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London Boulevard

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The directorial debut of William Monahan, the Oscar®-winning 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 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.

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Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed) made his directorial debut with this propulsive and stylish UK crime thriller, with Colin Farrell as the latest in a long line of moody ex-cons who can't seem to stay away from the illegal side of life. Farrell's Mitchel, a bruiser with his heart on his sleeve, is fresh from a three-year stint in lockup, but already back in low-rent schemes with his old pal Ben Chaplin. His rough-hewn but gentlemanly ways earn him a gig as a bodyguard for actress Keira Knightley, who needs protection from swarms of paparazzi. We are asked to believe that the pair's relationship soon blossoms into romance, but it lacks any palpable chemistry, despite the enormous charisma of both performers. Instead, the film's most interesting relationships are the secondary ones: Farrell locks horns with Ray Winstone's sharp-dressed gangster, who wants Mitchel under his employ at any cost, as well as David Thewlis as Knightley's venomous sycophant and Anna Friel as Mitchel's breezily wanton sister. The various character trajectories cross paths or crash in ways most crime fans have seen in dozens of previous pictures; there's very little new in London Boulevard, but the solid cast does most of the heavy lifting, leaving Monahan to simply keep up the pace at a decent clip while exercising his penchant for stylized lighting and vintage rock & roll (Monahan clearly took notes while working with Martin Scorsese, as evidenced by a soundtrack full of maximum R&B tracks by the likes of the Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, Pretty Things/Electric Banana, and Kasabian). Extras are limited to a standard-issue making-of featurette, in which Monahan discusses the influence of '60s-era UK films like Blow-Up on his feature. --Paul Gaita


Special Features

The Making of London Boulevard

Product Details

  • Actors: David Thewlis, Anna Friel, Ray Winstone, Ben Chaplin, Colin Farrell
  • Directors: William Monahan
  • Producers: William Monahan, Quentin Curtis, Graham King, Tim Headington
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006ISJQ26
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,698 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "London Boulevard" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By tiffanymorgan on April 4, 2012
Format: DVD
some may view this as a typical british gangster movie and if that's a turn off don't bother watching it. don't watch it for the supposed romance between kiera knightley and colin farrel. don't watch it because most people seem to hate it. watch it for the difference in language. nothing is a shock in this movie but it's well paced and provides a transport from reality for a little over an hour. isn't that what movies are for?
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Baldwin on May 11, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Brian DePalma was considered a master plagiarist by many. It's with little irony that "London Boulevard" reminds you of DePalma's "Carlito's Way". Director William Monahan also references Martin Scorsese which also ironically Monahan wrote the Oscar winning script for "The Departed" which was a reimagining of the Hong Kong crime thriller "Infernal Affairs". The question you ask yourself is Monahan's effort more than the sum of it's influences? The answer to me is a resounding yes. Similarities to other films cannot be denied but when done right you call it a homage. Monahan introduces enough unique fluorishes and twists to elevate it above mere copycat status. Colin Farrell is magnetic and macho as the recently released con who wants to go straight in a world that keeps pulling him into a life of crime. Ray Winstone adds another indelible portrait to his personal rogues gallery as a sadistic crime boss. David Thewlis nearly steals the show as the foppish manager of Keira Knightley's papparazzi stalked movie starlet. The film kept me rapt and invigorated throughout. For those who would dismiss "London Boulevard" as derivative I ask you to consider Bogart, Cagney, and Edward G. They were gangster archetypes who didn't play the same character twice. "London Boulevard" is a variation of the British gangster tradition that includes "Get Carter", "The Long Good Friday", "Mona Lisa" and "Sexy Beast'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By nick on December 17, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Very violent. Great acting. Well concieved story line. Very violent. Liked the cinematogrophy. The filming had a very real feeling for me, watching it anyway. Having never been a gangster I feel that this movie captures what I imagine life might be like for a gangster who hits the edge. Very violent. Shocking plot twists keep you on your toes the whole way through, and yet there are many gentle scenes that depict a tender relationship between the main character and his protective charge. Very violent. Liked it alot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By UFC Fan on December 12, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I don't want to give anything away. So lets just say, the acting was just amazing as you would expect. The writing was a bit inconsistent which made the main character (Farrell) look a bit confused at times as to his future. Just as I thought I had a handle on how the character was, rough, gangster type trying to figure out what he wants out of life and his direction, things change again. No issues so far really at this point in the movie I would say. But there were to many subplots and then there were just things that Colin Farrell's Character in my opinion would not have done. Some of this movie, or much of this movie you can figure out as you go along. Nothing wrong with that. I only wish to be entertained. Knightly is just amazing and she plays her character to perfection, an Actress who is described in the movie as a "Howard Hughes Type". The two just work and click perfectly. But as one review in here said, don't watch it for a love story, or the idea you cant figure out how the movie is going during most of it. Watch it for the value of the entertainment of it. If you approach it from that point of view, you will really enjoy it. This is not a feel good movie, as it gives you hope at times, then takes dark turns, only to bring you back again. A real treat, and although not a lot of screen time, you do feel as though he had much more just due to his brilliance performance as a crude, and nasty crime boss, the man himself, Ray Winstone. This is a who's who of actors in my opinion. Winstone was perfect for this role and if memory serves me correctly, The Departed, and Mel Gibson's movie Edge of Darkness he played similar characters although a bit more dark in this movie.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Bowes on November 23, 2012
Format: DVD
Great start. And then they changed the original in major ways. Some great bad guys. Strong and gritty performances. Colin's character is a gem. If only they stayed with the story.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David S. Wright on December 27, 2012
Format: DVD
It seems to me they left out the plot to this movie. Most of the characters are cardboard, things happen that are meant to "ironic" but which really were just the directory/writer trying to write themselves out of corner. The ending was very unsatisfying, and came on like they had forgotten about it and then realized they were almost out of film. You'd think that with the people involved it could have been interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ghost(Ghost(M)) on May 10, 2015
Format: DVD
First, this is one of those British movies about villans where there's a lot of fatnose ugly people speaking Cockney. I can't get enough of that, they talk like there's a sock in their mouth. I tried to learn to speak like that, and I failed. Every sound is a continuum, not one straight letter. Ray Winstone rules the roost here as a major evildoer: every minute pure gold. I could hire this dude to read me a paper, just for how it sounds.

Second, the flick is full of very juicy characters, all of them memorable.
Third, there's a slew of good actors doing a great job. Farrell is great, but not only him; I can't really complain of a single role that did not impress itself into my brain. Great stuff. This is the flick that made me pay attention to David Thewlis. Prior to it, I dind't know this name. Now I'll watch a movie just 'cause he's in it.
Fourth: good dialogue (rarity). Everything makes sense, everything works, everything seems in its place.

The only flaw is the ending. It feels random (did Mitchel really just go to Raystone's house planning to do him in like this? And what if the mussus didn't open the door? What if the bodyguards were doing their job? The plot is so thin here, it doesn't work). And then of course the final denouement feels pointless and disappointing. And what happens to Thewils eventually? Anyone's guess. For that I took one star off (the first four fifths of the film deserve the full five stars, I think).

Bottom line: very nice movie (box-office failure! Go figure. Machete made money; this didn't -- are people mad? xXx made money; even this annoying crap Fast & Furious made a pile of money). I don't understand what people like cause most movies I liked are failures, how can that be? Anyway, this movie is an unexpected (almost) pearl. Very much recommended. Juicy, colorful, violent but not too awfully so, with surprises and intrigue and memorable characters... very much worth the time. I saw it several times.
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