44 Inch Chest
(R, 1:34:42, Released 2009)
|Genres:||Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy|
|Release Date:||Jan 29, 2010|
|DVD Release Date:||Apr 20, 2010|
|Starring:||Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, Stephen Dillane, Melvil Poupaud, Joanne Whalley, Steven Berkoff, Edna Dore, Andy de la Tour|
|Directed by:||Malcolm Venville|
|Synopsis:||Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, Stephen Dillane, and Joanne Whalley star in first-time feature filmmaker Malcolm Venville's darkly comic tale of a man who rallies his friends in order to seek revenge against the French waiter who recently slept with his wife. Sexy Beast scribes Louis Mellis and David Scinto pen the screenplay for a film produced by Richard Brown and Steve Golin. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi|
|Full movie details|
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Other Top Reviews
August 9, 2012
Fantastic cast, acted well by some of the greatest Actors of our time , A superb British cast and i found the language to be highly amusing and found John Hurt to be refreshing as i have never seen a character like that from him! That said i cant have any positive comment regarding the film, you hope so much that its going somewhere and that this couldnt possibly be the sole engine of the movie, unfortunately it was it and your left disappointed and wanting the hour and a half of your life back! Great cast, shame about the storyline!
July 19, 2012
Remember the British gangster film "Sexy Beast" released in 2000? You know? The one where "Gandhi" goes ape shit? Well, this film brings some of the cast and crew back together again. Unfortunately, it seems that Ben Kingsley wasn't taking 'yes' for an answer this time and isn't involved. It does, however, have actors Ray Winstone and Ian McShane again, as well as screenwriters Louis Mellis and David Scinto. Now, this may not have gained the same acclimations as it's predecessor but this is still an undeniably powerful film in it own right.
When his wife (Joanne Whalley) says she's leaving him for another man, Colin Diamond (Ray Winstone) refuses to take it. He enlists the help of his criminal friends Meredith (Ian McShane), Peanut (John Hurt), Archie (Tom Wilkinson) and Mal (Stephen Dillane) in abducting her lover (Melvil Poupaud). They take him back to an old flat and keep him in a wardrobe, while deciding on how to take revenge.
Where "Sexy Beast" had it's English lowlife criminals sunning it up in the villas of Spain. This film has them on their own turf. It's back to the grit and grime of dear ol' 'Landan' where Winstone gets to be 'the Daddy' again. This is no bad thing though as it's what Winstone does best. And... he's not alone. He's joined by an excellent cast of familiar British actors - who all get their turn at spouting some vitriol. It's the performers that's the best thing about this and having such choice actors as Hurt, Wilkinson, McShane, and the very underrated Dillane all backing up the lead, is a thing of dramatic gold. The performances are uniformly superb and it's an added bonus that they don't go anywhere. This is a moody and intense chamber piece that has all of the actors sharing the same limited space for almost the entire film, making it more akin to a stage-play. There is a brooding intensity to it that only benefits from the actors' terrifying and multilayered performances. On the surface, the characters have such a ferocity that they resemble a pack of rabid dogs but there are undercurrents of repression and weakness, at times making them about as threatening as a poodle. It's this very attention to characterisation that keeps this film going. It's also wonderfully shot in a sepia hue that adds a stark and bleak environment to the match the material. It may be too grim and misogynist for some tastes but there's no denying it's vehement and vigorous approach.
I greatly enjoyed "Sexy Beast" but it is wholly unfair that this film was compared and ultimately overshadowed by it. This is an impressive, moody and claustrophobic chamber piece with an ensemble that deliver with all the force they can muster.
February 10, 2012
44 Inch Chest may have tried to take top position for the biggest amount of profanity in a film, which I'm sure makes up probably half the dialogue, not that I'm opposed to language of any kind if it works for the film, but does get a bit silly. On one hand you have a bunch of Actors who have in the past provided us with some great performances, but the storyline is weak and you seem to be hoping all the way through that something more exciting will occur, it never does.
January 12, 2012
You Brits can make some dicked up movies. 1 Stars Whats even more dicked up is I spent 1 hour 34 minutes watching it
January 10, 2012
When an East End villain's wife leaves him for another man, he and his crew of old lags kidnap her new beau and leave him to stew in his own fear while they decide on the appropriate punishment. 44 Inch Chest is a rather unusual affair in that although its subject matter is that of the typical cockney gangster, it's a very wordy, character driven affair in which very little actually happens. It's essentially about a man whose self image is rooted in bare fisted, testosterone fuelled machismo coming to terms with rejection and loss. The story nearly in its entirety is set in the same room as as such feels very stagey; more often than not it looks more like the play for toady than a cinema going experience and anyone expecting gangster h- jinx in the vein of guy Ritchie will be very disappointed. Having said all that, the script is extremely well written with plenty of sharp, funny dialogue and the amazing cast give an acting masterclass. It's a shame the format is so limited but it's worth it for the performances alone.
