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3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 5 December 2006
ah the never ending idea of getting in established actors to play irish people and adapt an accent that makes me ill never ceases to dull my senses but if the film is decent enough then i can learn to move on,with ordinary decent criminals that notion doesnt apply as the film is a howler from start to finish.

The film had to be altered at the last minute,the original film was centred around real life crime lord martin cahill,but then the film makers heard that a film about him was already being made,(the general) so the script was altered even if a few similarities remain.

The film is devoid of soul and the pace is lazy,i believe there are funny parts in here,they didnt find me,spacey looks uncomfortable here and it is one film that i can almost bet he didnt appear in as his cv is of the highest calibre,not worth your time.
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on 4 February 2001
As a huge Kevin Spacey fan, I felt he had more than served his time in supporting roles and was long overdue a starring role he could get his teeth into. This film isn't it.
The film is a heavily fictionalised account of the life of Dublin gangster Martin Cahill - or "Michael Lynch". The film copies Cahill's lifestyle with Michael living with his wife and her sister and by being a supposedly charismatic gang leader. This is where the film falls down. Spacey's accent and handle on the character are faultless but the script doesn't get out of third gear until about 60 minutes in - the film's third act, in effect. And by then, we've lost all will to care for Lynch, or any of the characters.
In John Boorman's The General, Brendan Gleeson gave a starmaking performance as Martin Cahill in the title role, breathing fire through the bones of the character and leaving us in no uncertain terms as to why people chose to follow him. In the role of Michael Lynch, we find Kevin Spacey undecided about what to do with Gerard Stembridge's muddled script and giving us the public persona of Kevin Spacey. This would be fine if we were watching The Life And Times Of Kevin Spacey, but doesn't work when we need to believe in him as a Dublin gangster, let alone one who is capable of pulling off Ireland's biggest art theft.
Spacey can't make you think of anyone other than Kevin Spacey. If Spacey had been a bit more generous, David Hayman's excellent second-in-command and Peter Mullan's henchman would have more screen time. If director Thaddeus O'Sullivan had really wanted to make an interesting film about Martin Cahill, he should have told the story from their perspective, to see beyond the clichés.
Cahill's life was never going to make an entertaining caper-style thriller. It's too full of contradictions and complexities to be condensed and blended into a Hollywood-style narrative. The scene where Lynch frightens his robbery trial judge into submission by planting a bomb in his daughter's car isn't as shocking as the film needs it to be, because we've been told it's going to happen. Frustratingly, there are several glimpses of what might have been. The art heist itself is a skilfully executed gem, as are the scenes between Spacey and Linda Fiorentino as his wife. But there are not enough of these moments to save the film. By the time the film suddenly realises it's wanted to be a thriller all along, it's left it too late to convince us it has any serious intent in its mind at all.
What lets the film down in particular is one stunningly unconvincing scene on a bridge over the River Liffey, where Lynch and his gang discuss ways of getting rid of the stolen painting in full view of the Gardai! If O'Sullivan and Stembridge intended this as some kind of warped flight of fantasy, to give the film some extra depth, they have made serious errors of judgement. These sequences look embarrassingly out of place and unbalance the film as a whole. Perhaps if there had been more of them, they would have fitted in better, but like this, they make the film look like a series of loosely connected, wish-we-could-be-funny, wish-we-could-be-thrilling mini-films.
The first thirty minutes play as a short film in their own right, before the film decides to bring in "IRA" characters who make the ones in Patriot Games look frighteningly realistic. With Spacey being such a showboat and Stembridge and O'Sullivan so keen to serve up Oirish clichés and hollow truisms, in the end, there's really no saving Ordinary Decent Criminal. The fact that it's such a mess, with its many interesting bits and pieces diluted and faded by the accompanying clichés makes you wonder why no-one thought to question the script, least of all, O'Sullivan and Stembridge.
