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Filth

3.6 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

James McAvoy plays Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson, a scheming, manipulative, misanthropic man who spends his time indulging in drugs, alcohol, sexually abusive relationships, and "the games" cruel plots and systematic bullying of his coworkers and friends. While working on the murder case of a Japanese student, he starts coming unhinged, slowly losing his grip on reality and suffering from a series of increasingly severe hallucinations as he desperately tries to hold his life together.

Product Details

  • Actors: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 12, 2014
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00KGA8CR2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,235 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Let me start by saying that I have seen Trainspotting and thought it was okay. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it. I think Filth is a much better movie. Another disclaimer, I have never read Irvine Welsh so I have no emotional investment in the books that either movie came from.

I watched this movie for one reason, James McAvoy. And, after having watched it, I'm glad I was drawn to it because of him-- it's brilliant. I never really understood the description of Trainspotting as a comedy (I mean, come on, a comedy about heroin addiction!) and after watching it, I thought it was bleak, desperate, and there was not much at all funny about it.

Filth, on the other hand, actually takes a bleak world and horrible circumstances and injects some truly funny moments. Is it a comedy in the true sense of the word? Maybe....depends on if you go with the standard definition (like Shakepeare's Much Ado About Nothing in which much tension and drama occur but ultimately there's one man shunned and a marriage occurs) or if you just define a comedy as a movie that's laugh after laugh at something stupid (take Dumb and Dumber for that example).

McAvoy is amazing and the rest of the cast is excellent as well. The Scottish accent was only an occasional problem but I was still happy to turn on the subtitles.

I don't want to spoil any of the film, but it was a movie that was so though provoking I watched it and when I woke up the next day, I had to rewatch it. I'm still not sure how to feel about he main character, but I really am enjoying the intellectual stimulation provided by the film.
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In Edinburgh, Bruce Robertson is deceitful, drug-abusing, profane, sadistic, sexist, losing his mind, and an ambitious detective sergeant maneuvering for a promotion within his department. Irvine Welsh's blistering novel Filth does not lend itself to adaptation. Rather than focus on procedure and structure, the novelist's central interest is submerging his readership in the toxic mind of the protagonist, an amoral man in crisis. He achieves this a number of ways, including the postmodern use of the figure of the tapeworm; a manifestation of Bruce Robertson's mental illness, it devours pages and becomes more self-aware, more philosophical, as it grows. In a glorious twist, however, this film, masterful and psychedelic as it is, proves the novel definitely could be filmed. It draws a significant amount of its power from an astonishing lead performance by James McAvoy. He has given sensitive and strong performances for years, shining in such films as The Last King of Scotland, Atonement, The Last Station, and Trance. He reaches another level here, though. It is a bold and ferocious acting feat, at once live-wire charismatic and vastly grotesque, elevating self-destruction to an art form while slyly glancing at the audience through the camera. As the film is told in the first person, with reality clarifying and distorting as it does for the unstable Bruce, the actor is relied upon to maintain a high level of energy and find a through-line of authentic, soulful pain amidst the colorful chaos. His achievement is matched by ace editing, photography, and production design. Similar to, for example, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, this is the rare serious film which invites (or even demands) aural and visual excess, and the parade of comic and/or suspenseful set pieces is nothing short of exhilarating, building to a wallop of a conclusion which slightly deviates from and, with respect to the inimitable Welsh, improves upon the novel's.
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Despite some inconsistent tone, FILTH is a darkly comic film about a despicable cop's descent into madness. The story follows Bruce Robertson, a Scottish cop who is up for a promotion, and in charge of a murder investigation. However, those two details are merely springboards for what the movie is really about, that is, his impossibly filthy lifestyle and how he pushes himself to his breaking point. As played by James McAvoy, he is largely unsympathetic although he does have a twisted sense of humor. Other than possibly feeling sorry for him (which is a stretch), the only thing audiences will have to connect with is the promise of being reunited with family, which is what he hopes to achieve with the promotion. However, in the end, even that proves illusory. There is a seriously dark undercurrent to this whole movie, but there is a lot of dark humor to soften what otherwise would be an oppressively dark portrait of a man on the edge. Even still, these are the kind of movies that I love. It's not perfect, due to some jarring attempts at sentimentality, but this is largely a bravura effort with an incredible performance by James McAvoy, and based on a book by the author of TRAINSPOTTING (which tackles similar thematic material). Despite not being for everybody, this is a well-made film that is captivating and deserves to be seen by anybody willing to give it a chance.
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This is one of those movies where I don't want to admit I watched it-- much less that I liked it ;) . If you've seen the previews, you know it deals with a lot of 'sordid' things and is billed as a comedy. While it did have funny moments, most of what I loved about the movie were the dramatic parts-- and there were plenty. I don't think I've ever laughed and cried in the same moment watching any movie-- ever. It's one of those movies when it's over you think, "Wow, what an awesome movie!" Then you think about it and feel bad that you actually liked it so much (well... I did anyway ;) ). It's not for everybody, but I didn't think it was as 'bad' as the trailers said it was. James McAvory gives probably my favorite performance he's ever given. You hate what Bruce does, but part of you still likes him no matter what. That is a rare gift. Not all movies have to be uplifting entertainment. There are other stories in the world, and Filth is one of those movies. A great cast. A great story. And an ending that-- yeah-- I still can't get over.
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