Gangster No. 1 (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Gangster No. 1 (2000)

Gangster No. 1 (2000)



Critic Consensus: Gangster No. 1 is brutally violent, yet also compelling.

Gangster No. 1 Photos

Movie Info

In London's Soho section in the 1960's, a leading gangster boss teaches his ambitious young apprentice the secrets of his trade.

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Malcolm McDowell
as Gangster 55
Paul Bettany
as Young Gangster
Doug Allen
as Mad John
David Kennedy
as Fat Charlie
Jamie Forman
as Lennie Taylor
Alex McSweeney
as Bloke in Tailor's
Binky Baker
as Dodgy Geezer
Martyn Read
as Rough Diamond
Don McCorkindale
as Smashing Bloke
Arthur Nightingale
as Toilet Attendant
Jack Pierce
as Jack the Lad
Gary McCormack
as Giggler Bennett
Sean Chapman
as Bent Cop
Georgina Bull
as Fat Charlie's Girl
Jo-Anne Nighy
as Roland's Girl
Simone Bowkett
as Rowland's Girl
Lisa Ellis
as Waitress
Simon Marc
as Freddie's Attacker
Tony Denham
as Club Manager
Jo McInnes
as Lesley
Lorraine Stanley
as Attacker's Friend
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Critic Reviews for Gangster No. 1

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (13)

Director Paul McGuigan and cast infuse the proceedings with a strong dose of psychotic gusto and visual flare.

September 12, 2002 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Doesn't offer much besides glib soullessness, raunchy language and a series of brutal set pieces ... that raise the bar on stylized screen violence.

July 26, 2002 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Clever, brutal and strangely soulful movie.

July 19, 2002 | Full Review…
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

The film has a kind of hard, cold effect.

July 19, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Gangster No. 1 is solid, satisfying fare for adults.

July 11, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

They crush each other under cars, throw each other out windows, electrocute and dismember their victims in full consciousness. And we don't avert our eyes for a moment.

June 14, 2002 | Rating: 3/4
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Gangster No. 1


Gangster No. 1 will never be the no. 1 gangster film, if nothing else, because its title is no good, but it's got its charm. Paul Bettany plays a very believable psychotic mastermind, and Malcolm McDowell plays, well, a very believable psychotic mastermind all grown up. Plus, there's a lot of cool, well-shot violence. Lot of well-made sets and costumes, too. But the story is pretty predictable, mostly believable but certainly predictable.


Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


Gangster 55: I'm Superman! King fucking Kong! I can pick you up and throw you a million miles. I'm number one.  "It's not who you know, it's who you kill." I'll admit it did take me awhile to warm up to Gangster No. 1, but it did turn out to be a really good English Gangster film. What won me over were the performances by Paul Bettany, Malcolm McDowell and David Thewlis. Each of those actors gave an outstanding performance. The movie chronicles the rise and fall of Gangster No. 55, played by Paul Bettany when he's young and Malcolm McDowell when he's old. Both actors really sell the character and make the Gangster a very interesting character. I always enjoy watching Malcolm McDowell and he gives a sinister performance. He also does an extremely good voice over throughout the entire movie. Bettany is equally sinister and really makes the movie. Gangster No. 1 or as I prefer, The Gangster with No Name, does have it's flaws though. Many times the film comes of as an exercise in style of substance. It uses a lot of different editing techniques that I don't think helps the movie at all. If anything, I believe it hurts it. Like I said it did take me awhile to get into the movie. It didn't really become captivating until half way through, but from there on out it really is a great movie. Honestly I almost turned it off a few times in the firs 45 minutes, but I'm really glad a gave it a shot. It's not going to be a gangster classic by any means. It borrows from a lot of previous films, but in the end it does separate it's self from all of them. It's a cool, stylistic and well-acted movie. 

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

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