New Town Killers


New Town Killers

Critics Consensus

A poorly-made Scottish thriller that suffers from bad cinematography, let-down performances and a distinct lack of thrills.



Total Count: 20


Audience Score

User Ratings: 544
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Movie Info

With a premise that suggests an early 21st century variation on David Fincher's paranoia classic The Game (1997), New Town Killers stars Dougray Scott as Alistair, a slimy, ice water-veined financier who gets his kicks and thrills by targeting human prey. His modus operandi involves bringing in an innocent young candidate for a new job, Jamie Stewart (Alastair Mackenzie), and demanding as a prerequisite that the two play a mysterious game together. They must find a down-and-outer and challenge him to escape from their clutches over the course of one long and fateful night. The "prey" on this occasion is Sean McDonald (James Anthony Pearson), an inner-city teen with a serious problem on his hands: his pregnant sister risks being killed by the thugs to whom she owes gambling money. Alistair informs the young man that if he manages to evade them in their chase, he will receive enough money to clear off the towering gambling debts of his pregnant sister; if he loses, he will be killed. Out of concern for his sister, Sean agrees to the contest, though victory seems impossible for two major reasons: first, the crafty Alistair has closed all major exit routes from the city without informing Sean of this, and second, Alistair secretly plants a tracking device on Sean that the young man isn't aware of.


James Anthony Pearson
as Sean MacDonald
James Pearson
as Sean MacDonald
Liz White
as Alice Kelly
Alastair Mackenzie
as Jamie Stewart
Dougray Scott
as Alistair Raskolnikov
Timothy Barrow
as Restaurant Manager
John Gray
as Homeless Man
Shelley Conn
as Julie Stewart
Neil McNulty
as Turbonegro Fan
Ruaraidh Murray
as Gang Leader
Sheila Donald
as Old Woman
Jamie Michie
as Police Officer #1
Jenny Foulds
as Police Officer #2
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Critic Reviews for New Town Killers

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (11)

  • It is tightly constructed and successfully portrays the underlying tension between Edinburgh's newly prosperous and those who never had anything and never will.

    Jun 16, 2009 | Rating: 3/5
  • A seemingly self-mocking jumble of sour literary, cinematic, class and genre affectations.

    Jun 12, 2009 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

    Wally Hammond

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The look of the film is unpolished and several of the supporting performances are poor.

    Jun 12, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Given that it's basically one big chase, there's something awfully snoozy about this latest from Richard Jobson - a sort of cut-price, Scottish-set Hostel (a mountain bothy, maybe?).

    Jun 12, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Social commentary with a video game mentality. Intriguing, if not entirely successful.

    Jun 12, 2009 | Rating: 3/5
  • The film has great visual flair, but the story is a heavy-handed slice of modern melodrama that would have made Dickens blush.

    Jun 16, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for New Town Killers

  • Feb 25, 2010
    Caught between wanting to make a bold statement and deliver edge of the seat thrills, New Town Killers is a curious mix.
    Roy G Super Reviewer
  • Nov 18, 2009
    A pretty decent low budget Scottish film. The idea is similar to Hard target, but minus the martial arts and this time given an urban setting. Two young rich men hunt down the lower classes desperate for money in a game of hide and seek. The plot can be a bit odd at times but it's a entertaining watch.
    Dean K Super Reviewer
  • Oct 20, 2009
    former critic richard jobson directs,as a young kidhastosurvive a night in edinburgh, dodgeing 2 mad businessmen,some nice touches,but in the end, doesent add to much
    scott g Super Reviewer

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