44 Inch Chest

2010

44 Inch Chest

Critics Consensus

An actor's movie with a strong cast, 44 Inch Chest can't quite redeem its static plotting and tonal shifts.

41%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 81

36%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,569
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Movie Info

Colin is in agony, shattered by his wife's infidelity. However, he has friends who do more than stand by -- they kidnap the wife's French lover and hold him prisoner so that Colin can restore his manhood with revenge. A kangaroo court takes place and as the situation escalates Loverboy's life hangs in the balance as Colin wrestles with revenge, remorse, grief and self pity, all the while egged on by his motley crew of friends who just want him to get on with it so they can get down the pub.

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Cast

Ray Winstone
as Colin Diamond
Ian McShane
as Meredith
Joanne Whalley
as Liz Diamond
Dave Legeno
as Brighton Billy
John Hurt
as Old Man Peanut
Steven Berkoff
as Tippi Gordon
Edna Dore
as Archie's Mum
Andy de la Tour
as Biggy Walpole
Derek Lea
as Bumface
Ramon Christian
as Boy on Sofa
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Critic Reviews for 44 Inch Chest

All Critics (81) | Top Critics (23)

Audience Reviews for 44 Inch Chest

  • May 06, 2013
    If there's anything good I can say about this film is that it's a good showcase for its immensely talented cast, with the highlight being Ian McShane. The problem is that the story absolutely goes nowhere. I think the script is entertaining enough, there's some funny lines here and there but I don't really feel like I was given much of a reason to keep watching this movie. The story progression simply isn't as strong as it should be considering the fact that the film, really, is all talk. Not that they should've built to a "violent" climax, but parts of the film end up feeling like self-indulgence from the screenwriters. Not to mention, near the end, where the film, for some reason or another, becomes surreal in trying to show Colin's weakening state of mind. It's a good idea in theory, but in execution, the transition to the more surreal shit is very jarring and not particularly effective. Especially since you already know that Colin has been greatly affected by his wife cheating on him, so it felt unnecessary to have the surreal scenes be a part of Colin's personality. Problem with the story is that, as far as tone, it feels exactly the same at the end as it did at the beginning. Ironically, since Meredith makes mention of it in one of his stories, this film shoots its wad way too early. Five minutes after the movie begins, they've already captured the adulterer. Of course the film doesn't build to anything when you rush through at least 30 minutes of storytelling in the first 5 minutes of it. It begins at a certain level tonally, for lack of a better term, and stays there for the entirety of it. It doesn't really build to anything all that satisfying. The film pretty much consists of a bunch of old guys talking in a room about what to do with the adulterer. And while the performances are more than solid, and some of the stories are very entertaining, I just don't think the main story the movie is trying to tell is really that interesting. Still, at least the acting is so strong because I don't know how I would've reacted to the film if the acting had suck. Great acting and some good comedy, the rest of the film leaves a lot to be desired though.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Aug 09, 2012
    Fantastic cast, acted well by some of the greatest Actors of our time , A superb British cast and i found the language to be highly amusing and found John Hurt to be refreshing as i have never seen a character like that from him! That said i cant have any positive comment regarding the film, you hope so much that its going somewhere and that this couldnt possibly be the sole engine of the movie, unfortunately it was it and your left disappointed and wanting the hour and a half of your life back! Great cast, shame about the storyline!
    Film C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 19, 2012
    Remember the British gangster film "Sexy Beast" released in 2000? You know? The one where "Gandhi" goes ape shit? Well, this film brings some of the cast and crew back together again. Unfortunately, it seems that Ben Kingsley wasn't taking 'yes' for an answer this time and isn't involved. It does, however, have actors Ray Winstone and Ian McShane again, as well as screenwriters Louis Mellis and David Scinto. Now, this may not have gained the same acclimations as it's predecessor but this is still an undeniably powerful film in it own right. When his wife (Joanne Whalley) says she's leaving him for another man, Colin Diamond (Ray Winstone) refuses to take it. He enlists the help of his criminal friends Meredith (Ian McShane), Peanut (John Hurt), Archie (Tom Wilkinson) and Mal (Stephen Dillane) in abducting her lover (Melvil Poupaud). They take him back to an old flat and keep him in a wardrobe, while deciding on how to take revenge. Where "Sexy Beast" had it's English lowlife criminals sunning it up in the villas of Spain. This film has them on their own turf. It's back to the grit and grime of dear ol' 'Landan' where Winstone gets to be 'the Daddy' again. This is no bad thing though as it's what Winstone does best. And... he's not alone. He's joined by an excellent cast of familiar British actors - who all get their turn at spouting some vitriol. It's the performers that's the best thing about this and having such choice actors as Hurt, Wilkinson, McShane, and the very underrated Dillane all backing up the lead, is a thing of dramatic gold. The performances are uniformly superb and it's an added bonus that they don't go anywhere. This is a moody and intense chamber piece that has all of the actors sharing the same limited space for almost the entire film, making it more akin to a stage-play. There is a brooding intensity to it that only benefits from the actors' terrifying and multilayered performances. On the surface, the characters have such a ferocity that they resemble a pack of rabid dogs but there are undercurrents of repression and weakness, at times making them about as threatening as a poodle. It's this very attention to characterisation that keeps this film going. It's also wonderfully shot in a sepia hue that adds a stark and bleak environment to the match the material. It may be too grim and misogynist for some tastes but there's no denying it's vehement and vigorous approach. I greatly enjoyed "Sexy Beast" but it is wholly unfair that this film was compared and ultimately overshadowed by it. This is an impressive, moody and claustrophobic chamber piece with an ensemble that deliver with all the force they can muster.
    Mark W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 16, 2012
    44 Inch Chest is a confined dialogue-driven movie which tries to give a unique, meditative, and humorous take on the revenge genre, in a style not unlike that of The Big Kahuna and other adapted-from-theater films. I respected the ambition, but it's largely undone by an inconsistent tone, ranging from somber to humorous to mind bending-quirky. The blend never quite works. The cast is very strong, full of familiar character actors, but they never really create enough chemistry to carry the unfocused material. They, like the audience, never quite know what sort of movie they are in. It's an interesting misfire, to be sure, but one that most will undoubtedly find frustrating. 2.5/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer

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