The Sweeney (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Sweeney (2013)



Critic Consensus: Ray Winstone exudes tough-guy bravado, but this cop thriller otherwise feels thoroughly generic.

Movie Info

Tearing up the streets of London, THE SWEENEY is a stylish, exhilarating action thriller proving sometimes you have to act like a criminal to catch a criminal. Armed and dangerous, the Sweeney Flying Squad are old school crime fighters enforcing the law. Led by legendary detective Jack Regan (Ray Winstone) and his loyal partner, they have their own unique way of operating and always get results. With a bank heist in progress and his old enemy making a reappearance on the London crime scene, Regan will do whatever it takes to get the job done, even defying orders from his no-nonsense boss (Damian Lewis). (c) eOnemore
Rating: R (for violence and language throughout and some sexual content)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By: Nick Love, John Hodge
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 2, 2013
Box Office: $26.3k
Entertianment One Films - Official Site


Ray Winstone
as Jack Regan
Plan B
as George Carter
Hayley Atwell
as Nancy Lewis
Paul Anderson
as Francis Allen
Alan Ford
as Harry
Damian Lewis
as Frank Haskins
Caroline Chikezie
as Kara Clarke
Allen Leech
as Simon Ellis
Ronnie Fox
as Johnny Wextru
Michael Wildman
as Evelyn Simmonds
Steven Waddington
as Nathan Miller
Kevin Michael
as Makin Trebolt
Kara Tointon
as Megan Barret
Ed Skrein
as David
Joan Blackham
as Landlady
John Warnaby
as Mr. Bledisoe
Lee Whitlock
as Whitlock
Zora Suleman
as Reporter
Mark Killeen
as Spook 1
Josh Myers
as Armed Officer
Joshua Myers
as Armed Officer
Florence Brudenell-B...
as Young Bank Lady
Sonny Muslim
as Sabaru Driver 1
Alex Austin
as Sabaru Driver 2
Jack Cooper
as Spook 2
Marina Niel
as Natalija Wolscat
Tony Lucken
as Sawn Off
Julia Deakin
as Older Woman
Jack Cooper
as Spook 2
Ben Drew
as George Carter
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Sweeney

Critic Reviews for The Sweeney

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (13)

[It] feels a lot like an American-made cop movie circa 1990.

Full Review… | March 1, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

Based on a '70s British program, this is a bombastic effort that, while not successful, is still as bracing as a cold pint.

Full Review… | March 1, 2013
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Winstone is, as always, perfectly believable as a tough guy and after a slow start - due, somewhat, to American ears adjusting to those problematic accents - the film hits a groove.

Full Review… | March 1, 2013
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

Maybe it worked in the '70s; it's too worn to work these days. Ray Winstone needs to find better rocks to chew on.

Full Review… | March 1, 2013
Detroit News
Top Critic

The movie blithely repeats most of the clichés of the American badass-cop flick, only in impenetrable Cockney.

Full Review… | March 1, 2013
New York Post
Top Critic

This might just be a British thing that we don't understand - literally.

Full Review… | February 28, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Sweeney


An ok English crime action film based on the old TV series. It looked very good from the trailer, but unfortunately that is quite misleading in the terms of the film as a whole. There are some good chase scenes and action set pieces, although not quite up to Heat (Which one scene is very similar to) but it does have the iconic London landmarks in there. Overall not bad but a bit more action would have been great.

Dean King

Super Reviewer

An awesome and wickedly entertaining film. I loved this movie. An extremely tough, stylish, exhilarating and utterly brilliant action-thriller. One of the most gripping and intense British cop movies made in years. An explosive, cool and hard-boiled action flick that's right on the money and hits the jackpot. A powerful and enthralling film. Director, Nick Love scores with dark humor, gritty action and strong characters in his fierce and compelling movie that just rocks. A razor-sharp and cool as hell adrenaline-rush that keeps you on the edge of your seat right till the very finish. It serves up some heavy and red-hot car chases, gun-battles and fight sequences as well as some strong character development that adds more than enough meat to the characters. A sizzling re-vamp of the classic series, urbanizing it for today's audiences and showing old-school with a mix of new blood works well. A must-see. A stellar all-star cast. Ray Winstone is electrifying. Ben Drew is explosive. Drew and Winstone have great chemistry, they work very well together and add the right amount of strength and humor to their compelling characters. Damian Lewis is terrific. Hayley Atwell is excellent. Steven Mackintosh is wonderful.

Al S

Super Reviewer


An armed response unit attached to the Metropolitan Police targets a gang of international armed robber whilst being investigated by Internal Affairs for their extreme methods. The 1970s TV show upon which this film was based was in fact an extremely gritty, no-nonsense cop show that attempted to show life on the crime riddled streets of London in a warts and all, believable way. Of course, anyone completely devoid of imagination will not be able to see past the flares, side burns, casual sexist and racist attitudes and hopelessly out dated motors that were the hallmark of the time in which it was made. One such individual is no doubt the script writer of the big screen version we see here. No cliche is left unturned as an absurdly stereotypical collection of coppers, grasses, lags and geezers do porridge, get on the blower and bellow "Leave it aht, you slaaaaag!!" at each other throughout a plot that is so devoid of imagination it beggars belief. Ray Winstone is capable of some great performances but saddled with a character and dialogue of an obnoxious East End thug he has nowhere to turn except soon-to-be-forgotten pop star Plan B whose performance akin to a mumbling, stoned hoodie renders every scene he appears in nigh on unwatchable. The production value is TV standard at best, the car chases about as exciting as a Top Gear road test and the big set piece that features a running shoot out through the more tourist-friendly parts of London is so obviously a cheap knock off of Heat that it serves only to remind you how second rate it is in comparison. If it's a witty pastiche of 70s cop shows you want, I'd watch BBC TV drama Life On Mars instead as The Sweeney is as cheap and nasty as it is low brow.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

The Sweeney Quotes

– Submitted by Tony K (2 years ago)

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