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Down Terrace (2009)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

61

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 1,428

My Rating

Movie Info

Father and son Bill and Karl (real life father and son Bob and Robin Hill) have just been released from jail free and clear, but all is not well at Down Terrace. Patriarchs of a small crime family, their business is plagued with infighting. Karl has had more than he can take of his old man's philosophizing and preaching, and Bill thinks Karl's dedication to the family is seriously compromised when he takes up with an estranged girlfriend who claims to be carrying his baby. To make matters worse,

R,

Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Robin Hill, Ben Wheatley

Jan 18, 2011

$9.6k

Magnolia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (35) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (5) | DVD (1)

The British do kitchen-sink realism extremely well; they also have a nice way with black comedy. It's rare, however, to see the two as wickedly combined as they are in Down Terrace.

November 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comment (1)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A low-budget effort by British director Ben Wheatley, Down Terrace is an enjoyably nasty piece of business about a down-market sort of underworld clan.

November 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A dark and hilarious thwomping of the whole miserablist British gangster genre.

October 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Its litany of outrageous abuses and horrible crimes, as it careens from delicately phrased dinner-table insults to old ladies murdered in the street, is often gaspingly, ridiculously funny.

October 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Salon.com | Comment (1)
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A grimly amusing portrait of a closed system in which the pressure is building to an explosion.

October 15, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comment (1)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Down Terrace is the auspicious feature debut of Ben Wheatley, who's spent a decade directing sitcoms, Web-isodes and commercials while fruitlessly pitching scripts to Hollywood.

October 15, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A British gangster movie that isn't really a British gangster movie, Down Terrace shares more in common with the domestic realism of Mike Leigh and Shane Meadows than it does the geezery mob antics of Guy Ritchie and his alumni.

July 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Flix Capacitor
Flix Capacitor

[Julia Deakin's] Ma Barker role (and performance) is essential to the film's grotesque yet enthralling familial fatalism.

June 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

This is the sort of thing you'd expect if the Coen Brothers were British and they decided to do their own version of a "Sopranos" movie set in Brighton, England.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Has some poignant moments but gets lost along the way in the macabre.

November 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The junior Hill's script, written with director Wheatley, very deliberately considers the abilities of each of its elements, from the inanimate to the human, and uses each to their best effect.

October 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Chances are you've never seen a crime family like the one in Ben Wheatley's unusual, ferociously witty dark comedy Down Terrace.

October 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Doesn't provide much of an electric charge until very late in the game, making the first two acts of the picture an incredible test of endurance for anyone not utterly devoted to the throttled fury of British kitchen sink dramas.

October 22, 2010 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com | Comment (1)
BrianOrndorf.com

off-kilter

October 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

A shambling gangster movie about father and son ex-cons (played by Robert and Robin Hill) who passive-aggressively pick at each other in between meeting with their eccentric associates.

October 14, 2010 Full Review Source: AV Club | Comment (1)
AV Club

An unnecessarily claustrophobic visual scheme dings this otherwise so-so slice of darkly humorous, stakes-free entertainment, good for fans of certain British TV crime serials, and those schooled in the work of Shane Meadows.

October 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Shared Darkness | Comments (2)
Shared Darkness

By mixing the situations of a crime drama with dysfunctional family dynamics, the everyday becomes accentuated, meaning that outbreaks of violence are absurdly comic but still retain a nasty edge.

August 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Eye for Film | Comment (1)
Eye for Film

Audience Reviews for Down Terrace

I seem to have watched Ben Wheatley's films the wrong way round. Now I've seen all but one, I'm starting to think the man is a genre unto himself. Much like his other work, Down Terrace is eerie, dark, clever and funny. Other directors have managed similar feats but there is something individually sinister and funny about Wheatley's work that really makes it stand out among the rest. I dare say it's love or hate stuff but I for one can't wait to see what he does next! It's nice to see a Father and Son team up that isn't the Smiths (Will and Jaden). It's nice to see natural performances too, everyone does a great job without trying too hard or not trying hard enough. I always thought there was something wrong with Jay's Dad.
January 6, 2014
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Cast: Robert Hill, Robin Hill, Julia Deakin, David Schaal, Tony Way, Kerry Peacock, Michael Smiley, Mark Kempner, Kitty Blue, Gareth Tunley

Directed by: Ben Wheatley

Summary: Just released from jail, father-and-son crooks Karl (Robin Hill) and Bill (Robert Hill) attempt to keep their two-bit illegal enterprise from crumbling while ferreting out the snitch who squealed on them to the cops in this British black comedy. The suspects include Karl's wife (Julia Deakin) and pregnant gal pal (Kerry Peacock), a hit man (Michael Smiley) and a reviled family friend (Tony Way).

My Thoughts: "I spent most of the time going back and forth over the film because the character's have such thick British accents and speak fast and low, that I had trouble understanding it all. That was just my own frustration with it. The other is I couldn't really get into the film. It had some funny moments here and there, and the acting was just OK. It just wasn't very interesting for it to be a mob film. There's also a claustrophobic feeling with the film, cause most of it is taking place in a small house. The character's are disturbed and paranoid about one another. Everyone is deceiving the other one. It is a film that has been made and made much better. Not one I would see again."
March 12, 2011
LWOODS04
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

Super Reviewer

"Down Terrace" starts with Karl(Robin Hill) being released from prison and returning to his parents'(Robert Hall & Julia Deakin) home to help out in the family business of selling illegal drugs. While there, Garvey(Tony Way) welcomes him back with a cold one. And Valda(Kerry Peacock), a pen pal, has a little surprise for him...

To be honest, I do not really know what to do with "Down Terrace." It could be a comedy, but it's not really funny and mostly people just sit around the house doing nothing. Okay, so maybe it is a kitchen sink drama about the perils of family but then it is hard to take seriously with the odd turns the plot takes. To quote Batman, criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot and if they also use their own product, like they do here, a paranoid lot. But their actions should still have a rationale and the ending particularly does not make any sense.
September 30, 2011
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Superb, tiny budgeted film shot in sequence in one week. The performances are natural and engaging, the film looks fantastic (DP Laurie Rose is a master) and is wonderfully edited. Blackly funny and thrilling with an edge of harsh violence.
December 10, 2012
danieljparsons

Super Reviewer

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