July 19, 2011
Rarely do I get bored of films, but this film dragged on way too long with too many "I was young once, and I am still hard!" jokes, script lines, and I just fast forwarded the movie to the end to remain pleasantly disapointed that I had not wasted my time watching the rest of the movie without hurrying to the end.
April 16, 2011
Taking a cue from Rod Serling: "Imagine if you will, you're a small time director of commercials. Somehow a film script by the same writing team that penned Sexy Beast comes across your radar. You pitch it and the studio says, 'sure, why not? Oh, and we've heard that the star of Sexy Beast is interested in doing this film as well." Said heavyweight Brit star tells you that a couple of his buddies, also heavyweight Brit stars, are also interested. So there you are, a total newcomer into the feature film business - handed a hot script and a cadre of top actors... this could only happen in.... The Twilight Zone."
First time director Malcolm Venville was handed the reigns to 44 Inch Chest, and then given the assignment of directing such veteran actors as Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Tom Wilkinson and John Hurt. I wonder if he ever yelled, "Cut! No, No, No, you've got it all wrong!" Not bloody likely - and that is part of the problem with the film (oh, there are many, unfortunately - overacting is only one of them).
The film starts well enough, with a wonderful opening scene slowly panning through a smashed up room while Nilsson croons his hit "Without You". You are then slowly introduced to the characters, all part of some east end gang of sorts - the kind of guys who don't take kindly to losing... at anything. Until the point where the thugs hole up in an old tenement building, the film has a certain swagger and interesting charm. But then the script rapidly goes sideways, becoming a poor man's Mamet, full of crass language and bluster, while filling in a back story of a man, as Venville pointed out several times in the post production interview, "brought to his knees by the betrayal of love".
Winstone, who I dearly admire, goes way over the top as the kneeler, almost to the point of farce. The script has him going quite insane, shown ham fistedly in a series of flashbacks and dream sequences that seem to come out of nowhere. All the while his cohorts keep on him to man up and get over it - while providing him the revenge vehicle to do so by kidnapping the man who cuckolded him. After over a half an hour of claustrophobic filming inside a single room, the crew then exits to the hallway (which is even more claustrophobic) so Winstone can get his revenge and then feel all better (or so they hope). The scenes of McShane, Wilkinson and Hurt, all huddling around the stairs in a tight hallway is simply patently absurd; as are the odd goings on inside the room with Winstone and the lothario. But it gets worse when the gang returns to the room and then Winstone's wife appears - making you wonder if this is yet another odd dream sequence - but no!
The scene with the weepy Winstone and his wife (in a straight forward performance by Joanne Whalley) is simply odd. You have already seen the confrontation and discourse between the two in flashback, so when they again confront each other in real life they simply have nothing to say to each other. I suppose that the script's intention is to show a thug with a heart who can't get past the fact that, in the end, he is a thug - probably the most cliché characterization in film. Being told that he has been replaced by another is a blow to his pride, which somehow gets mixed into some vague feeling of a broken heart, so Winstone has to alternate between the two - bluster, curse and threaten, and then weep for forgiveness and wail for another chance. Yikes, it was like watching some soap opera melodrama - something that should be far beneath the talents of the actors involved.
In the middle of all this you have Wilkinson playing the ageing voice of reason - a thug who still lives with his mum - the kindly sort who sees both sides of every story and therefore acts as a kind of moral compass... an oddity considering that the group intends for Winstone to kill his wife's lover - but regardless, Wilkinson plays this kind of vulnerable humane part very well. He is in direct contrast to Hurt who plays a blustering man who is bitter about growing old. He talks a good game, but the group knows he is way past being able to back it up. Still, it is a joy watching Hurt spit out the curse words as he rails against weakness.
