Mr. Nice 2011 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

Available in HD
(7) IMDb 6.4/10

Rhys Ifans (THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and Chloe Sevigny (BIG LOVE) star in the thrilling true life story of Howard Marks: School teacher and international drug smuggler who at one point controlled ten percent of the global trade in hashish. Adapted from Marks' autobiography by CANDYMAN and IMMORTAL BELOVED writer-director Bernard Rose, MR NICE chronicles the rise and fall of one of the most fascinating and notorious figures in the international drug trade.

Starring:
Rhys Ifans, Chloë Sevigny
Runtime:
2 hours, 1 minute

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Bernard Rose
Starring Rhys Ifans, Chloë Sevigny
Supporting actors David Thewlis, Luis Tosar, Crispin Glover, Omid Djalili, Christian McKay, Elsa Pataky, Jack Huston, Jamie Harris, Sara Sugarman, William Thomas, Andrew Tiernan, Kinsey Packard, Ania Sowinski, James Jagger, Howell Evans, Ken Russell, Ferdy Roberts, Waris Hussein
Studio MPI Media Group
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DVD Verdict on October 11, 2011
Format: DVD
Josh Rode, DVD Verdict --Mr. Nice is a biography of sorts, so it focuses on Howard's exploits in a purely linear fashion, with little regard for conventional story tropes. Dramatic moments happen almost randomly, while scenes that seem to be leading to something big end up fizzling. For instance, at one point, while he is supposedly in hiding, Howard tells us, "I had a lot of friends. They knew who I was and I was fully aware that any one of them could turn me in at any time. I just big-headedly assumed that everyone who knew me liked me and would do no such thing." A nice setup for what seems an inevitable betrayal, but nothing immediately comes of it. He does eventually get arrested, but by the time the film gets to that stage, the context of the comment is long gone, and no turncoat is ever implicated.

This inability to harness the story's inherent drama is Mr. Nice's biggest hindrance. "Every time I cross the border (with a load of drugs)," Howard tells the audience, "I get a religious flash and an asexual orgasm." This is a prime example of every storyteller's biggest gripe: show, don't tell. The very few scenes depicting border crossings do nothing to build cinematic tension. Howard pulls up to a border station, they wave him through; not even the music acts like something momentous might happen. Later, after his face is fairly well known, he find other means, but still the film fails to create any sense of danger, tipping the audience off to the scam almost immediately.

Fortunately, the acting is fabulous. Ifan has charisma to spare and his Howard careens through life with an air of innocence and naivety that belies his illicit actions. Chloe Sevigny (Big Love) does a similarly nice job as his girlfriend, Judy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Z. Freeman VINE VOICE on October 11, 2011
Format: DVD
It's unfortunate for Rhys Ifans, who turns out a terrific performance in this lightly dramatic biopic about the life and times of British dope smuggler Howard Marks (aka Mr. Donald Nice, among other names) that writer/director Bernard Rose (Candyman, Immortal Beloved) didn't give him a more coherent story to take part in. It starts out promisingly enough - a few minutes in black and white before a young Marks takes his first toke, which instantly transforms the world into color. Clever.

From here it's fairly straight biopic fare, following the surprising twists and turns of Marks' life as he goes from schoolteacher to small-time smuggler to one of the most-wanted men in England. For the most part, a strong sense of realism is applied, which keeps the movie from toppling over into some kind of "gangster" film. This is helped by the fact that Marks is presented as an extremely likable and easy-going character, which he comes across as in real life as well. The occasional use of dated footage (with Ifans added in) to show the time period almost feels interesting, but mostly just feels forced, considering that most of the movie is not shot in this way.

The supporting cast is a mixed bag. As Judy Marks, Howard's long-suffering wife, ChloŽ Sevigny ("Big Love") is hugely disappointing, mostly because she can't seem to have been bothered to pick up a convincing accent. Crispin Glover (Alice in Wonderland), as an American dope dealer, is understated and unconventionally engaging in the way only Crispin Glover can be. And David Thewlis (the Harry Potter films) is crazy enough to be believable.

I wasn't especially drawn into the world that Rose created around Marks. Parts of it were interesting but there was too much fragmentation to ever really allow me to invest anything in the characters or the plot.
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Format: DVD
Howard Marks (Rhys Ifans) grew up in a Welsh village, went to Oxford a relative innocent, and emerged from university as a fully-fledged drug smuggler. He subsequently went on to become one of Britain's most celebrated (notorious?) drug barons, leading an exuberant lifestyle while successfully evading most attempts at capture. Bernard Rose's biopic encourages us to admire Rose's chutzpah, as he encounters a variety of shady characters, including practicing IRA member Jim McCann (David Thewlis, speaking in an eccentric Irish accent), and American cartel owner Ernie Combs (Crispin Glover). The film's tone remains lighthearted throughout, and there are some convincing scenes where modern-day actors are inserted into authentically Seventies archive scenes (complete with washed-out colors). But in truth MR. NICE does not have that much to say, either about the ethics - if there can be such a thing - of drug-smuggling, nor about the lengths to which people will go to try and evade customs-officers of various countries. It remains a rather slight crime-caper, distinguished mostly by Ifans' jaunty performance as Howard Marks.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By jon wiggins on November 15, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Well made, well acted, good story, great music. If you think the 'holy herb' should be legal, you'll probably dig this.
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