Filth (2013) Poster

(I) (2013)

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The_moan_of_all_moans3 October 2013
I left the cinema speechless; i normally try to critique and discuss the film straight after, but i was speechless. It was the craziest film i have seen in a long time. It takes boundaries and tells them to f*** off. There are no restrictions with this film. There is brutality, sexism, racism, oppression, homophobia. It is polluted with prejudice. But i thought it was a great film. Am i part of those worldly problems? No. But let's face it, this is unfortunately the way the world is and all this film is doing is showing you just how filthy this world can be.

James McAvoy is a revelation as Detective Bruce Robertson; i really didn't see all the fuss with him. Yes he was good in "The Last King of Scotland", but the rest of the films i just couldn't match the hype to the actor, then i went to see "Trance" and i was blown away by his performance. And if it weren't for seeing that i probably wouldn't have been half as eager to see this. Because he showed the ability to portray more than one character in a film; someone who is both fragile and unstable. With "Filth" he excels beyond that and gives his best showing of his young career. He conveys every emotion, from bitterness, to regret, to sadness, to rage, to insanity and he conveys them extremely convincingly. It is a masterclass of acting.

Some may be easily offended, and if you are usually like that, i would avoid seeing the film. But if you want to face the World and its obvious problems head on (in the form of a film) then it is an outstanding film to do so.
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samlynn1216 October 2013
There is no other way that I could describe this film. It is filled with some of the most crazy and strange scenes that I have seen in film. There was weird sex, masturbating, murder, drugs. Pretty much everything offensive that you could think of is in this film.

It made me laugh, cringe and frown at some of the ridiculous stuff that happened in it.

Deep in the storyline though, was an utterly captivating, yet tragic story of a man loosing his mind to drugs, mental illness and grief. In many ways it was this that made the film all the more shocking, but brilliant at the same time.

I came out of the theatre speechless, I had no idea what to make of it or think. Now I have thought about it, I can see how good it really was.

James McAvoy gave a perfect performance in the lead role. Everything about the character that he portrayed was realistic, and I could feel the emotion coming out of him throughout his descent into madness.

This film is not for the faint of heart or easily disturbed, but if you can deal with the weird and wacky, then you are going to love it.
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Joyful depravity. Enough said!
TheSquiss25 September 2013
Mister Tumnus, I've a feeling we're not in Narnia any more…

Think you know James McAvoy? Think again. His performance in Jon S. Baird's adaptation of Irving Welsh's Filth is astounding and there is nothing sweet or fluffy about it or any other aspect of the film. Filth is very funny, very wrong, very sordid and very likely to incite hatred from Daily Mail readers across the land. Sex, drugs, more sex, more drugs, violence, corruption, depravity, even more sex and drugs… Filth is absolutely, well, filthy, and is a memorable experience to say the least.

My companion for the screening, Bag, made two comments that stood out post-screening. The first I agree with entirely: "With the thousands of films I've seen over the years, this is the first one I've come out of wishing that I'd made it." The second, that it was a film to appreciate rather than enjoy, I'm going dispute. Call me debauched, immoral and twisted, but I enjoyed every last nanosecond of Filth.

But that's not to say it is always easy viewing. Far from it. Sometime after the midway point the laughs die down, the stomach churns a little more uneasily, the grimaces are more evident and the intakes of breath are more audible. We are less willing to forgive but, like the car crash up ahead that has caused all the drivers in front to rubber-neck, well, just one long look as we pass can't hurt, can it?

Bruce Robertson (McAvoy) is a bigot. He's bi-polar, a junkie, sex-obsessed, self-obsessed, manipulative and frequently thoroughly unpleasant. He's also a cop. With a promotion in the balance, Bruce is up against several colleagues and sets about turning one against the other, unsettling them with salacious gossip and blatant lies to ensure he beats them to the post. Throw in his manipulation of fellow freemason Bladesey (Eddie Marsan), his sultry wife, Carole (Shauna MacDonald) and his hallucinatory sessions with Doctor Rossi (Jim Broadbent) and you have one monumentally screwed up anti-hero. And what's not to love about that?

The Cohen brothers may have the monopoly on fantastic character names, but nobody writes actual characters like Welsh and the cast that Baird has poured into Filth is staggeringly good in their interpretation of this mess of freaks and misfits. There isn't a poor performance in the entire film from the uncertain laddishness of Ray (Jamie Bell) to the fantastic absurdity of Doctor Rossi. While none are bona fide Hollywood stars, the cast that glitters in a maniacal, dirty way is a treat beyond expectation: Imogen Poots, Shirley Henderson, Gary Lewis (yes, Billy Elliott and his dad are reunited at last!), John Sessions, Joanne Froggatt…

Filth is a perfectly paced film; it roars ahead stirring emotions and judgment, exciting and thrilling as it trashes everything in its wake but it is never so fast that we feel left behind or that we've missed out on a juicy morsel of degeneracy. Sufficient time is allowed for us to filter through, as best we can, the quagmire that is Bruce's life, but Baird never pauses or permits us time to glance at our watch or neighbour.

