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Keira Knightley, Colin Farrell, Ben Chaplin, Ray Winstone, Anna Friel ... see more see more... , David Thewlis , Eddie Marsan , Sanjeev Bhaskar , Stephen Graham , Ophelia Lovibond , Alan Williams

The directorial debut of William Monahan, the screenwriter of The Departed, London Boulevard follows an ex-con trying to make a fresh start in a relationship with a reclusive actress. A sexy, stylish ... read more read more...gangster thriller bristling with wit and brutal intrigue, London Boulevard stars Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley as star-crossed lovers who run afoul of one of London's most vicious crime bosses. -- (C) IFC

Flixster Users

30% liked it

11,146 ratings


33% liked it

42 critics

R, 1 hr. 33 min.

Directed by: William Monahan

Release Date: November 11, 2011

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DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012

Stats: 950 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (950)

  • May 10, 2013
    The most lethargic Gangster film ever made. Contrary to the inclusion of Sanjeev Bhaskar and Ben Chaplin and Anna Friel's performances, it's not a comedy either. It's long, boring, not frightening when it's supposed to be neither thrilling when it should be. Ray Winstone plays t... read morehe least scary bad guy ever and Colin Farrell the least convincing Gangster ever, let alone a Cockney one. Then you have David Thewlis and Eddie Marsan doing not very much at all, I can only assume they were hired because they are popular right now and have loyal fans - it's the only reason I watched anyway. Forgettable to the point where I've forgotten what film it is I'm reviewing.
  • June 4, 2012
    Geez, not only is this movie incomprehensible, but it's not worth comprehending. It is boring me out of my skull at 48 minutes in. But then it's Colin Farrell AND Keira Knightley -- with the affected "e" before the "y." So, in fact, only an idiot would rent this -- which must ... read morebe me.
  • May 3, 2012
    I genuinly did not understand this movie!
    It was the most confused and poorly written script that just lacked everything! You have some of the best names in the business and the reason as to why they would participate in such a poorly written and directed movie is beyond me! Woul... read morednt waste my time watching!
  • April 18, 2012
    Oscar winning screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed) decides to take a spin in the director's chair, and the result is London Boulevard, a slick and stylish British crime thriller (with a fair amount of humor) about a recently paroled convict named Mitchel who tries to go st... read moreraight. The only honest living he can find for himself is working as a bodyguard and handyman for a recluaive actress and painter named Charlotte...whom he also begins a romance with. Things start off well enough for him, but the pressures of both his wild friend Billy and the offers of a top mob figure named Gant make it really hard for Mitchel to settle down.

    Taking cues from a few other directors, namely Scorsese, Monahan delivers up a fun and entertaining little film filled with common elements from criem cinema, such as witty banter, cool cinematography and editing, and some fantastic needle drops. It's a fun and well meaning film, just not all that original. As a first time director, he does well enough I suppose, but overall there's nothing all that distinguishable about this film.

    The cast are fine, and they give some decent performances, though there's not much chemistry between Farrell and Knightley. David Thewlis steals the show as Charlotte's handler Jordan, and he's probably the best part of the film. Clearly he should have been the focus. Ray Winstone of course is awesome and menacing, and he helps the film, but it's too bad the script is kinda muddled and doesn't add up to much.

    I'm a sucker for cool music and camera work and that sort of thing, and even though that stuff works decently here, it's not enough for me to bump this up a notch, even though the younger less cinematically educated me would have given this a really high score. All in all, an okay film, but not what it could be.
  • March 23, 2012
    Comes to rescue when there's nothing much around. Not a great one, but doesn't bore either. Predictability shouldn't be an issue. Fine for TP.
  • March 17, 2012
    Cast: Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, David Thewlis, Anna Friel, Ben Chaplin, Ray Winstone, Eddie Marsan, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Stephen Graham, Ophelia Lovibond, Alan Williams, Jamie Blackley, Gregory Foreman

    Director: William Monahan

    Summary: Golden Globe winner Colin Farrell (In ... read moreBruges) stars in this gritty crime drama as Mitchell, a recently paroled ex-con whose attempt at straight life includes taking a job as a handyman for a reclusive young starlet (Keira Knightley). Based on author Ken Bruen's critically acclaimed novel, this adaptation marks the directorial debut of Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed).

    My Thoughts: "I enjoyed seeing Colin and Keira on screen together, I just wish there was more of them together in the film cause what we got was a bit of a bore of a relationship. If that is what you would call it. Watching the film I kept expecting it to get better, but it just stays at being OK. The acting, the script, it was all well done, but being a gangster film I wanted to see more of that gritty bloody action. I wanted to see Mitchel and Charlotte on the run kicking ass. It didn't really go that way obviously, but that is what the film does, makes you want more then what it is giving you. The cast is fantastic. I loved Anna Friel as Briony, I thought she was a riot. David Thewlis as Jordan was great as well. I enjoy the odd quirky characters. On the plus the film does keep on a steady flow and doesn't get boring. The ending was unexpected, but no surprise coming from the director of 'The Departed'. Good not great.
  • March 12, 2012
    Subtitles are a must here. Visually fantastic "gangster" film with a really good story, and great soundtrack....and though the ending was surprising, it wasn't unexpected - especially when you realize it was written by the guy who wrote 'The Departed". Colin Farrell is aging well... read more, and his acting outshines his good looks. Surrounding cast is outstanding, also. I sometimes wonder why some reallty good films get such low ratings here. I am VERY glad that I ignored them this time.
  • February 25, 2012
    "That's why nobody wants me to be a gangster. Because I could not stop if I started."

