• Unrated, 1 hr. 45 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Nathan Morlano
    In Theaters:
    Apr 27, 2012 Limited
    On DVD:
    Aug 27, 2012
  • IFC Films


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Citizen Gangster Reviews

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Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

April 1, 2013
Biodramas..love them! This was good. The movie is less about the facts, and more about the impact it had on the lives of those involved. While there is some violence in the movie, it is seriously downplayed for the benefit of making it more of a drama, than a shoot-em-up gangster movie. The outcome is surprising, and moving....

Super Reviewer

January 3, 2013
Citizen Gangster is the exciting true story of Edwin Boyd, Canada's greatest bank robber. Boyd was the John Dillinger of Canada, and he robbed several banks in Toronto. Edwin Boyd returned from active duty after WWII and after a string of bad luck, started robbing banks to support his family. Nathan Morlano directs his feature with Citizen Gangster and it is an engaging and thrilling movie that showcases Scott Speedman's talents. Speedman has acted in decent films in the past, but as Edwin Boyd, he delivers the greatest performance of his career thus far. Boyd's criminal career became Canadian folklore, and with this film we get to see this career criminal start out, almost like Dillinger did, from a small time robber, to a full time career criminal with a gang that would terrorize Toronto. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and if you love a good crime drama, then pick this one up. This is a terrific picture from first director Morlano and he covers Boyd's beginnings to his arrest, imprisonment, escape and other criminal exploits. As a Canadian, I wasn't aware of this interesting bit of history, and this movie definitely opened my eyes, and makes me want to know more about Edwin Boyd and his exploits. Although not perfect, Citizen Gangster is a well made picture that relies on great acting and a compelling true story to make for a worthwhile viewing. This is one of the best Canadian films that I have seen in quite some time, and though not on par with Dillinger, Public Enemies and Bonnie and Clyde, this picture still follows the great crime films that told the real life stories of legendary bank robbers. Citizen Gangster is not an action movie, but it still has plenty of human drama to make this one worth seeing. Scott Speedman made a wise choice to not accept a part in Underworld: Awakening to star in this movie and he really hones his craft as an actor. Citizen Gangster will surely appeal to cinema buffs that enjoy a good crime film to watch, and with Edwin Boyd's exploits expanded from Toronto all the way to Montreal, and he definitely was Canada's very own John Dillinger. Director Nathan Morlano has crafted a fine picture that is engaging from start to finish.
Al S

Super Reviewer

September 8, 2012
A thrilling and dazzling triumph. An excellent and outstanding movie. An absorbing and invigorating feature that keeps you compelled and drawn to it all the way through. A slick, first-rate and epic crime-drama that forms itself as one of the fin est biopics ever made. One of the best Canadain films I have ever seen. A tremendosuly entertaining and enjoyable movie. A wonderfully shot, very tense and powerful gangster saga of this real-life character. Scott Speedman gives his best-career performance yet, he shines with charisma, power and heart. A great movie star performance that deserves awards attention. A load of great performances from its wonderful cast. Brain Cox is brilliant as always. Kelly Reilly is outstanding. Kevin Durand is terrific. Director, Nathan Morlano crafts fine, remarkable and truly amazing movie. Morlano proves to have the good to be one of the finest and promosing new directors. It would be a crime to miss this film. It knows how to thrill, it knows how to chill and it knows how to be fun. A total blast with great characters that are too great to ignore.
John B

Super Reviewer

October 10, 2012
A valuable history lesson for Canadians who want to know about major criminal elements in the post war period but this film overall lacks soul. Outside of Speedman's Edwin Boyd, you get the sense that there is more to uncover with the other members of his gang that are missed. Kudos to Speedman though. He gets to play something other than block of wood.
Jason R

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2012
Edwin Boyd, the notorious bank robber and folk hero. Has his story told on the big-screen. While the story is fascinating and the acting is good. CITIZEN GANGSTER, is told in a very lackluster way. I felt that it was very hard to connect with the characters. The story speeds by and at the end, I was ready to move on and forget about this one.
August 24, 2012
Citizen Gangster is one of the best indie releases of 2012, hands down. Some critics obviously have had their say. But in an era when so many crime dramas are riddled with too much overt violence and sexuality, this piece strikes just enough of a balance to maintain its grip on the audience through the course of its almost two hour run. One can't help but feel some sympathy for lead character Edwin Boyd (Scott Speedman) as he faces his own inner trials after deciding to take on a life of crime just to be able to support his family. The world is in a state of economic uncertainty right now. And while this movie by no means intends to reiterate that, seeing Boyd's struggles after returning from WWII makes him at least somewhat relatable.