The soundtrack, too, is bang on the money stamping though a musical landscape that is at times acceptably cheesy and more often a reminder of what to check is on the iPod. Where else can you effortlessly segue from David Soul into Shaking' Stevens? While the latter is consigned to audio wallpaper, the bizarrely fantastic cameo from David Soul is a delight. Had Dennis Potter snorted cocaine Pennies From Heaven might have resembled this.

Yes, there are elements of Welsh's novel that are missing (no police dogs here…) from Filth but there always have to be excisions for film adaptations and there's no reason, in this instance at least, to mark down a film for that. No, Filth is superb and as near to perfect as I've seen for many months (since Broken and Trance).

If the trailer excited you, take the plunge. If you're a nun, a granny, my mother, or lack a strong stomach and nurture your prudishness, take a very long, very fast walk in the direction of something much safer. Dixon of Dock Green this ain't!

If you look in the mirror and see something slightly off-kilter grinning back, however…

For more reviews from The Squiss, subscribe to my blog and like the Facebook page.
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Grubby in a good way
rooee11 October 2013
This is another film adaptation of an Irvine Welsh novel that was referred to as "unfilmable", although when reading the book when it first came out I for one was struck by the tightness of the narrative and the cinema-friendly focus on a single protagonist.

The antihero in question is Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy), a dodgy copper trying to make the most of a promotion opportunity by ruining his rivals through a series of cruel intricate schemes. Meanwhile, his mind is deteriorating, and he's haunted by flashbacks, waking dreams, and humanoid livestock. The film is fairly faithful to the source, and the changes (including some understandably blunted edges) are down to the different artform.

Irvine Welsh has said that McAvoy's performance is better than De Niro's in Taxi Driver. I don't think this is a suitable comparison. Scorsese's seminal feature was about a post-traumatic depression, whereas Jon S. Baird's film is more manic. For me, the film Filth most resembles is A Clockwork Orange. Like Kubrick's masterpiece, the entire aesthetic is informed by the subjectivity of the central character. And there are subtler nods: the use of classical music, the bleached windows, Jim Broadbent's reinvention of the Deltoid character (a probation officer then, a psychiatrist now), and the visual reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Before the film's release, I wasn't convinced by the casting of McAvoy, but after watching it I can safely say he's transformative – to capture such bipolar savagery and the fear in a single facial expression is the sign of a special performance. The supporting cast provides a colourful blend of caricatures. Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan and Imogen Poots all make an impact in the few moments when McAvoy isn't dominating the screen.

For me, the dud notes concern the tone of the film. Sometimes Baird's shifts between the schizoid black comedy of Robertson's outbursts and his introspective guilt about his past are so sudden and sentimental that their capacity to convince is lost in the (lack of) transition. Part of this is down to Clint Mansell's disappointingly soft score, whose tinkly piano and lifeless strings often feel incongruous, more awkward than deliberate.

But these minor issues don't detract from a powerful, funny, and finally moving depiction of mental disintegration. To say that it's the best Welsh adaptation since Trainspotting may not be saying much – so I'll say instead that it's a very good film in its own right.
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A debaucherous mind trip.
cinematic_aficionado9 October 2013
Inside the mind of a sex & drug addict policeman. His addictions are so deeply rooted in his personhood that they have entirely taken over his life and are the driving force in everything he does or does not do. Addiction means there's never enough and in his case drugs or sex.

This could have easily been a docudrama, instead it is a crime/comedy with a bit of drama. McAvoy is simply superb as the central mad hero and we undergo with a him a binging trip in corruption and debauchery where everyone in his life become objects he comes to use for his own gratification.

Despite the comic element being the one that has the most gravity, we get to see the torment that haunts addicted people and he too is a tormented man and his actions are a smokescreen of his anguish with his refusal to get hep only adding to his misery.

Quirky, fast paced and fun this is one heck of a mind trip.
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Amazing acting by McAvoy, but not so easy a film
siderite30 January 2014
Remember when Ewan McGregor played in a little movie called Trainspotting? The film was made after a book by Scottish writer Irvine Welsh and it was an intense and often funny window into the complete wasting of human life due to heroin. It made McGregor famous.

