands fears his luck may have run out. After a botched bank robbery, Jimmy finds himself in prison. But his fortune turns when the warden asks Jimmy to recruit prisoners to act in a musical he's written and plans to stage. Realizing this offers the possibility of a perfect escape route, Jimmy and his cast run the risk of being caught in both the stage's spotlights and the prison's searchlights. It is worth borrowing from your library as I did. It was fun to watch.
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on 25 November 2009
Excellent movie ! very good script ! great performances !
You will have about two hours of laughter !
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on 23 November 2010
i found this as i am a julian barratt fan and decided to take a gamble, it's alright although it's totally predictable and somewhat boring. I didn't find it that funny but it's watchable, especially on those sunday afternoons when you just want to stick a film on and eat.
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on 21 November 2016
This is a good little feelgood film and gives a couple of hours entertainment away from reality TV or soaps. Some faces very well known now in their younger days.. Enjoyable, easy viewing. with a few pithy bits to give it a little substance.
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on 13 July 2015
Bought this for Bill Nighy's involvement but James Nesbitt is the male lead and does steal the show (no pun intended). Story of a prison break with a predictable twist, it was a night's entertainment but didn't keep me in my seat.
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