Junkhearts Review

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Ex-soldier Frank (Marsan) is back from a tour in Northern Ireland and trying to cope with the guilt of killing a young mother. Welcoming young homeless woman (Reid) into his home is his one means of trying right his wrongs, but the arrival of her gangland boyfriend makes things a whole lot worse.


The line between gritty and grubby is crossed in this earnest but relentlessly depressing and, it must be said, not very realistic urban drama. Eddie Marsan plays Frank, an alcoholic ex-soldier who has flashbacks to his tour of duty in Northern Ireland, during which he accidentally shot and killed a young mother. Frank lives alone, but takes pity on the homeless Lynette (Candese Reid), but his act of kindness backfires when Lynette takes in her scumbag gangster boyfriend. Some nice character detail (Frank only drinks whisky in miniatures) is soon lost as the film switches tack to cover knife/gun crime and crack addiction, while poor Romola Garai stumbles through in a tacked-on part as Frank’s estranged daughter. What this all adds up to is anyone’s guess, since it ends with a weird, ambiguous coda that doesn’t seem to serve any one of its myriad thinly sketched characters.

Strong cast, disappointing characters and a plot that's as thin as discount plonk.