Now, James McAvoy has no need to be made famous, he already is, and he showed he is a great actor in several movies; he is on a roll. But in this film, also made from an Irvine Welsh book, he really outdid himself, playing a deranged police inspector torn apart by addiction, grief and madness.

The film itself is difficult to explain and, perhaps, it would be more clear to me if I would have read the book first. Some of the characters I have no idea who they were and why he was interacting with them in the first place. Also the ending is pretty much the antithesis of the one in Trainspotting. Here, there is no hope.

The direction was good, I guess, as well as the general production values. A bunch of known, but usually secondary actors fill the cast, with often interesting results, but let's face it, the film is mostly a one man show and McAvoy was up for the job. I just wish the story would have been less confusing.

Conclusion: it would be a shame not to watch this film, even if you end up not liking it for some reason. You need to be familiar with Scottish accents or use a subtitle to get what people are saying. Other than that, great work, James!
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Take one cup of "Fear and Lothing in Las Vegas", one slice of "American Psycho" and add a bit of "Fightclub"
bialas-ole6 October 2013
If you are a friend of funny, thrilling and bizarre movies, you're gonna love this one! First of all, this movie manages to surprise you again and again till the end. It switches between funny, dramatic and thrilling elements. James McAvoy gives an amazing performance (by far the best I've seen from him) as the funny, manipulative, sick, drug-addicted, broken, Cop and manages to portrait every aspect of the character. Another piece of awesome acting is delivered by Jim Broadbent who plays his psychologist. The dialogues between him and James McAvoy are just amazing! The rest of the cast is also decent and the characters are all very special in a refreshing way. The only bad thing i can mention about this movie is, that it has some (but small) longueurs. I can recommend it to everyone who likes movies of this kind and has no problem with movies containing a lot of sex, drugs and f*cked up moments :)
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Top film!
Denisebridgetryan8 October 2013
Probably my favourite film of 2013 so far. Gripping all the way through, with all the aspects you need from a feature length film. Yes, it has the obvious overtone of 'filth', but it's not at all in its nature... it's humorous and very touching at times. I think the casting is brilliant and I have a new found respect for James McAvoy, who in previous films I have found to be almost nondescript. He shines here, brighter than most Oscar winning performers I've seen. Ray Donovan's Eddie Marson is also fantastic in his role, so well cast - he's funny and warm in such a subtle way. This is not one of those situations when someone can rightly say 'the book is better' - I think the job has been done so well of adapting it into film format that the book is not better at all, just a different experience. It is honestly a film I want to see again. I think an instant classic, not filthy at all, but pure class.
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Absolute brilliance, it was utter Filth & I loved it.
james_williams3607 October 2013
I had such high hopes for this movie after seeing some of the most intriguing trailers I've ever seen. I was not disappointed what so ever.

I liked this title so much I would actually fit it into my top 10 of all time.

Without spoiling much for anyone, it really is filth. The movie definitely earns its 18 rating because at times, it is quite literally hardcore pornography.

Bruce is one of the most complex characters I've ever seen in a movie. It took a while to decipher exactly what was going wrong with him, but it because clear by the end.

I want to make it clear to people going into this movie what they should expect. Expect a lot of violence, a lot of swearing, pornography & masturbation, depression and mental illness. It's a movie for those who don't get offended very easily.

In summary, this movie will make you laugh, it'll make you cringe & it'll make you happy. The overall feeling at the end though, is that you're watching a man lose his mind, & you see his depression take over his body in many different ways.

I'm giving it 10/10 because I thought everything about it was so perfectly done. It achieved exactly what it set out to do, it achieved utter filth.
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Surprising - the best in bad taste
eonbluedan-112 October 2013
We have had a few fairly unremarkable adaptations of Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh's books, supporting the notion that with the one exception of Danny Boyle's phenomenal 'Trainspotting', his material remains pretty much impossible to put on the screen. Indeed, 'Trainspotting' itself was not a direct adaption as such, but rather an extrapolation of bits and pieces of it to make a cohesive narrative. In the Welsh lore, 'Filth' is put up there as one of the most difficult, and so it is with great surprise that Jon Baird's take on the book is not only a good piece of work, but also perhaps one of the most accomplished films of 2013!

Our protagonist, as is so often the case with Welsh, is not a person we would choose to meet. Detective Sargent Bruce Robertson is mean-spirited, racist, sexist, aggressive, vindictive, with a psychiatric disorder and a bitter past that won't let him rest, which he seems most happy to appease with a regular cocktail of drink, cocaine and sexual debauchery behind his colleagues' and family's back. Manipulative and out for himself, Bruce has a plan to appear to be solving the case of a murdered local resident, whilst playing all his colleagues off one another with a view to clearing an easy path for his own promotion to Chief Detective.

