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The Sweeney (2013)


Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 61
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 33

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

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 8

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


Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 6,258


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, … More

R (for violence and language throughout and some sexual content)
Drama , Action & Adventure , Art House & International
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Apr 2, 2013
Box Office:
Entertianment One Films - Official Site



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Critic Reviews for The Sweeney

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (33)

[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

It goes nowhere, lost in the thick, indecipherable cockney accents and seemingly endless shootouts and car chases.

Full Review… | May 13, 2013
The Patriot Ledger

The Sweeney Is Cliché After Cliché To The Point Of Parody.

Full Review… | March 9, 2013
The Playlist

You'd be better off going out into the lobby for popcorn and a soda for the first hour.

Full Review… | March 7, 2013
East Bay Express

Pulpy Brit actioner for die-hard fans of Ray Winstone, whose close-to-camp turn as '70s TV hero Jack Regan isn't enough to warrant a booking.

Full Review… | March 5, 2013
Film Journal International

Let's not waste each other's time. You already know whether this sounds like the kind of top bloke you'd fancy having a pint with. If so, The Sweeney is your film.

Full Review… | March 4, 2013

The film is just stylized enough to register as above average, but on the whole it's pretty forgettable - the kind of film you describe with a noncommittal "interesting," while walking out of the theater.

Full Review… | March 2, 2013

This British film's coppers are all anachronisms as are the filmmakers' attitudes toward their anti-heroes and female characters.

Full Review… | March 1, 2013

If you watched any of the dozens of gritty BBC crime dramas that have reached our shores over the last decade, The Sweeney looks and feels like a bigger-budgeted version of those productions.

Full Review… | March 1, 2013
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

This throwback to 1970s cops and robbers movies had me 'nicked.'

Full Review… | March 1, 2013
Boston Herald

This is Winstone's show and it's a perfect showcase for his bluff, easygoing machismo. He was born to play this lovable scoundrel, with an emphasis on his rogue elements.

Full Review… | March 1, 2013
Hollywood & Fine

An intermittently exciting watch, thanks to some screeching car chases and a brilliant Central London shootout.

Full Review… | February 28, 2013

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 !

Super Reviewer

I was never a fan of the original Sweeney so I'm not upset at them for remaking and ruining the characters, I'm just upset that I've wasted time and money on watching it. The story is crap and the acting is worse. Plan B is an idiot, I hate him and anyone that likes him. I saw one of his gigs around 7 years ago and I think many of his 'fans' would be shocked at his old material. He's a nasty little idiot. I saw him in an interview claiming it was, and I paraphrase "Hard to act as a copper, seeing as I've never really seen eye to eye with them in the past". What a tool. He can't act either. Ray Winstone I'm afraid is now in 'overrated' territory with more misses under his belt than there are hits. Nick Love is the chav godfather, he's gone downhill as well. If you're happy to believe a 12 year old drug dealer could be chief of the Flying Squad then you might be stupid enough to enjoy it.

Anthony Lawrie

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

Jack Regan: Put your trousers on. You're nicked!
– Submitted by Tony K (18 months ago)

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