Wild Bill

2011

Wild Bill

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 26

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,301
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Movie Info

Out on parole after 8 years inside, Bill Hayward returns home to find his now 11 and 15-year old sons abandoned by their mother and fending for themselves. Unwilling to play Dad, his arrival brings them to the attention of social services. With the danger of being put into care looming, Dean forces his Dad to stay by threatening to grass him up for dealing. Dean soon connects with Jimmy and through this new bond starts to realize what he's been missing. He has a family and a place in the world, but when Jimmy gets into trouble with Bill's old cohorts, he quickly has to decide what kind of Dad he wants to be. A good one, or a free one.

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Critic Reviews for Wild Bill

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (26)

  • Why can't all British crime dramas be so well written and well acted, and have a splash of comedy as confident as this?

    Mar 22, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Fletcher has fashioned a deft, likeable addition to a crowded genre, the cockney comedy thriller. It will be good to see how he fares when he moves on.

    Mar 22, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The story won't win awards for originality but Fletcher has created a film that's both charming and true to life.

    Mar 22, 2012 | Rating: 3/5
  • There's more than enough good stuff here to whet the appetite for Fletcher's follow‑up.

    Mar 22, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • There's no faulting Fletcher's unfussy, quietly impressive directorial style. A solid start.

    Mar 14, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • One of those rare films that through its palpable degree of energy and vibrancy manage to keep you rooting for its characters from start to finish.

    Jan 2, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Wild Bill

  • Jan 03, 2015
    Gritty, British dramas are ten to the penny, but this one floats to the top.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 24, 2013
    This is a movie that definitely sneaks up on you. While it certainly has a cliched story and the potential to be sentimental, the movie moves past those cliches and creates a touching but believable story that is, surprisingly, unsentimental. Well, there is the last scene in the movie which was a little corny. I don't think I have much to say about this movie, but it definitely starts out slow. Understandable, as it's setting up the characters and the situations they find themselves in, but it's gonna test some people's patience. Thankfully, the acting from everyone is top-notch, so it makes watching the slower parts of the film far more interesting. And when I say slow, I don't mean bad. It's never a bad movie thanks to its acting, writing and directing. It definitely has a more deliberate pace than a lot of movies. But I think the narrative is very satisfying as you get to see this man, who has pretty much been a deadbeat dad for years now, finally come around and try to do right by his kids, who've been abandoned by their mother as well. It sounds cliched and stereotypical, and it would've read that way, but thankfully the execution of this idea is very well done and it certainly does its best in not giving in to tropes. I don't have much else to say really, this is just a supremely well-made film with excellent acting and a strong narrative. It takes a while to get into, but those that stick with it will be rewarded with an excellent film.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jan 28, 2013
    Those silly Britts know how to inject emotion into certain films. The kids really make this movie moving. After being released from jail for a crime that's not really fleshed out well in the storytelling, you find Bill trying to get back into his family's good graces with the mother having left. I think maybe 15 minutes more and a tad more background to Wild Bill could really push this film into a five-star category, but I'm left wondering about a few things when the film ends.
    Lane Z Super Reviewer
  • Jan 13, 2013
    Genuinely heart-warming drama with a bucketload of impressive performances in what is a superb directorial debut from Dexter Fletcher.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer

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