There are plenty of treats strewn through 'Filth', little cameos, smart, snappy dialogue, great jokes and wonderful performances from the likes of the ever versatile Jim Broadbent and Eddie Marsan. A subtle, schizophrenic soundtrack underscores so well the dark, cesspit nature of the journey the character is on, it raises the question, again, as to whether Clint Mansell will ever do wrong? The whole thing is shot with a seemingly intentional recklessness; an abandonment of sharp editing and an embrace of a sloppy, rough-around-the edges, almost unfocused approach make a film that feels as disgusting as the vomit spewing from character's mouths, both figuratively and, at times, literally!

The star here, however, is James MacEvoy. There has been much said about his performance being an Oscar courting one; whilst there is no guarantee of that, I am confident in saying this is a career-best from him, and this cannot be overstated. Welsh has said he thinks MacEvoy is "better than De Niro in Taxi Driver", and whilst I do not know if I agree with that, we can certainly understand the comparison. MacEvoy is not a man one might immediately cast in this role, and so it makes it all the more impressive when we watch a performance that simultaneously keeps us at a distance and pulls us close; the actor manages to be completely vile, and yet convince us with an equal conviction that he is a man with a buried and forgotten heart that used to pump warmth; I have not seen this level of complexity so well delivered since Peter Mullan in 'Tyrannosaur'. Scabrous, nasty, cold and angry, yet obviously vulnerable and lost, this is a perfectly balanced, well-rounded performance, and MacEvoy is perhaps most impressive when he is being everything at once! In one such scene, he says, "I used to be good at this job," which could well sum up Robertson's rather sad arc. Whatever your final take on him, we get a complete human being, and not one we ever feel the desire to condemn, despite all his awfulness.

In the face of common opinion that it simply wouldn't work, and after years of development, 'Filth' turns out to be a near masterpiece, whose recognition as such is only made less likely by the inevitable comparison with 'Trainspotting'. It is a ballsy adaption of a hugely admired novel, as unpredictable as its central character and charged with the vitriolic energy of the author's writing. A well balanced juggling act of tones; in lesser hands this would have been a mess! It is not always a pleasant watch, but like the central character, it finds its way to a strange, engaging and even rather emotional resolution. Whilst there is likely to be a good forty percent of casual viewers who are left completely cold, the remaining will see a successful, proudly Scottish film that is by turns dark, shocking, comical and moving, which also goes out on an incredibly catchy and surprisingly fitting 70's hit!

'Filth' is the film we would hail as the Irvive Welsh-penned grenade of British cinema, if only Danny Boyle had not got there first.
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Same rules apply
Horst_In_Translation26 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Five years after Cass, Jon S. Baird comes up with his second feature film for the big screen, an adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel "Filth". This was truly one shocking movie. It's about a rogue cop on his way to promotion and how his mental illness actually result in demotion, which turns out as the final nail in his coffin. Sometimes, its most extreme moments worked actually pretty well to develop the main character and the story, but sometimes it also added nothing and felt really only included for nothing but shock value. The one scene that comes to mind particularly is when the main character catches an underage girl in sexual activity with a grown man and threatens that he'll tell her (very influential) father unless she gives him a blowjob. So yeah, you get the full program here: vomiting, sex, drugs, violence, murder... However, the suffering of McAvoy's character is occasionally also depicted in a more subtle manner (e.g. when we find out why he became what he is, his previous and possibly next family are referenced or during his video message to his friend near the end) and that's where the film is usually is at its best. Above that, you could certainly make a point that his homophobic, racist and misogynist comments are not really what he is like, but truly more a symptom of being hit metaphorically in the face one time too many.

All in all, it's 90 fairly entertaining minutes, but definitely not for the easily offended and I'd like to put special emphasis on Jim Broadbent's hilariously ludicrous portrayal of an insane psychiatrist, which may have been the highlight of the whole thing. The animal effects are completely insane as well and almost shocked me as if in a horror movie when they appeared totally up out of nowhere. The film is nowhere near my favorite works of 2013, but if you liked Keitel's or Cage's "Bad Lieutenant" or the more recent "Sightseers", this may be exactly your cup of tea and it's probably even one step up in crassness.
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The title should tell you everything
lampshadegingerale29 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This film really isn't for everyone. The first clue is that it's called filth and there is plenty of that in the form of gratuitous sex and drug use. The film follows thoroughly unlikable, a-moral, all around awful person and police officer Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) as he self destructs his way around Edinburgh. He initially wants a promotion and is determined to screw over his colleagues but his boozing, drugging, sexing and general being a terrible person prevent him from that. And don't forget his metal illness and constant hallucination which leave him with a tenuous grip on reality .

