Mr. Nice - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mr. Nice Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 21, 2013
Howard Marks: A dealer is really just someone who buys more dope than he can smoke. And I have to say, I'm ashamed, I tried to smoke it all. There was just too fuckin' much of it.

"Most Wanted. Most Wasted."

Mr. Nice is a movie I thoroughly enjoyed, and more than anything, it really made me want to read Howard Marks' book. There's a few annoyances throughout and from what I've read, it isn't nearly as good as the book. On a subjective level though, I really loved it. This is material that is worth showing. It's fun to watch, it's insightful(probably not as much as the book I would imagine), but more than anything I loved Rhys Ifans and Chloe Savigny.†

Mr. Nice is the life story of Howard Marks. Marks learned about marijuana from a guy while attending and graduating from Oxford. After graduating, he takes a teaching position that isn't getting him much money. So when that guy who introduced him to the magical plant gets busted, he turns the business over to Marks. Marks takes over and the business flourishes. The title, Mr. Nice, is based on one of Marks' aliases and I would be led to believe it is why there's a popular and powerful strain of marijuana called just that, Mr. Nice.†

A lot of the criticism for the film seems to be from those who have read the book and I can't really deny that the film is a bad adaption because I haven't read the book. I will now, but as of seeing the movie, I haven't. So luckily I watched this before because based on those opinions, I wouldn't have cared for it nearly as much.

If you're at all interested in drug smuggling or maybe just the man himself, give this film a look. I loved the style, loved the dialogue, loved the cast, and loved the source material. Howard Marks was an extraordinary man and his life makes for an extraordinary story.†
May 29, 2013
I like Mr. Nice better than Blow. Nice has more interesting tangents like the IRA, Oxford, etc. Nice is funnier, "nordle"!
½ May 28, 2013
A pretty awesome start turned into a bomb of a movie. If they took the time to put money into this and not CGI everywhere they went, it might have worked. Interesting story, how much is true though? I thought Ifans played the role superbly though.
May 27, 2013
A rubbish film version of a great book. The director Bernard Rose should be taken outside at dawn and shot by firing squad.
½ May 4, 2013
Good story and great acting from Rhys.
April 28, 2013
Rhys Ifans scrubs up pretty well when he tries but you can't beat Ms Sevigny for her sartorial sexiness. She is one gorgeous cat !
½ April 2, 2013
Im not happy with Rhys Ifans as Howard Marks here. Many times he just made the great man appear a bit gormless / clueless. Also had i not read the book, i might have struggled to follow the events as they are linked together as a movie. But it was a good watch. Could have done it better
½ April 1, 2013
Not bad but I found it slightly boring. Maybe cos I have no interest in drug smugglers and their lives. Rhys Ifans is great as always. Tells the story of Harold Marks pretty well
March 2, 2013
Great film fully explaining the story of Howard Marks. Having met Howard this is a fantastic insight into his life
February 12, 2013
A sympathetic telling of Howard Marks' story, but nonetheless highly watchable.
½ February 11, 2013
Bad script and worst book to film adaption Ive ever seen. Its a shame as the book was a thrilling read.
February 9, 2013
I can't claim to have known too much about this one before giving it a look; I have seen/heard Rhys Ifans interviewed quite a few times and this is one of his films that gets a lot of mentions. On the strength of this I decided to give it the once over. Not the best production ever, but quite a compelling (true) story nonetheless. Here's a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

Based on his book, we are told the story of Mr. Nice; a.k.a. Howard Marks (Rhys Ifans). From his humble beginnings in a small town in Wales, on to Oxford University and then into the world of international drug smuggling. On the way he meets his wife, Judy (ChloŽ Sevigny) and is involved with an IRA arms dealer, Jim McCann (David Thewlis). He is recruited by MI6, lies in court but is eventually brought to justice. It's quite an enthralling tale but one I ultimately found was very unbalanced (more on that later).

I don't know whether it was deliberate or not, but I found the picture quality very poor. It may have been to make it look more like a period piece, but more likely it was the best the budget would allow. I thought Rhys Ifans did an excellent job, although he never seems to age all through the film! I loved the small part David Thewlis played; the mad-cap Irishman was just brilliant. As to the plot; well I found it far too sympathetic to Marks; not surprising since it was based on his book I hear you say. But I would have thought the filmmakers would have put a little balance in there; what effect did all the drugs he sold all over the world have? How many innocent lives were affected? All this seemed inconsequential and probably explains why, despite some excellent performances, the film didn't perform very well both at the box office and also critically. For me, whilst I enjoyed the performances, I found it a little too self-indulgent.

