Film & TV

Film Review: Brighton Rock

Running time: 111 minutes

Rating: MA 15+

Release Date: 14 April 2011

Brighton Rock is based on the classic 1938 novel by Graham Greene.  This is the second movie adaptation but is set later in 1964 Brighton. This quaint English seaside town is under siege with organised crime and upcoming gangster, Pinkie Brown (Sam Riley) is out to protect his patch even if it means killing his rival. However teenage waitress, Rose (Andrea Riseborough) unwittingly can finger him for murder. Pinkie sets out to seduce the impressionable Rose in order to avoid the death penalty. Will the naïve Rose fall for his charms or will she buckle under pressure from her suspicious and nosey boss, Ida (Helen Mirren) and divulge her secret.

Written and directed by Rowan Joffe (The American), he successfully manages to recreate the Mods and Rockers feel of the 1960’s and build an oppressive gangland atmosphere. However the film is tedious and plods along with the characters failing to engage with the audience. Sam Riley’s Pinkie is one dimensional, purely menacing and cruel making his seduction of Rose unbelievable with no measure of charm or woo factor. However Andrea Riseborough (Never Let Me Go) puts in a good performance given what she has to work with and elevates this film to watchable status. Veterans, Helen Mirren and John Hurt who usually never fail to deliver just look a bit lost and battle weary.

Disappointing 2.5 / 5 stars

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