The highlight of the film is James McAvoy's performance. He is consistently entertaining and I actually managed to find myself caring a bit about his otherwise awful character by the end. He really carries and elevates the film. The film itself is rambling and incoherent which I guess reflects the main characters mental state but it can be a little hard to follow along, especially considering the fact that many of the characters have Scottish accents.

I wouldn't recommend this movie to everyone. It lives up to its name and then some. It's pretty dark and depressing although it can be funny at times. If you can get past some the content, the film is worth seeing for McAvoy performance.
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It's no trainspotting, but it's good enough.
Mcfarlanej9 April 2014
Irvine Welsh rocked your world with Trainspotting, and Danny Boyle nailed it back then. It was unlike anything you'd ever seen in your entire life. This will mess your head up and that's great. It's just that you have seen stuff like this before, and that's just a little disappointing.

The film takes place in Scotland, focusing on the Scottish police force and one particular officer Bruce Robertson. An aspiring officer hoping to get promoted and you've read the blurb so I'll just get on with it.

To start, it's very funny. It's got Irvine Welsh's sense of humour all over it. It's offencive to everyone. It involves homophobia, drinking, drugs, sex, masturbation and pretty much anything you can think of that can be deemed offencive this film has and makes it funny. Yet, in the midst of all this, there's this deeply psychological (and extremely worrying) sub-story that keeps reoccurring throughout. This I was not expecting. It's very dark and emotional. The visual are terrifying, and the denouement is particularly touching and haunting, as well as being weird as hell and surreal-ly strange.

There are a few plot points that at first can seem a little unneeded, but later make sense thinking about it. However, even after rethinking it, they still seem a little unnecessary. One thing I can say however, is that it is never boring, as the story does move at a great pace, and is always, at the very least, quite interesting.

The acting is incredible. James McAvoy is brilliant, his portrayal of this emotionally and psychologically disturbed man is spot on, as well as humorous at times. Jamie Bell is great, acting as a building block for McAvoy's powerful performance, however in doing so does get pushed to the background quite easily, and doesn't make much impact on the film or story as a whole. Jim Broadbent however is perfect as McAvoy's subconscious doctor, and portrays what could very well be, the living embodiment of everything Irvine Welsh has ever written. From start to finish, in this role, totally mental. This is a perfect addition to the film.

Final Grade: B It's a wild ride, with some unexpected moments. However it's not entirely original, with much of it being seen before. However with the new comedy twists and that dark sense of humour so often found in Welsh's novels, being perfectly replicated on the big screen. It's definitely one for Trainspotting fans, just don't be expecting quite as much from this one.

For more please visit...
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Absolutely brilliant!
Yazzyleigh5 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Such a brilliant film! For me it has done Irvine Welsh's novel proud showing the many depths of emotions through all character profiles and presented with interesting and artistic filmography.

It has some very disturbing moments which are repeated throughout the film and although they have the tendency to make you jump, it is mainly out of empathy for the main character, which is a bizarre feeling as this is a character who should be disliked and seen as the bad guy. I think that this is one of the reasons this film has been so well executed. The way the one character has so many different sides but as the film goes on, it become much clearer how they all piece together to form this one emotionally ripped apart man.

If you liked Trainspotting (yes this has probably been said so many times but it really is true) you really will love this too. In fact I think it could possibly top Trainspotting. It's taboo, shocking, psychologically unnerving but so worth watching!
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Very Disappointing
katiekeane8729 October 2013
I'm actually shocked to be writing such a bad review for this title as I was so looking forward to Filth. If this review was based on performances alone, and not the whole package, I wholeheartedly think the whole cast deserve 10 stars. However the film itself was pathetic. Every part of the plot tries to shock. NEWSFLASH we've seen it all before. Im 26 years old n hardly prude but 90% of the film is sex and drugs for the sake of it. The characters are one dimensional which comes off as pantomime in most cases. The plot is unbelievable to the extreme. The whole film tries to be something it just cant live up to. I was waiting the whole way through for something thought provoking or even one original joke. Quite a lot of the film comes across as a pornographic version of The Hangover. Whoever watches this and thinks they're getting a peek into the real world, or getting to peer at the grimier side of life is like the writer, producer and director of this film ...seriousy out of touch. This will probably appeal to the bored middle classes and school children. Quick your money and watch Jeremy Kyle
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One of the best movies of 2013
room10210 October 2015
This is like the Scottish comic version of "Bad Lieutenant (1992)". Excellent stuff. Shameless movie with perverted humor, fast-paced Scottish dialog (makes it a bit hard to follow), surreal scenes and Kubrick references.