In between these extremes you have the suave homosexual as portrayed by McShane. One of the best parts of the film is a simple vignette that involves McShane gambling and taking advantage of some drunken rich guy... this has nothing whatsoever to do with the story, but is a joy to watch just the same. McShane fills the screen with an easy confidence and can express volumes by the raise of an eyebrow. You get the sense that he is a bit world weary, especially in witnessing the mess that Winstone created, but still seems to be holding out hope for something electric to come along and surprise him. Sadly the film isn't really about him, so all the potential goes unfulfilled. What you get instead is quasi and weak Tarantino, with extreme close-ups of Winstone not doing much of anything - as if in a state of shock - probably mimicking the audiences' reaction to the clumsy handling of a film which doesn't really say much of anything in the end, nor really resolve itself. Perhaps one might assume that the gang ultimately loses faith in their "strong man", and that he is now and forever will be adrift - but then again I might be reading more into the story than what is intended.
September 1, 2010
An intense and powerful thriller. A film that's as gritty, intense and rich as it is Shakespearic. It's sharp, ultra-dark, stylish and darkly funny. A rocking tour de force of an all-star cast that is absolutely incredible. Each one of these actors are truly at their finest. Ray Winstone is magnificent, he gives a tortured, emotionally charged and explosive performance. John Hurt is darkly hilarious, a blisteringly brilliant performance. Ian McShane gives a sharp, charismatic and fantastic performance. Tom Wilkinson is terrific. A hard-boiled and electrifying film that's both bold and original. A knockout.
August 20, 2010
A misunderstood masterpiece it seems. If you want to see a Mockney gangster 'Guy Richie' type film then look elsewhere! If you think the poster was misleading then you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. 44 Inch Chest has one of the best written scripts to come along in ages and the performances by a Stella cast are just brilliant. I can't recommend this film enough and I'm astonished at so many of the bad reviews it's got here!
July 27, 2010
With such a misleading trailer that made this movie look so good, this might just be the biggest dissapointment of the year. I mean, the cast was incredible. But, "44 Inch Chest" proves that a great cast doesn't mean a damn thing. The acting isn't the worst part of the movie, its the script itself. Most of the film is pointless and it never really goes anywhere in its eighty-five minutes [not counting the credits]. Its just pointless talk that has nothing to do with the movie most of the time. Most scenes could've been cut from this movie and the sad thing is even with 70 percent pointless film the movie was still too short.
[More will hopfully come]
July 18, 2010
Four men (presumably gangsters, though it's never made explicit) kidnap the lover of a cuckolded mate's wife and try to goad the bereaved man into killing him for revenge. A talky, dry satire on mob masculinity that feels like a one-act play with each character getting a moment in the spotlight; great performances by the principal cast but the script loses its way, and the ending won't satisfy anyone. Possibly worth it just for the brief glance of John Hurt in a black cocktail dress.
May 2, 2010
Looking at 44 Inch Chest from the outside it seems to be a film with a lot to offer and the right cast to offer it. Look at the cast: Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Tom Wilkinson, John Hurt.Come on, this thing has to be good, but what 44 Inch Chest represents is a reason why we can not bank on the names on the poster or the cover. What you get is a hodge podge mixture of Glengarry Glen-Ross and Reservoir Dogs that is the cinematic equivalent to chocolate and ketchup mixed together.
The plot follows Colin (Winstone) who is a blubbering mess, going over the edge after his wife tells him that it's over. His four friends, in an attempt to save their friend, decide to kidnap Colin's wife's lover and allow Colin to get his revenge and kill him. The film is basically set in a run down tenement with the characters bantering in guy speak while Colin contemplates how he's going finish the evening.
This is a film with great acting and great actors. The problem is that the story is weak, no matter how well you act it out. When you go into 44 Inch Chest you expect a great ensemble cast with some very memorable moments between some of the greatest British actors of our time and you do get that when they're allowed to interact on screen and it's great, particularly the exchanges between McShane's homosexual character and Hurt's homophobic old man. The films problems, just like it's sister film Sexy Beast, occur in that third act. You see, we're privy to the Winstone character sniveling through most of the film at this point and when he's left alone in the room with the "Loverboy" it further perpetuates the pathetic existence that Colin has fallen to in his break up. Hey! We get it! Winstone, though a great actor, gets way too much screen time with this performance. Sure, I know he's upset, but a normal person would at least make some effort to bullshit me into believing that they are a little okay. Colin's constant crying is like being beaten with a hammer by the third act and we start to not care.
I have to compare this film with Glen Garry Glen Ross. It's a group of great actors in close quarters spilling their guts on the screen. The big difference is that with the earlier film, by the end, I actually gave a damn about Jack Lemmon desperately trying to hold onto his job. I thought that Al Pacino should have won the Caddy. By the end of 44 Inch Chest I just want Winstone to either shoot the bastard or go home. I was tired with the character. That's the sad part about this film. There was so much potential and it worked, but crumbled under a script that tried to go a little too far. Death by excess.