SteelMonster's verdict: RECOMMENDED (...Just)

My score: 5.8/10.
February 7, 2013
Based upon the autobiography published in 1997 by Howard Marks, adapted and directed by Bernard Rose (Chicago Joe and the Showgirl (1990), Candyman (1992) and Immortal Beloved (1994)), who also photographed and edited the film. This is an entertaining biopic of Marks, a mysterious and charismatic Welshman, who isn't a bad man, It's a good film, which a likeable lead performance, but it does have inconsistencies. Howard Marks (Rhys Ifans) studied at Oxford in the 1960's, and studied to become a teacher, but he's been introduced to marijuana by fellow Oxford student Graham Plinson (Jack Huston), from there, Howard ends up trafficking drugs between the UK and Germany, but this small empire grows into a bigger one, and he's smuggling drugs into America from Afghanistan via Spain, at first in the touring equipment of big bands. Howard gets married to Judy (ChloŽ Sevigny), and his contacts include IRA runner Jim McCann (David Thewlis) and American Ernie Combs (Crispin Glover), but the law want him, but he manages to get away with it, but for how long?? It's an entertaining film, and Ifans makes Marks into a likeable rogue, even if what he's done is highly illegal. It tries to be a UK version of American Gangster, but there's a lot of gaps in the story, and how he was able to move around, but it's still worth a look.
½ January 17, 2013
Nothing much to see here unless you're just a fan of Rhys Ifans. He's the only real reason to watch it.
Super Reviewer
½ September 21, 2012
As Howard Marks(Rhys Ifans) tells his rapt audience, his high intelligence allowed him to not only escape regular school beatings and rugby but also his depressed Welsh village. At Oxford University, he turns on, tunes in, and almost drops out before being given a second chance. After that, he takes up a boring life of near poverty as a teacher with Ilze(Elsa Pataky). But then he gets a fateful phone call from his friend Graham(Jack Huston) from jail in Germany who wants him to do a small favor of driving a drug-filled car back to England. After this successful transit, Howard ponders a better distribution model. Enter James McCann(David Thewlis).

"Mr. Nice" gets off to a good start in firmly establishing its protagonist's psychological motivations for actions in his future life.(Whether he confirms to colonial stereotypes or confounds them is a matter for another debate.) Stylistically, the movie seeks to be of the time it is set, first in black and white and then with a healthy amount of rear projection with spotty references that occasionally set the time like Bloody Sunday before going into the future at supersonic speeds on the Concorde as the characters seemingly never age. After all of that, as presented here, Howard Marks does not seem that remarkable for a drug smuggler, making him little deserving of a biopic. And the movie errs by not fully developing the more gonzo elements of the story like the IRA/MI6 connections that involve an atypically unhinged David Thewlis.
August 27, 2012
Somehow this film manages to get dull, after a while. No matter how exciting the subject itself seems. Rhys Ifans looks to old, but plays very well.
August 23, 2012
Well acted but dragged in parts
August 23, 2012
another period bio-pic about one of UK's drug lords
June 9, 2012
Bio-pics are tough. Sometimes being 100% faithful to the person and/or biography can make a surprisingly uninteresting movie no matter how interesting that person may be. Mr. Nice is ultimately a chronology of a Howard Mark's life without any real story behind it. Perhaps writer and director Bernard Rose wanted to create a movie that isn't judgmental but it just ultimately feels a bit boring despite the criminal dealings. Remaining relatively neutral while working towards a dramatic point is very possible as the Baader-Meinhof Complex has proven and that's where Mr. Nice fails. The film and story is almost too procedural and neutral that feels as if there's no real point to re-telling Mark's life. Characters suddenly appear and disappear without any real dramatic point, and Howard Mark's character himself seems surprisingly underdeveloped. It's just a movie that showed what he did and that's it. To further compound the problem, the movie's monologues are very uninteresting and hinders some of the drama that we see on screen. Despite that, the movies decently directed but very well acted by a Rhys Ifans. It's a nice view but ultimately an inconsequential one.
June 2, 2012
Rhys Ifan just annoyed me. I didn't think his performace was credible or sincere and he reminded totally of the idiot role he had in Notting Hill. Only difference was the wig he wore in this movie. As an actor he sux. As a movie it sux. The director was clearly on drugs.
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