The Legend of Barney Thomson

2015, Comedy, 1h 36m

37 Reviews 500+ Ratings

What to know

critics consensus

The Legend of Barney Thomson may not quite live up to its grandiose title, but it offers a fine calling card for debuting director Carlyle, and Emma Thompson's performance adds a spark. Read critic reviews

You might also like

Big Ass Spider!
Hell on the Border
Richard: The Lionheart
5-Headed Shark Attack
Adult World

Rate And Review

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

The Legend of Barney Thomson Photos

Movie Info

A London detective (Ray Winstone) believes a socially awkward barber (Robert Carlyle) may be behind a series of murders in Glasgow, Scotland.

Cast & Crew

Ashley Jensen
Detective Inspector June Robertson
Tom Courtenay
Chief Superintendent McManaman
James Cosmo
James Henderson
Sam Robertson
Detective Sergeant Sam Jobson
Richard Cowan
Screenwriter
Colin McLaren
Screenwriter
Doug Apatow
Executive Producer
Kirk D'Amico
Executive Producer
Fabian Wagner
Cinematographer
Mike Banas
Film Editor
Antony Genn
Original Music
Martin Slattery
Original Music
Ross Dempster
Production Design
Kevin Woodhouse
Art Director
Dominic Smithers
Set Decoration
Sharon Long
Costume Designer
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for The Legend of Barney Thomson

Audience Reviews for The Legend of Barney Thomson

  • Jul 21, 2016
    Robert Carlyle can act and direct, it's the script that's letting him down here.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 25, 2016
    Unless your a follower of the TV show Once Upon a Time (which I'm not) then you'll probably have noticed the absence of actor Robert Carlyle from our film screens. The occasional low-key drama like California Solo in 2012 and Samantha Morton's hard-hitting The Unloved in 2009 have surfaced here and there but they didn't receive a wide release at all. In fact, I have yet to even see the former and Carlyle had a very small role in the latter (albeit a powerful one). You'd probably have to go as far back as 2007's 28 Weeks Later to mention a film that a mainstream audience might be more familiar with. Now, though, he's back. And back he comes to his hometown of Glasgow to make his directorial debut with a very Scottish-centric black comedy. Barney Thomson (Carlyle) is a socially awkward barber who fails to strike up any rapport with his customers. As a result, his boss Wullie (Stephen McCole) decides to let him go. Without his job, though, the only thing Barney has got in his life is his domineering mother Cemolina (Emma Thompson) and in aid to keep a hold of his job, Barney finds himself in the unlikely position of becoming a serial killer. Anyone who's followed my blog for a period of time may remember the glowing praise I have regularly afforded to Carlyle. I think he's a fantastic actor and one of Scotland's best. It's been saddening to see so little of him over recent years but a pleasure to see him return with an adaptation of the first book in writer Douglas Lindsay's Barbershop Seven series - The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson. It's a quintessentially Scottish story that requires someone with a knowledge of the city (and it's inhabitants) to adapt it for the screen and, on that note, Carlyle is the perfect man for the job. His ability to capture the Glasgow idiom is, as expected, on full display here and there are regular moments of hilarity. He also utilises the austere city locations to brilliant effect. The time in which it's set is not entirely clear (it could be set in the 70's or 80's) but Carlyle has a good eye for a bygone era and captures a particular style with crisp and observant detail. He's also managed to assemble an impressive cast who contribute characters that are as colourful as their language; Emma Thomson is a foul mouthed treat under her cheap leopard print coat, heavy make-up and an even heavier Glaswegian accent. Winstone does his usual cockney fing but it works well for the material and there's a quality supporting cast of Scottish actors from James Cosmo, Martin Compston, Stephen McCole and Ashley Jensen - who gives Winstone a run for his money in the three-testicle profanity stakes. As the titular character, Carlyle flits between drama and comedy with ease and displays and myriad of emotions along the way: despair, desperation and rage consume his character daily and his nervous disposition and social awkwardness doesn't help matters. As an actor, Carlyle's chops have never really been in question but the overhanging question surrounding this film is whether his direction is it up to scratch? Well, the answer to the that is a simple... yes. Yes it is. Carlyle shows some impressive and inventive directorial flourishes and you can see where directors he has worked with have had an influence on his approach. It's definitely a talent that I hope he chooses to explore more of - although he has already stated that he's in no rush to do so. The film is not without problems, though. They don't lie with the performances or the direction but, predominantly, with the narrative. At times, the pacing feels off and the least said about the final third of the film, the better. Suffice to say that it drastically falls apart with a misplaced, explosive denouement that looks like it's wandered in from another film. It's the type of material that the Coen brother's handle comfortably but in his first directorial outing Carlyle has enough panache and talent to make it work and make it enjoyably macabre and offbeat entertainment. It's always been apparent that Carlyle has a flair for drama but he proves to have a good eye and ear for comedy too. I wonder how well this would translate to others who are perhaps unfamiliar with Scottish humour but, over time, this has the potential to become quite the little cult movie. Mark Walker
    Mark W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 05, 2016
    You'll need to be able to decipher a Glasgow accent to catch a ride in this Robert Carlisle directorial offing wherein an everyman barber suddenly finds his life littered with body parts and the coppers closing in on him as the suspected killer. I laughed throughout this dark comedy that's totally stolen by zaftig Emma Thompson as a bingo lady gone way bad.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 02, 2016
    http://cinephilecrocodile.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/the-legend-ofbarney-thomson-dir-robert.html
    Anthony L Super Reviewer

Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Movie & TV guides