Neither an effective gangland thriller nor an achieved elegy for a lord undone.
The film lost me, and the sad twists of unrealistic mumbo jumbo crescendoing into pure mayhem ruined what could have been a thespian delight.
| Original Score: 2/4
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.
| Original Score: 2/5
We spend so much time trying desperately to get everything straight in our minds that the raw punch of the material passes us by.
Would get no love were it not for Harris' powerful performance.
| Original Score: C
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
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
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.
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.
This ponderous, heavy-handed version of King Lear almost makes me think it's best left to the Americans.
Without Shakespeare's eloquent language, the update is dreary and sluggish.
| Original Score: 1/5
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: 2/5
Harris commands the screen, using his frailty to suggest the ravages of a life of corruption and ruthlessness.
Harris's performance is one for the ages, but the others are also up to his mark.
| Original Score: 7/10
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-
Leading man Harris and director Boyd are still capable of invigorating British cinema with style and flair.
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
Richard Harris is at his weariest, battle-scarred best...
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-