Gangster No. 1 Reviews

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October 12, 2014
Malcolm McDowell, Malcolm "facking" McDowell
August 2, 2014
As excellent Paul Bettany was at playing Malcolm MacDowell, the whole thing got dragged down in being really psychotic.
August 1, 2014
Brutal, vicious, well acted, and over the top british thriller with a menacing and wonderful lead performance from Paul Bettany. The actors are all good but the film loses its energy and uniqueness by the end. we end up wonderfing is that all there is and why do we want to care about a bad man without any redeeming qualities. It could have been a classic.
½ December 26, 2013
Superb performance by Malcolm McDowel !
April 17, 2008
I thought this was a brilliant character study. Malcolm McDowell is brilliant as the old, experienced hardened gangster, but the real star for me personally, was Paul Bettany, who played the gangster's younger self. He paints this haunting and horrifying image of this sadistic sociopath who clearly wants to impress people he knows are his betters, but does his best to undermine them at every opportunity. What he is really left with in the end, is him being a cold, bitter man, who is clearly filled with regrets and false sense of satisfaction. I enjoyed this experience, and I really felt the journey of this man, watching him rise to power. It doesn't matter that the transition is glossed over, we got to know his character from various angles, and what you really need to see, is the end result. This is one of the finest British crime films, and it is up there with "Sexy Beast", where Ben Kingsley seemingly plays a similar type of character (although both are different and stand apart).
½ November 2, 2013
Outstanding British crime drama. Paul Bettany channels a bit of Alex Delarge in his performance. I'm amazed I hadn't seen this sooner.
July 6, 2007
Great cast, but it didn't grab me that much.
½ December 23, 2012
this movie in parts crosses into horror in my opinion. gangster no.1 played by paul bettany and malcolm mc dowell is a horrible horrible person and there is alot of insight into hi taughts in this film he actually reminds me abit of alex from a clock work orange with malcolm mc dowell but i think he is even worse with no fantasy to hide behind. I rate it between 3 and 3.5 i will give it 3.5 because its an unusual film.
½ May 28, 2013
origonal gangster movie but in some ways odd
½ May 15, 2013
This is a personal favorite UK gangster flick.
½ May 2, 2013
Has there ever been a double bill of American Psycho and this film? I think the comparisons are definitely present, the leads are both misogynists and probably both are frustrated and closeted homosexuals. Of course this film also reminds me, a little bit, of A Clockwork Orange, and not just because of the fact that Malcolm McDowell is in it. It's just the way some of the scenes are shot, most specifically the ultra-violent scene where *SPOILER* Ganster No. 1 kills Lennie Taylor. For some reason, this scene reminds me of something off a A Clockwork Orange. Not to mention the main character being an insane, cold-blooded man doesn't help with the comparisons to A Clockwork Orange or American Psycho. I really liked this movie to be honest, I found the development of No. 1 to be interesting and seeing how his obsession with Freddie plays out in the flashback scenes. They certainly have a weird relationship because it's clear that No. 1 respects Freddie and looks up to him, but there's also times where he loathes the man for, what he perceives to be, weakness. Like falling in love with Karen. There's also this side to No. 1 that seems to be in love with Freddie. They don't really make a big deal out of this, it's mostly body language and the way No. 1 behaves whenever Freddie's around a woman. I wouldn't say it's subtle, but if you're not paying attention you will completely miss out on a very important part of the main character's personality. If there was a problem with the film is that some of the more stylistic scenes don't do anything for me and just feel like an attempt to make the film "cooler", which it didn't really need since the film was cool enough as it is. For example when you see some of No. 1's violent acts, the screen shatters like glass and I have no idea what that was there for, because it looked like it was very cheaply done. There's also some scenes with No. 1 walking where he, and the screen, are consumed by fire. Again, good idea in theory but it looks lame in execution. If there's another problem with the film is that the flashback stuff, or the story of how No. 1 screwed Freddie and became the boss which comprises a LARGE part of the film, is infinitely superior to the stuff after Freddie comes out of prison. And the ending is also pretty corny in some parts, mostly in McDowell's performance and some of his lines. I thought that the acting was strong. Paul Bettany's performance took a little to grow on me, but I thought he was great as this psychopath with little to any redeeming qualities. The supporting cast is strong, but it's really the Paul Bettany show here and he delivers. I really liked this movie, it isn't without its flaws but it is an entertaining, violent, and intriguing story about a man's unhealthy obsession with his boss. Definitely a must-watch if you have Netflix Instant.
July 11, 2012
Chronicles the rise and fall of a prominent and particularly ruthless English gangster.
Director Paul McGuigans follow up to the surreal film 'The Acid House' is very much your standard rise and fall gangster film which have paved the genre for many years.

'Gangster No 1' is famous for Paul Bettany's debut performance but apart from a few impressive scenes involving the actor, the stand out being between Bettany and Eddie Marsan in Marsan's kitchen which is impressive.

Bettany doesn?t really have much to do. The best acting goes to the brilliant Eddie Marsan.
Overall 'Gangster No 1' is allot of style and very little originality, as well as the viewer never really caring for these nasty gangsters and other dull characters.
June 23, 2012
A brilliant movie and two brilliant performances from Malcolm McDowell and Paul Bettany. Davis Thewlis is also great and so is the rest of the supporting cast. It's very unappreciated and underrated, more people should watch this. Brutal, cool and sometimes funny, Gangster no 1 is one of my favourites.
July 3, 2012
Woah. I am disturbed. Malcolm McDowell is scarier in this than in A Clockwork Orange.
June 8, 2012
A very energetic, brutal and cool movie. The first time that i´ve seen it I was paralyzed by the performance of Paul Bettany und his psychotic Acting. He´s brilliant and enormously sexy in his role. The music and the setting of the movie in the environment of Criminals in London is also sympathetic to me, as I am anglophile and therefore very attracted to the theme und subject of the movie. All in all i have to say everything, I mean every aspect of the movie, the story, the style, the actors and the hole composition is successful.
But the most important: Paul Bettany acts ace!
½ December 22, 2011
I was disappointed with this one, drawn to it by its cast, but let down by the same elements, as well as the script. This film was so surreal and semi-spoofy, silly even, that I lost track of what looked intentional and what didn't. McDowell/Bettany's character is the almost perfect example of a one-dimensional character who became increasingly tedious to watch and listen to. Saved by some nice music and editing, this strange and still somehow fun film isn't something I'd recommend.
½ June 4, 2012
looks very very good
April 23, 2012
All time favorite movie... Best P.O.V. and in the mind of a psycho murder scene ever. But that isn't what makes the movie so great. And it sure ain't their silly little british accents either.. It is a love story.. Don't get it twisted.
½ March 23, 2012
This film was a fan girl's nerdy nirvana because not only does it have two of my all-time favorite actors: Paul Bettany (who was totally freaky in this one) and David Thewlis (who was supremely dreamy) but it was a treat to see a very young and almost unrecognizable Andrew Lincoln (aka Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead). This was a little gritty, a wee bit dark and twisty but overall great and the ending was just fab! The ensemble did a super job (of course, no surprise there), most notably the character Eddie Miller played by ubber talented character actor Eddie Marsan (who I first loved from the mini-series "Little Dorrit"). Very clever, very cool and well executed film. Loved it!
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