The movie is too weird and too fast to describe, but basically it's about a rotten Scottish cop/pig that can do anything he wants without sh*t sticking to him.

Great accent, dialogs, direction, camera-work, editing, score and soundtrack (including some great 80's-90's hits) and great acting by the wonderful James McAvoy.

If you like the movie style of Guy Ritchie and Danny Boyle, you're gonna love this one.

Great surreal, twisted movie. Weird experience. A real "mindf*ck". James McAvoy is fantastic.

Didn't realize it's based on the novel of the guy who wrote "Trainspotting". Makes a lot of sense.

Didn't realize Clint Mansell is responsible for the score. During one point of the movie I was reminded of the score to "Requiem for a Dream". Another point that makes a lot of sense.
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Garbage. Waste of 2 hours of my time!
davetomkins14 October 2013
I have just had the misfortune of seeing Filth. I am no fan of James McAvoy, but the thought of him playing a bi-polar, drug-taking cop on the verge of promotion seemed good for a laugh.

The film seemed quite entertaining for the first 30 or so minutes, then it degenerated into a heaving mass of shock tactics, sex scenes, seedy clubs, more drug-taking, hallucinations and swearing.

It's a horrible mish-mash of nothingness; I genuinely wanted to give McAvoy the chance to shine. Instead, this film just tries to be "the new Trainspotting", but in truth it is NOTHING like that. At several points I thought to myself "Oh, they're going to end it here". Instead it went on. And on. And on.

I am no prude and like a good amount of bad language, black comedy but this fails to hit the target in a huge way. It's so far of the mark it's much like an throwing a dart without a flight. You KNOW that it won't hit the bullseye.

Please avoid, I beg you. 2/10
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McAvoy steals it as a character you love to watch. A good adaptation but won't be a classic.
toll-824 October 2013
Hands up those of you who like swearing, drug abuse and obscene sexual encounters? Put your hands down if you prefer to be indulging in these pastimes instead of watching them. For those of you with your hand still raised stiffly in the air you need to watch Filth!

Starring James McAvoy as Police Officer Bruce Robertson, Filth delves into the psyche of immoral behaviour in order to achieve an overall goal. Christmas is approaching and Bruce and his colleagues (Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots, Emun Elliot, Gary Lewis) are all up for the promotion to Detective Inspector. Bruce believes he is the odds on favourite to win this position but his deeper insecurities may suggest otherwise. To be able to win this Bruce attempts to manipulate his way through the team, be it sleeping with a colleague's wife and blaming it on someone else or enticing homophobic officers to show their true colours. But is this behaviour due to his passion for the big time job or is Bruce really struggling with other aspects of his life? Other aspects that fill him with guilt, self-loathing and most importantly isolation.

Filth is billed as a comedy but only approach if you realise this comedy comes from crudity and vulgarity. The laughs stem from scenes where Bruce prank calls his friend's wife weekly for no other reason than for the sexual kick. He later meets her to promise he will catch the prankster only to suggest she plays along with the sexual fantasy in an attempt to scare them off. Of course we all know this is only for his own benefit but it is watching the different reaction from Bruce, his friend and the wife that raises the chuckle. The friend is played by Eddie Marsan and he alone brings the less obscene comedic moments. His dance routine whilst on a trip to Hamburg is to be admired as is his chat with Bruce about police oppression.

Marsan is fantastic in his role especially in the later scenes where he becomes the character you fully sympathise with. McAvoy's Bruce is expertly played but the character is one you will not like but one you will enjoy to watch. McAvoy plays completely against type but still brings many of his usual acting qualities. One thing that was familiar was his subtle look into the camera when he knows he has been unbelievably unlawful. This little technique could also be seen in Trance although with very different subtext. What works for McAvoy is his inability to let go of the reigns and really go for it and here he has done that so well. He even manages to bring an emotional side to Bruce as the truth slowly starts to be revealed and it will make an audience question whether you should be feeling sad for this character. This is completely down to McAvoy's acting ability as we can assure you Bruce is not a likable character.