    I mainly wanted to see London Boulevard because of the pairing of Keira Knightley and Colin Farrell, and that part of the movie certainly didn't disappoint me. This is definitely Farrel's film,... read more and he carries it well. Knightley is much more a side character, despite her prominent place in the posters and advertisements. And while she's good in her part, Farrell is what makes this interesting. The guy is absolutely ferocious in this movie, and any fans of his will be pleased.

    The story of a man, fresh off of time in the prison, struggling not to be drawn into the violent criminal world that everyone around him seems to think he belongs in, is an average one. It feels a bit haphazard at times, which seems due to the way the plot continued to change as the film was being made. It progresses in leaps and fits and starts, without ever really establishing a steady flow. The scenes with Knightley and Farrell together seem from a completely different flick than the scenes with Farrell in his violent criminal element, due to the drastic differences in tone between the two. That's not a flaw in itself, but it highlights how piecemeal the whole film can feel at times.

    What makes London Boulevard a memorable movie despite its issues is the characters. Beyond Farrell and Knightley's hounded actress, Anna Friel, David Thewlis, and Ray Winstone each help carry the story along with interesting roles that they play just perfectly.

    I recommend London Boulevard if you're a fan of anyone involved, but don't expect a traditional English gangster flick. Or a perfect one.
  • February 21, 2012
    Colin Farrell is an exceptional actor and he is very good here but he is defeated by a confusing script and dull direction. He and Keira share little chemistry but again that could be the fault of the script. The best part of the whole picture is the soundtrack which is full of g... read morereat songs including A Heart Full of Soul which is used effectively at several intervals in the picture.
  • February 20, 2012
    It`s the coolest crime movie of the year. It`s totally awesome. An edgy, stylish, fun and frequently entertaining crime-thriller. It`s filled with crisp dialouge, a great soundtrack and fantastic performances from the all-star cast. A great movie. Director, William Monahan crafts... read more a great and cool film thats mixed with style, humor and great character development. A wickedly funny and hard-boiled thrill to watch. Keria Knightley is marvelous, she has improved so much as an actress with her performance here and in A Dangerous Method. Colin Farrell is outstanding, he shines with movie star calibur and never disapoints. Ray Winstone is magnificent, he is always a force to be reckoned with and gives another brilliant performance. Farrell and Winstone make formidable opponents and have great chemistry together. Farrell and Knightley have also great romantic chemistry that sizzles. An explosive crime film in the tradition of Sexy Beast and Layer Cake.

Critic Reviews

Moira MacDonald
November 22, 2011
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

A stylish if familiar tale of a man hopelessly entangled in his past. Full Review

Stephen Whitty
November 11, 2011
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

A movie is more than dialogue and a soundtrack. And direction is a lot more than making sure all your favorite parts of your own script make it to the screen intact. Full Review

Betsy Sharkey
November 11, 2011
Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

In trying to take a bite out of crime and another out of fame, [Monahan has] ended up with more than he can chew for his first time in the director's chair. Full Review

Kyle Smith
November 11, 2011
Kyle Smith, New York Post

Monahan's trademark tart dialogue is as strong as ever, and Farrell and Winstone make for a formidable pair of opponents. Full Review

Stephen Holden
November 10, 2011
Stephen Holden, New York Times

There is too much to be absorbed in too little time and not enough tissue connecting abbreviated, sometimes unnecessary subplots. Full Review

Joe Neumaier
November 10, 2011
Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News

Had the film stood still more often, its stylish gambit would have worked better. Full Review

Alison Willmore
November 10, 2011
Alison Willmore, AV Club

A great cast and an intriguing premise are crowded out by a surplus of plot threads that don't have space to play out, and accordingly come across as clichés. Full Review

David Fear
November 8, 2011
David Fear, Time Out New York

Close this street down. Full Review

Michael Atkinson
November 8, 2011
Michael Atkinson, Village Voice

Monahan's debut has verve and charisma, but, in the end, the tension of a late-night pub shrug. Full Review

Leslie Felperin
November 30, 2010
Leslie Felperin, Variety

London Boulevard is like a fancy, retro-styled pocket watch that someone accidentally broke and tried to reassemble with only a vague idea of clockwork. Full Review

Critic ratings and reviews powered by

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    • Dr. Raju: I would like to see your sister Mitchell with your permission.
    • Mitchel: Sanjay, it's a free country!
    • Mitchel: You don't want me to be a gangster. Nobody want's me to be a gangster, 'cause I could not stop if I started.
    • Mitchel: You'd be the first to die.
    • Charlotte: If I fell in love with you, what would you do about it?
    • Mitchel: Everything.

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