Gangster No. 1 2000

Gangster No. 1

Critics Consensus

Gangster No. 1 is brutally violent, yet also compelling.

71%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 52

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,851

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Movie Info

The time is now. The scene is a ringside table at a boxing match, held at a deluxe London hotel. At the head of the table sits Gangster (Malcolm McDowell), the undisputed king of London's gangland. Life couldn't be sweeter, until Gangster learns that Freddie Mays is being released from prison. Freddie Mays, his old boss and mentor, is coming out after doing 30 years for murder. Hearing Freddie Mays' name, even after all these years, stirs up a frightening well of emotions in Gangster...

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Gangster No. 1

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (15)

Audience Reviews for Gangster No. 1

  • Sep 29, 2013
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • May 02, 2013
    Has there ever been a double bill of American Psycho and this film? I think the comparisons are definitely present, the leads are both misogynists and probably both are frustrated and closeted homosexuals. Of course this film also reminds me, a little bit, of A Clockwork Orange, and not just because of the fact that Malcolm McDowell is in it. It's just the way some of the scenes are shot, most specifically the ultra-violent scene where *SPOILER* Ganster No. 1 kills Lennie Taylor. For some reason, this scene reminds me of something off a A Clockwork Orange. Not to mention the main character being an insane, cold-blooded man doesn't help with the comparisons to A Clockwork Orange or American Psycho. I really liked this movie to be honest, I found the development of No. 1 to be interesting and seeing how his obsession with Freddie plays out in the flashback scenes. They certainly have a weird relationship because it's clear that No. 1 respects Freddie and looks up to him, but there's also times where he loathes the man for, what he perceives to be, weakness. Like falling in love with Karen. There's also this side to No. 1 that seems to be in love with Freddie. They don't really make a big deal out of this, it's mostly body language and the way No. 1 behaves whenever Freddie's around a woman. I wouldn't say it's subtle, but if you're not paying attention you will completely miss out on a very important part of the main character's personality. If there was a problem with the film is that some of the more stylistic scenes don't do anything for me and just feel like an attempt to make the film "cooler", which it didn't really need since the film was cool enough as it is. For example when you see some of No. 1's violent acts, the screen shatters like glass and I have no idea what that was there for, because it looked like it was very cheaply done. There's also some scenes with No. 1 walking where he, and the screen, are consumed by fire. Again, good idea in theory but it looks lame in execution. If there's another problem with the film is that the flashback stuff, or the story of how No. 1 screwed Freddie and became the boss which comprises a LARGE part of the film, is infinitely superior to the stuff after Freddie comes out of prison. And the ending is also pretty corny in some parts, mostly in McDowell's performance and some of his lines. I thought that the acting was strong. Paul Bettany's performance took a little to grow on me, but I thought he was great as this psychopath with little to any redeeming qualities. The supporting cast is strong, but it's really the Paul Bettany show here and he delivers. I really liked this movie, it isn't without its flaws but it is an entertaining, violent, and intriguing story about a man's unhealthy obsession with his boss. Definitely a must-watch if you have Netflix Instant.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Oct 29, 2011
    Summary: A great British gangster movie. It's violent, scary, thrilling and a little psychotic. The Good: The movie is not filled completely with action but you will never be bored. The acting is superb and you will be genuinely interested in the story and characters. There is lots of blood as well. The Bad: Not much bad I can say, unless you don't like awesomeness. Ratings: Acting: 10/10 Story: 9/10 Originalality: 8/10 Soundtrack: 8/10 Characters: 9/10 Overall: 9.2/10
    Professor W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 13, 2011
    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 W Super Reviewer

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