The extras on this disc give some slight compensation. Helen Baxendale (who plays Lisa, Lynch's sister-in-law/lover) has obviously been to a good interviewing charm school. Working with Kevin Spacey was a prime motivational factor, apparently, and then there's some nice fluffiness about her new baby. There's also a too-short interview with Spacey, who goes on at great length about his reasons for taking the role of Michael Lynch. These, sadly, are actually better than the film.
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on 9 January 2003
As a huge Kevin Spacey fan, and after hearing some good reviews on this film, I just had to buy it!
While this isn't Spacey's finest work he is very good at playing an Irish criminal master-mind (he even pulls off a very good accent!)who is brilliant at fooling the police who are always left looking and feeling very stupid!
This is very funny at times, but it also drags at times. It gets slow in the middle before the really exciting and un-expected ending!
Good stuff!
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on 22 June 2001
To give it some credit ODC is unashamed in setting itself out as a comic strip film, but the yarn element to this story soon recedes as the gut wrenching accents of the non Irish cast take centre stage. For Kevin Spacey read Sean McGinley, for Linda Fiorentino read Dervla Kirwan. I know Kev and Linda are box office, but what's the point when the accents they put to very,very dodgy dialogue is out of the Julia Roberts school of infuriating accents. Back to the plot, and basically we follow lovable ODC Michael Lynch (loosely based on the late Martin Cahill *see the General*) who as well as leading a gang of daring and impressionable friends also falls out with the local IRA ganglords. Rather than try diplomacy, Michael sticks the metaphorical two fingers up at said group and robs a major jewellers from under they're very noses. This put's Michael on borrwoed time, as he attempts to steer clear of the terrorists as well as keep an eye on any Judas members of his own gang.
In the films finale Michael goes up against the IRA whilst on a bank job, and it looks as though he has met his equal and will now meet his maker.
There is a final twist that is neither original cheeky or anything that couldn't have been conceived by a drunk over the toilet bowl on a Friday night at 1am.
I like humour, I like originality, I like crime genre films. I didn't like Ordinary Decent Criminal.
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on 16 July 2013
Kevin is a good actor. This film let him dowm. It glorifies criminals and steriotypes the Irish as stupid. I was hoping the plot would twist into somthing better.
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on 16 December 2000
It's bad this never came over to the state. This film was great with Kevin Spacey. It had all the action and comedy in it. The story was good about Michael Lynch. How he go about robbing bank. Michael was into the review in the paper. How he pull off this robbing. Then the painting robbing was great. Michael wanted to be remember for what he did, more then getting the money for the painting. Michel like to challenges the authority at every turns to tried to catch him. The ending was great, what Michael did to insure his family, would be looked after. I would have to say, this was a very funny and great film. With Spacey in it. It to bad I had to order in from England to finally see it.
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on 12 September 2000
This is the third version of the same story i've seen in the last year. The BBC did a cover, wasn't bad with Ken Stott in the main role, but the definitive has to be the John Boorman version. As for 'Ordinary Decent Criminal' Kevin Spacey normally a great actor didn't pull off the Irish role, no great shame as a good many of the cast didn't quite manage it either.
In short, watch 'the general' instead!
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on 18 December 2015
Brilliant film, ALMOST perfect, hence the 4* (would have been 4.5) rating. VERY similar to another movie "The General" which is an absolute CLASSIC biopic, starring the incredible Brendan Gleeson, who portrays local Northern Irishman, Martin Cahill, a common criminal/local hero "Robin Hood" style.
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on 11 September 2015
A classic example of 'the book is far better than the film!' Kevin Spacey is miscast as a crafty, loveable Irish criminal, and the entire movie suffers as a result. Loads missing from the book and the ending compared with the novel is extremely disappointing. READ THE BOOK! (It's rather good!)
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on 14 January 2004
This film is brilliant, i bought it just because i fancied buying a film and it was cheap and i was glad i did.
Kevin Spacey gives a great performance (as always) in what is a clever and funny film that grabs you right from the start and and drops you off at a great ending.
If it's cheap, buy it, i did.
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