Richard Harris is at his weariest, battle-scarred best...
Leading man Harris and director Boyd are still capable of invigorating British cinema with style and flair.
A fun retelling of the Lear story, taking great liberties with the play's text that makes for a certain amount of suspense even for those intimately familiar with the original.
| Original Score: A-
Neither an effective gangland thriller nor an achieved elegy for a lord undone.
Would get no love were it not for Harris' powerful performance.
| Original Score: C
We spend so much time trying desperately to get everything straight in our minds that the raw punch of the material passes us by.
| Original Score: 2/5
Suffice it to say that Shakespeare's sudden and violent ending doesn't translate well into a British crime drama.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
Harris's performance is one for the ages, but the others are also up to his mark.
| Original Score: 7/10
Watching Harris ham it up while physically and emotionally disintegrating over the course of the movie has a certain poignancy in light of his recent death, but Boyd's film offers little else of consequence.
| Original Score: 2/4
Without Shakespeare's eloquent language, the update is dreary and sluggish.
| Original Score: 1/5
The cast reigns supreme, especially Harris, whose regal presence as the aging emperor of gangland grounds the story even as it suffers from narrative overload.
| Original Score: B-
The film lost me, and the sad twists of unrealistic mumbo jumbo crescendoing into pure mayhem ruined what could have been a thespian delight.
Whereas last year's exemplary Sexy Beast seemed to revitalize the British gangster movie, this equally brutal outing merely sustains it.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Gaunt, silver-haired and leonine, [Harris] brings a tragic dimension and savage full-bodied wit and cunning to the aging Sandeman.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
A baffling subplot involving smuggling drugs inside Danish cows falls flat, and if you're going to alter the Bard's ending, you'd better have a good alternative.
Harris commands the screen, using his frailty to suggest the ravages of a life of corruption and ruthlessness.
This ponderous, heavy-handed version of King Lear almost makes me think it's best left to the Americans.
The plot is very clever, but Boyd weighs it down with too many characters and events, all intertwined and far too complicated to keep track of.
Boyd's screenplay (co-written with Guardian hack Nick Davies) has a florid turn of phrase that owes more to Guy Ritchie than the Bard of Avon.
| Original Score: 2/5