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Dead Man's Shoes

4 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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(Sep 05, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Richard (Paddy Considine) has always protected his simple-minded little brother Anthony (Toby Kebbell). When Richard leaves the rural village where they have grown up to join the army, Anthony is taken in by Sonny (Gary Stretch), a controlling and vicious local drug dealer and his gang of lads. Anthony becomes the gang

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Harrowing thriller about a hotwired ex-soldier (co-scripter Paddy Considine from Cinderella Man) who returns to his sleepy Irish village to dole out merciless revenge upon the booze- and drug-sodden hoodlums who abused his mentally handicapped younger brother (the astonishing Toby Kebbel). Director Shane Meadows (Once Upon a Time in the Midlands) doesn't shy away from delivering scenes of gripping suspense and violence, but the end result hews closer to an ambiguous meditation on the nature and effect of vengeance a la Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs than a Death Wish-style grindhouse effort. Taut and thought-provoking, Dead Man's Shoes is a must-see for indie film aficionados with a taste for the grittiest of fare. The DVD includes some rollicking commentary by Meadows, Considine, and producer Mark Herbert; an intriguing and heartfelt featurette on Meadows and his own violent past as a teenage skinhead in 1980s England, from which he drew inspiration for this film; and an alternate (and somewhat less satisfying) final scene. -- Paul Gaita

Special Features

  • Commentary by director Shane Meadows, co-writer/star Paddy Considine, and producer Mark Herbert
  • "In Shane's Shoes" featurette
  • Deleted scene
  • Alternate ending

Product Details

  • Actors: Paddy Considine, Gary Stretch, Toby Kebbell, Stuart Wolfenden, Neil Bell
  • Directors: Shane Meadows
  • Writers: Paddy Considine, Shane Meadows, Paul Fraser
  • Producers: Barry Ryan, Louise Meadows, Mark Herbert, Peter Carlton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Magnolia
  • DVD Release Date: September 5, 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GPPPTU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,521 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dead Man's Shoes" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Dead Man's Shoes" starts as an ordinary revenge flick. Its only zest, as I thought in twenty minutes after the beginning, was that the action takes place in a little suburban English town, and that adds a little coloring to the commonplace theme. And just how great it is when films don't fit your expectations, and I mean when they end up being much deeper and thoughtful than you could ever imagine.
The subject of revenge has a lot of ground beneath it to philosophize and make smart films. But writers and directors don't always push the envelope, limiting themselves with a poor choice of story-lines and developments. Hence we get stupid exploitation flicks (no offence - I love them myself). But if creators of a picture are willing to use their brains at full - we get a chance to see outstanding examples of a very good quality cinema (I'd recall "Se7en" or "Unforgiven"). "Dead Man's Shoes" is absolutely such an example. It's a shame the film is not well known because it really deserves to be.
Richard is coming back from the army to his small town. He's got one thing on his mind - to punish the gang of local small-time drug dealers who bullied and tormented his younger retarded brother. And his vengeance will be severe... That's it, I'll say no more, because closer to the end the movie turns out to be not exactly what you expected it to be. It's thoughtful and extremely powerful, it has twists, it's an exploration of a man's madness, of his slow descent into insanity, it's about hangman and victim and about how difficult is sometimes to tell the difference. It raises serious questions and it will make you ponder. I was utterly surprised - what started as a banal vengeance movie then turned into something vicious, grave and not at all light-hearted. The acting was just compelling.
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Format: DVD
"God will forgive them...let them into Heaven...I can't live with that" - Richard during his opening monologue in "Dead Man's Shoes".

Opening with this disturbing monologue the film "Dead Man's Shoes" has an authentic ring to its portrayal of thugs living in the midlands of England. A dark, disturbing but powerful drama of revenge "Dead man's Shoes" follows Richard (Paddy Constantine) a returning military vet who seeks revenge against a group of petty drug dealers who used and abused his developmentally disabled young brother. He begins terrorizing them by appearing in gas mask and military fatigues silently beckoning for one of the dealers to come outside. He then vandalizes their apartment and gradually escalates his private little war. What's unusual about this film is that it isn't your standard revenge flick. Clearly the director pulled from his personal experience. Evidently he was a skinhead and did more than his fair share of illegal things as a youth. He knows these people how they think talk and behave. Constantine gives a stunning performance as the vengeful angry Richard. Shot on film with a lot of handheld camera work the film has a vibrancy and immediacy that's lacking in what we see from Hollywood. Perhaps that just adds to the power of the film or makes it unconventional looking enough to make an impression either way despite the thick sometimes difficult to follow midland accents the film builds to a powerful conclusion by the end of its nearly two hour running time.

Those interested in extras read on the rest of you can skip this part. We get a featurette on the director Shane Meadows discussing his inspiration for and production of the film.
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1 Comment 10 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I've been waiting for Shane Meadows to make a film that fulfilled the promise his short films showed ever since seeing his short film Where's the Money, Ronny?, and with Dead Man's Shoes he finally delivers. It's a remarkable reimagining of Death Wish as it would be in the real world, set among tatty Midlands housing estates with villains with [...] cars and a pathetic array of mail order weaponry. Shot very effectively in a style somewhere between Italian neo-realism, early Scorsese and even Cassavettes improv but with a flavor all its own, it doesn't matter that one of the plot twists is very obvious (so obvious, in fact, I'm not even sure that it's even meant to be a twist) because co-writer Paddy Considine is such a riveting yet natural presence in the lead: he's able to be genuinely threatening while keeping it absolutely real, creating a very believable monster. There's no vanity, no attempt to go for the cool or the comic (if anything he undercuts the character's attempts to do so without ever becoming a cheap joke) and little in the way of grandstanding. And the gutted close-up of Considine closing his eyes in a bus shelter is a truly remarkable piece of acting without acting. In an industry where lightweights like Clive Owen get lead roles thrown at them, he's the real thing and quite possibly the greatest British actor of his generation.

Not for everyone, perhaps (the reception in the US has been particularly poor), but one of the best low-budget British films in a long time. An excellent extras package, too.
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