The film draws comparisons to Trainspotting and that is because the script has been adapted from a novel written by the same author, Irvine Walsh. With Trainspotting Walsh's material was expertly handled by Danny Boyle and a fantastic film was born. New director Jon S. Baird can be praised as highly as Boyle for his adaptation here. He has taken on the writing mantle as well as the directing and what he has achieved is a solid film which is worth a watch. The film is nowhere near as good as Trainspotting but where Baird achieves such excellence is in bringing a book to the screen that involved imaginary tape worms and plenty of internal narrative. The book is not of a filmic mould but Baird has done incredibly well in making it so. Bruce's emotional journey is felt through his actions, dialogue and McAvoy's acting, whilst the obscure tapeworm hallucinations have been replaced with a doctor played by Jim Broadbent who seems to have an issue with saying 'yeeess' at the end of every sentence.

When you leave the cinema from this film you will struggle to decide if you actually liked it. Bruce isn't likable and some of the antics may offend so we would be surprised if many people will enjoy watching. Where this triumphs then is that it is a film to be admired. It brings an unlikeable protagonist and makes him magnetising to watch whilst making you chuckle in cringe worthy moments. This is one of those films best enjoyed with a beer or two.

Rating: 3 / 5

Directing: Baird has made conscious decisions that have translated the book to the film very well.

Acting: McAvoy's brilliant playing against type and Marsan brings a likable character to the film.

Script: From tough source material, Jon S. Baird produces a screenplay which fully does it justice.

Cinematography: The imagery resembles the title and brings out a shady side to Edinburgh.

Score: Goes slightly unnoticed due to the nature of the content but works all the same.

Editing: Moves the story along at pace.

Overall: McAvoy steals it as a character you love to watch. A good adaptation but won't be a classic.
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The same old same old from Welsh
swivelhips9 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This latest Welsh adaptation is yet another feeble attempt to shock your granny. The most shocking thing about it, however, is that talented actors like James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Jamie Bell and Eddie Marsan all agreed to take part in it.

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for movies that take risks and push the boundaries but this is just a tired and vastly inferior stab at recreating the success of 'Trainspotting'. The difference between the two films is the quality of the writing. The characters in 'Trainspotting' were every bit as flawed and morally reprehensible as any character in 'Filth' but in the hands of a skilled writer like John Hodge, the humanity of characters (Begbie aside) still managed to shine through. Welsh and his co-writer (and director) Jon Baird have at least attempted to do the same with a back story for McAvoy's character but the problem is he's just so unpleasant that it's hard to feel any sympathy for him.

Welsh's feature length screen writing credits have all been co-written and therein lies the problem, I feel. As the most famous one in the partnership it must be difficult for his writing partner to rein him in. And since subtlety has never been the strong suit of Welsh what we always seem to end up with is a check list of scenes and moments that are designed purely to shock. The trouble is, we've all seen them so often now they don't have the same impact they once had - in fact, they just seem a bit tired. If the subject matter is what is tempting you to go and see this film do yourself a favour and rent a copy of Abel Fererra's 'Bad Leuitenant' instead.
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Unfilmable story
g-white7231 November 2013
Filth, the novel, was exciting and experimental, but because there are so many extremes in it, it is very difficult to sanitise it for a movie going audience. How do you make a talking tapeworm work on film? It is a character in the book. Very difficult. Compromises had to be made and some of the racism, sexism, homophobia etc etc had to be toned down if not cut out completely.

I watched the film at a local (noisy) theatre. The performances were decent and the film was passable as pale reflection of the book, but I felt there were many edited cuts in the film which were bizarre. At one point David Soul (starring as a taxi driver) started singing his big pop hit from the 70's "Silver Lady". Jim Broadbent as Dr Rossi popped in and out of the film without much explanation of why he and Bruce "Robbo" Robertson were having these one to one sessions. Inspector Bob Toal is trying to write a book but it doesn't tie up with the rest of the film. Luckily I have read the book before and know the story well, but if I hadn't, I think I would be a bit confused.