April 28, 2010
Colin Diamond: I want you dead. I think you owe me that. I do. Because that's what you've done to me. You've fucking killed me.
A foul mouthed, English drama, featuring a talented group of English actors, who unfortunately can't elevate the simple story to anything better. The film feels very much like a play and is almost entirely composed of men, but unlike Glengarry Glen Ross, this film falls short of being anything special, which is a shame.
Ray Winstone stars as a husband who has just been made aware that his wife is leaving him for a younger man. This basically destroys him, prompting his friends to kidnap Winstone's wife's lover, bring him to an isolated apartment, and consider the idea of torturing and then killing him. Winstone's friends include Tom Wilkonson as a sensible man living with his mother, John Hurt as the crotchety old man, Stephen Dillane as a combustible type, and Ian McShane as the smooth, gay, gambler.
As the different men all respond to the situation and relate various stories, various flashbacks also crop up, showing previous events, along with some dream-like sequences conveying Winstone's mind set.
Describing the plot makes this film sound much more interesting to me, than it was watching it. I wanted to like this movie. The cast certainly made me want to like it. The fact that I enjoyed watching this cast made me want to like it. However, It boils down to having Winstone's character, who is very flawed, crying a lot and then trying to understand himself, but its done in such a mundane way that even the dream sequences don't make it very interesting. Add to that the fact that even though the friends are entertaining, they really don't add much to this film beyond having these entertaining personalities.
There are good things. As I mentioned, all these actors are very capable of being good. McShane, Hurt, and Dillane stand out in particular.
Unfortunately sub par.
Liz: It's not like that Colin. I don't feel the same as you, I just want to get out.
Colin Diamond: Well fuck off then. Go on, get. Fuck off. I'll be alright. Selfish bastard. I ain't gonna stop you. I'll tell you. You fuck off, you horrible cunt. You traitor. I hate you.
Liz: Not if you're going to start calling me names.
January 9, 2010
Not what I was expecting, but all the more incredible for it. 44 Inch Chest is an examination of the male ego and the damage it can undergo. Luckily, it avoids all pretentiousness by being hilariously crass and smutty. It may come as a turnoff to some, but never has love and commitment been put into words with such passion and resonance as when Ray Winstone asks his wife's lover "Has she ever farted in front of you?" It's simple, but touching and brutal. Each of Winstone's friends embodies a different notch on the spectrum of masculinity. McShane is the love 'em and leave 'em guy, Hurt plays a fantastically foul and cantankerous black and white kind of guy. Each has endless quotable dialogue that may be full of expletives, butis modestly profound. A thinker and a talker, this is more stage play/psychological analysis than it is the cockney gangster revenge flick you might be expecting. A wonderful film that hits every target it takes aim at.
February 24, 2011
In "44 Inch Chest," Liz(Joanne Whalley) tells her husband of 21 years, Colin(Ray Winstone), that she is leaving him, sparking a violent reaction that she barely survives.(With that being the end of the marriage, maybe the rest of it was not such a cakewalk, either.) Later, he has calmed down but perhaps too much, as he lies motionless on the floor with Air Supply playing on the stereo when his friend Archie(Tom Wilkinson) finds him before calling Meredith(Ian McShane). Wanting to help their friend get better, together with Mal(Stephen Dillane) and Peanut(John Hurt), they kidnap Liz's lover(Melvil Poupaud) who is not only much younger and a waiter, but a French waiter.
It should come as no surprise that "44 Inch Chest" is an unpleasant experience, even with this great cast in such fine form.(Ian McShane, particularly, is enjoying himself.) It might have had a chance as a play, considering how stagy it is, even though I am sure some potential theatergoers would have a little problem with some of the language. My main problem is that the movie is simply not interesting enough to be the provocative take on masculinity it desperately wants to be while playing with what's real and what's not. And it's hard to feel anything at all when we hardly know anything about the lover.
Most guys would commiserate with their friends when they are dumped like Colin, perhaps going drinking and telling him that he has never had it so good.(It's probably why strip clubs were invented in the first place.) Then you have these villains who leave him to choose between Old Testament punishment and New Testament forgiveness which is only fitting in a world where so many of us like to judge others.
June 16, 2012
44 Inch Chest is a confined dialogue-driven movie which tries to give a unique, meditative, and humorous take on the revenge genre, in a style not unlike that of The Big Kahuna and other adapted-from-theater films. I respected the ambition, but it's largely undone by an inconsistent tone, ranging from somber to humorous to mind bending-quirky. The blend never quite works. The cast is very strong, full of familiar character actors, but they never really create enough chemistry to carry the unfocused material. They, like the audience, never quite know what sort of movie they are in. It's an interesting misfire, to be sure, but one that most will undoubtedly find frustrating.
