Monday, 26 December 2011

Film Review: DEAD MAN’S SHOES (2004)

Dead Man's Shoes - poster Co-Writer/Director: Shane Meadows
Writers (Screenplay): Paddy Considine & Shane Meadows
Writer (Additional Material): Paul Fraser
Running time: 90 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

Genre: Drama/Thriller
UK Release date: 1st October 2004

Watched at the cinema Monday 26th December 2011.


I knew very little about this one before giving it a viewing, so no preconceptions to cloud my judgement this time… very rare these days. I was quite surprised just how good this film was, considering budget restrictions. Don’t get me wrong, it’s far from perfect and there’s plenty of room for improvement, but the writing was spot on (IMO). I’ll tell you what I think after this very brief summary.

Dead Man's Shoes - 1 Richard has returned to his home town after a stint in the army. He is a man with a purpose, and that is to wreak revenge on the gang who had tormented Anthony, his simple-minded younger brother. It begins innocently enough with tactics designed to intimidate and unsettle them. But things soon escalate and the gang begins to fall apart under the strain. There’s one member though, who isn’t with them any more… Can he escape Richard’s wrath? I’ll leave it there or the Spoiler Police will be telling Richard where I live (again).

Dead Man's Shoes - 3 Made very much with the look of a documentary, it’s not the best looking of films, but it’s one of those where the look isn’t all that important. Decent performances from the major cast members and so honourable mentions must go to; Paddy Considine as Richard, Gary Stretch as Sonny, Toby Kebbell as Anthony and Paul Hurstfield as Mark.

Dead Man's Shoes - 2 The dialogue seemed (at times) to have been ad-libbed quite a bit. This made it a little disjointed and sometimes a bit hard to follow. There is a nice twist at the end, which I’m not going to talk about here, that saved it from being just another low-budget British movie. In fact the writing was pretty good throughout and I also quite liked the soundtrack. As the story unfolds, bits and pieces of flashback tell just how Anthony was tormented by this gang. I found this an effective technique that keeps the audience interested. Over all, I must say it’s quite brutal, but at the same time quite a compelling story. Maybe not the best film you’ll ever see, but certainly worth a look… Recommended.

My score: 7.3/10.

IMDb Score: 7.7/10 (based on 22,308 votes at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 56/100 (based on 41 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 82/100 (based on 58,084 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

Dead Man's Shoes - 4 If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:

[first lines]
Richard: [narrating] God will forgive them. He'll forgive them and allow them into Heaven. I can't live with that.

Herbie: Can I help you, mate?
Richard: [shrugs] Sorry?
Herbie: [says aggressively] What the fuck are you looking at?
Richard: [shouts] You, ya cunt!

Soz: I told him not to mention the elephant...

Dead Man's Shoes - 5 Richard: [to Mark] You, you were supposed to be a monster - now I'm the fucking beast. There's blood on my hands, from what you made me do.


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