6.7/10
4,032
42 user 14 critic

Face (1997)

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In the face of demise in his values, a socialist in England decides to form a gang and rob banks for a living.

Director:

Antonia Bird

Writer:

Ronan Bennett (screenplay)
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4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Carlyle ... Ray
Ray Winstone ... Dave
Steve Sweeney ... Weasel
Gerry Conlon ... Vince
Leon Black Leon Black ... Robbie
David Boateng David Boateng ... Lionel
Lena Headey ... Connie
Eddie Nestor Eddie Nestor ... Pearse
Steven Waddington ... Stevie
Christine Tremarco Christine Tremarco ... Sarah
Andrew Tiernan ... Chris
Sue Johnston ... Alice
Damon Albarn ... Jason
Phil Davis ... Julian (as Philip Davis)
Hazel Douglas ... Linda
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Storyline

Ray is an aging ex-socialist who has become a bankrobber after seeing the demise of socialism in 1980s Britain. Teaming up with a gang of other has-beenish crims, he commits one bank job too many. The gang dissolves in a murderous flurry of recriminations. Written by <sethj@johnbrown.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The blag to kill for. Only one of them meant it for real.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 September 1997 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Caras conocidas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character Vince, who at the start of the film is the drug dealer robbed by Ray and Dave, is played by Gerry Conlon (b 1 March 1954; d 21 June 2014) who - in real life - was one of the 'Guildford Four' wrongly convicted of the 1974 IRA bombing of two pubs in the English town of Guildford.

Gerry Conlon spent more than a decade in prison before the convictions of all of the four were overturned and they were released. His experience is portrayed in the film 'In the Name of the Father', where he himself was played by Daniel Day-Lewis. See more »

Connections

References The X-Files (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
I Couldn't Help It.
4 August 2008 | by jzappaSee all my reviews

Face is among the subgenre of movies that can still blindside me with severe mediocrity. There are intermittent times when I simply cannot resist a cheeky gangster flick, and Face is one of the candygrams that blows up in your face. There's nothing inherently wrong with the story except that it has been used more times than a hooker's hanky, the basic premise anyway.

The film begins with Robert Carlyle and Ray Winstone, two of England's great screen badasses, breaking into a drug dealer's apartment, posing as police officers in order to raid his cash and his stash. The next scene begins the unfolding of the mainline of the plot, a bank robbery. And they have their logistics man, Robert Carlyle's old friend from prison, et cetera. Then the third event in the film is the inevitable betrayal within the heist crew. And of course there's Carlyle's nagging, guilt-laying girlfriend. I've always wondered what else will happen in a crime film whenever the story's pivotal heist occurs in the first twenty minutes other than betrayals and nagging token female characters. These filmmakers don't seem to have shared my curiosity.

Aside from a small portion of time given to Carlyle's backstory as a war protester, Face is just another recycled crime flick for teenagers telling the age-old tale of a group of violent criminals and what happens to them after they steal a lot of money. It even employs another thriller gimmick: It's set over the course of 48 hours in and around the city, in this case London. What director Antonia Bird, who did later direct a decent Robert Carlyle movie called Ravenous, tries to do is gloss the film with grunge, badassery and style as a substitute for expanding on what she pulled off the assembly line, one of the results of this choice being a soundtrack that is unusually bad for an English gangster film.

I'm sure I'm not being fair enough to this movie. There are several assembly line movies that are entertaining enough, but frankly I don't feel that requires an explanation that differentiates between this and them. To me, if you're making an insincere movie, the audience has the right to be subjective. Whether one considers it a good movie or not is now pure luck. With Face, I was bored and cynical. If it were on TV on a lazy day or when I need to kill a little time, I might stay for a few minutes of the shootout in the street (in which you can briefly hear an unmistakable soundbite of Tim Roth's wailing early in Reservoir Dogs), or for one good if very brief scene, where Carlyle is comforted by Winstone by hugging him when he's crying.


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