December 13, 2010
Not at all what I was expecting, 44 Inch Chest plays for a long time like any number of cliché riddled British gangster/crime films, with such excessive overuse of the word 'cunt' that it quickly loses all power, but then the tables are turned - not by a sudden twist or 'game changing' scene - but by the slow realisation that perhaps what Colin (Ray Winstone) wants is not revenge, but forgiveness. Indeed what makes the film work so well is that rather than glamorize, Malcom Venville imprints on the viewer some quite unlikeable characters and brings out their repugnance, suggesting what will come but actually delivering something quite different. That the film failed to be liked by many critics may be down to the fact that as they were expecting vengeance, when this didn't happen they felt short changed. For myself it was a relief, and I'm happy the film instead is about the value of humanity and finding redemption in unlikely places. Special credit to Melvil Poupaud who barely has a single word but expresses so much through body language.
July 28, 2010
44 Inch Chest is no ordinary gangster flick. The film has heart, more than you can shake a ham-sized fist at. Toss in perfect comedic subtly and a hint of metaphysics/psycho-psychology and the film falls right into line with other great British filmmaking.
February 15, 2010
This film explores the masculine ego at the breaking point, when a furious thug played by Ray Winstone in a mesmerizing performance is shattered by his wife's infidelity. His shifty friends played brilliantly by a powerhouse cast of British actors which includes Ian McShane, Tom Wilkinson and John Hurt kidnap the wife's lover and hold him prisoner and try get the humiliated thug to kill him. Outrageously profane, solid suspense, an explosion of unbridled testosterone. A very memorable and intense character study. Highly Recommended.
sayers1977April 23, 2012
A great ensemble and witty/Sexy Beast-like dialogue make this an interesting watch but you can't help feeling that the whole thing would work better as a theatre production rather than a film. Still the cast are obviously enjoying playing with the script and characters and if the ending is a bit of a let down it can be forgiven for that. Not up to the standard of 'Sexy Beast' but worth checking out if you like films like that or plays like 'Mojo'.
March 16, 2012
I got tired of "44 Inch Chest" really fast. The characters are all incredibly unlikable, the direction is bland and basic, and the screenwriters seem like they're trying to set some record for the amount of times the "c" word can be used in a movie. Well, they did. And I mean, "44 Inch Chest" isn't a bad movie, but it's certainly nothing to write home about.
July 13, 2010
Unfortunately underwhelming. I?m sure everyone who?s ever seen this has thought ?Is this adapted from a play?? since almost all of it takes place in one room. That?s not always a bad thing, but what this film does with the ?one room? idea leaves much to be desired.
May 15, 2010
The voice of Beowolf in a dialogue driven movie. Awesome. With all of these actors present, it's hard not to like this movie, and initially I would recommend it. In the end, after a HUGE stall in story and lame 20 minutes or so, I'd say 44 Inch Chest isn't something to go out of your way to see.
Some of the better British actors around are in 44 Inch Chest, and they're all cool as gangster types. Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Tom Wilkinson are some of the bigger named players here. I love British gangster movies, and these guys are in a big part of the reason why.
The story is getting over love lost, and is just shy of being very good. The romance and want for revenge is good. It turns to hallucinations and has an ending that is almost flat until I realize it's a twist on the usual "I'm going to get my revenge" type flicks.
While it ended up not being great, I was still entertained by 44 Inch Chest. I'm a big fan of any movie with dialogue like this that works. I don't know why I like British movies so much, but I do. If you're a fan of the same, by all means, watch it. If you are looking for action and not just dialogue, keep looking. Go check out any of a number of films by Guy Ritchie. They're some really great movies.
May 11, 2010
Such a huge dissapointment to a film fan. My wife loves Ray Winstone and to be honest the first 45 minutes started off so well...then it desended into a real pointless, overstrained oddity which ruined the rest of the film for me. Shame but Ian McShane was brilliant. I also have to say I dont beleive I have heard the word "C$*T" used so much in a film..Im by no means a prude in any sense of the word but still!!.....some great one liners throughout but as I said it seriously tailed off to the end.
February 9, 2011
The film centers around a jealous husband who grabs his wife's lover with his buddies and basically spend the course of the film trying to decide what sort of revenge is appropriate in the situation.
Tense and occasionally darkly comedic, it's well worth a look.
Give it a rental.