Stealing the show for me, is John Sessions as Chief Inspector Toal. He captures the character of the book as a traditional white police officer out of date in a modern world.
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Modern Cinema Masterpiece!
donelado17 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I never believed that filth would be anything more than a stupid controversial dark comedy.My friends were begging me to see this and i gave it a chance and let me tell you , I WAS DEAD WRONG.This movie really surprised me , the acting was master class especially from James McAvoy , the directing was revolutionary and some times it was similar to movies like snatch , trainspotting and two smoking barrels.But the storyline was the greatest surprise of all.You follow Bruce Robertson in his emotional and physical journey to the inspector promotion to win his wife and daughter back.And for a known plot , this movie outdoes it self.Let me tell you that you wont be able even to try to guess what will happen in this movie and i wont say anything cause i don't wont to spoil anything.Also the soundtrack was freaking Brilliant.The supporting cast was also well developed with great performances from Eddie marsan(so underrated actor) Jamie bell and Jim broadbent.This must be the most underrated movie of the recent 15 years.This movie is a MUST SEE for every cinema fan.Not only underrated BUT COMPLETELY MISUNDERSTOOD.
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pkingduckley31 August 2014
This is an hour and a half of your life you will never get back--don't do it! McAvoy is a terrific actor; why he wasted his talent on this piece of shite is beyond me. How anyone can call it comedy is beyond me. How anyone can call it entertainment is beyond me. Sick, sad, and pathetic are the descriptors that come to mind. I have a good ear for languages and accents, and I lived in the U.K. for years, so a Scottish brogue is not unfamiliar to me. But the spoken words in this movie are sometimes unintelligible. Not that you miss any great dialogue, mind you! Based on the cast I decided to slog through it, ever hopeful it would have some redeeming aspect. Nope. Forget it. You'll be as sorry as this movie is.
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Incendiary, chilling, hilarious, daring, staggering.
NateWatchesCoolMovies21 November 2015
Filth is a film that relentlessly pummels you emotionally, psychologically and visually for almost two hours straight, both whilst bludgeoning your funny bone until your sides split, and sneaking up on you with a really tragic aspect that you never saw coming. It's based on a novel claimed to be unfilmable (heard that one before lol) by Irvine Welsh, who also wrote the book that became Trainspotting. It concerns Scottish detective Bruce Robertson (James Macavoy in a towering portrait of disturbing mental decay) who has seriously, irreparably lost his way. He's the smartest piggy in his department, striving for an unattainable promotion that in his mind will gain him back his estranged wife, who shows up in strange sequences that make more sense as the narrative vomits forth. He's a total raging mess though, a philandering alcoholic double crossing lunatic who shags anything with a pulse and consumes enough cocaine to make the Wolf Of Wall Street look like Sesame Street. He's seriously in distress, for reasons that ever so slowly become clear, hazed over by a feverish, stylistic excess that showcases some truly compelling filmmaking that calls to mind the works of people like Wayne Kramer or Tony Scott. Piled upon his rampant substance and sex abuse, or perhaps lurking just beneath it, is a festering mental illness, spurred on by avoidance of taking his meds, supplied by precinct shrink Jim Broadbent, extremely unsettling in surreal, hallucinatory scenes apparently taking place in Bruce's own over cooked psyche. He's involved with the spouses of several of his co workers, including shrill voiced nympho Bunty (Shirley Henderson, Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter), wife of an oh so naive colleague of his, played by incomparable Eddie Marsan. Members of his squad range from dimwitted (Gary Lewis), to revolted and sympathetic (Imogen Poots, excellent) to just plain befuddled (John Sessions). Macavoy pulls the whole film together like a coked up mother hen leading along a demented circus of inimitable style and cinematic excess. Buried beneath his ego tripping rampage of injustice and nihilism is a bone deep sorrow that's only subtly hinted at, making it all the more poignant, for both his character and the movie. One of the most fascinating, captivating and horrifying pieces of film in the last decade.
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Not really a comedy, crime, or whatsoever - more like a horror movie
pcdoctor-128 January 2014
Well, misleading viewers was quite rough...It is definitely not a crime, not a comedy, it is nothing ! This crazy movie shows the dirty side of the Force, and we all know what cops are, we know how they are and that there is no Constitution, no freedom, no rights...We know that dirty tricks is the only way you would ever get promoted...All in all, it looked like the movie made sense.But...It was too hard to follow, too hard to get to know what the heck is going on.The disgusting scenes are frequent in the film, and they do ruin the little good that this movie has to offer.I swear that this is more like a psycho-thriller, maybe something like " The butterfly effect "...something that is reserved to people who know Psychology really well, maybe even for professional therapists.What I am saying is that this movie is not for the masses, not for the crowd, as it can leave one clueless, and I would very much like to get the time I have wasted back...Actors' play is not everything, this is no theatre - it failed to save the day.
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Tries hard to be the next Transpotting and fails miserably
dierregi7 October 2016
Irvine Welsh hates Scotland and he convinced me never to set foot in his wretched country. As in Transpotting, the main character of the movie (based on Welsh's novel) is a Scottish paranoid drug addict, only this time he happens to be a policeman.

Bruce is corrupted, depraved and ready to sink extremely low to get promoted. The rest of the crew he is competing against is not much better, so right from the start my question was "Why should I care?" Then came a massive dose of deja-vu: a repetition of most of the gags seen in Transpotting, only filthier. But the kiss of death is the total lack of dark humour.

The only feature that can make this sort of product bearable is some fun, but this movie is totally unfunny and way OTT with its attempts to outdo the most outrageous scenes seen on screen until now.
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