Speedman is spot on in the role of Boyd. Rather than trying to be some sort of over the top type of gangster a la James Cagney, Speedman's quiet inner battles show him to be a flawed, imperfect character. It makes him that much more human. Some would say that he is the only real light of this movie. But one has to remember that an actor alone can only do so much. Thanks to the work of writer/director Nathan Morlano, Speedman has given a brilliant performance. And the story itself is emotionally powerful and gripping. As disturbing as some moments may be, audiences won't want to look away. Nor will they want to look away from the wonderful cinematography, either. That too adds its own extra element of enjoyment.

As impressive as this indie flick is, it should be noted that it is unrated. But there is enough violence and foul language to qualify it at least for an "R" rating. That being noted, viewer discretion is advised for those with younger children. Speaking of that language and violence, it is nowhere at the level of say Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas (1990) or Francis Ford Coppela's Godfather trilogy. It has enough of a balance even there, that any fan of the gangster genre will likely find this to be enjoyable, given the opportunity. It's even better than 2009's big screen fiasco, Public Enemies, which paled in comparison to the book on which it was based.

Citizen Gangster likely won't be seen by the number of people who have seen the Godfather Trilogy, or Goodfellas, or even Public Enemies. But one thing can be said of it. It is one of the year's most underrated--and probably most underappreciated--movies in the crime drama/thriller category. It is also without a doubt, one of the best in the indie field this year.
May 29, 2012
A surprisingly-decent, low-budget (true-life) gangster flick similar to Public Enemies, although this film centers around Canadian "folk-hero"/gangster Edwin Boyd and presents the story with a more dream-like telling (there is quite a lot of personal reflection on his part). Boyd was a soldier in WWII who married a bride who enlisted to fight alongside him (she was relegated to driving a motorcycle for the war effort in real life) while stationed in Britian. When they returned home to Canada, Boyd was unable to find meaningful/gainful employment to support his family and so resorted to using his charsima and acting skills (he'd dreamed of being a movie star or singer) to rob banks. Boyd is played by Scott Speedman (Underworld, The Vow), who gives a convincing performance. His worrisome wife is played by Kelly Reilly (Pride & Prejudice, Sherlock Holmes) and the father he tries to please is played by a very-toned down Brian Cox (L.I.E., Troy). Made by a first-time director with some skill (and a vision), Citizen Gangster is a rather meditative take on what one'll do to provide for those him/her love through desperation. Boyd and his "gang" basked in some limelight and glory only momentarily as Boyd wasn't a criminal-at-heart and knew right from wrong (he has an interesting life story). A decent film that'll be hard to find as it is so small (VOD); but I found it to be worth a watch.
Jason G.
April 4, 2014
I get that the audience is expected to view this as a character study, rather than a how-to on gangster logistics, but there are simply too many details glossed over.
Connor G.
February 11, 2013
Good start, but ends up too preachy.
FilmGrinder S.
May 30, 2013

They had everything going against them, from leader control to their lose canon to some of their women. Recipe of disaster.
February 17, 2013
Citizen Gangster is no Godfather, but it is a movie about choices and what a man will do for his family no matter the consequences.
December 11, 2012
fell asleep halfway through it...two times... finished it eventually...not really bad but nothing else...
October 2, 2012
I watched this the other night and was quite entertained. This was the film that would either break or make my image of Scott Speedman and I felt he did a good job depicting Edwin Boyd. Kevin Durand did a remarkable job and stood out as the best acting in the film. Music by Max Richter was phenomenal (per usual) and the cinematography was well done. Wish they would have delved into the bank scenes a bit more and into Boyd's internal struggles more, but overall worth a visit.
March 23, 2012
A good-looking but passionless affair that remains stubbornly aloof from its audience.
September 12, 2012
This movie was So,So. The actors are all capable actors but seem to fall short with this outing. Speedman ( Playing the lead ) is not as charming as he usually is in his roles, which is surprising because this demands such a performance. He plays a veteran fresh from the war with many unfulfilled urges and needs. He modestly attempts to get an acting career started and with the first brick wall he hits he opts to become a bank robber. The movie tries to portray him as the robin hood type but misses the mark with its lack of explanation. I suppose we as the audience must side with our tortured lead and hope he prevails but I could honestly care less. Most of the actors follow suite by also failing to deliver the goods. This movie plays like a lifetime movie of the week at best. It's not the worst of the worst but passing on it all together might allow you that 1 hour and 44 minutes for something more productive ( Like robbing a bank )ÔŽ. AF
Jason R

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2012
Edwin Boyd, the notorious bank robber and folk hero. Has his story told on the big-screen. While the story is fascinating and the acting is good. CITIZEN GANGSTER, is told in a very lackluster way. I felt that it was very hard to connect with the characters. The story speeds by and at the end, I was ready to move on and forget about this one.
August 29, 2012
Would have been a whole lot better if Edwin Boyd actually managed to seem interesting or likeable to the audience
May 26, 2012
No redeeming quality's. Did not see the last 45 min of it because it sucked,
April 25, 2012
My predicted rating:3
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