The Man Inside Review

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Clay Murdoch (Thomas) hails from a family that's ruled with his dad Eugene's (Harewood) iron fist. Needing to escape the tyranny of home, he finds sanctuary and belief in the boxing gym run by Peter Mullan's sympathetic coach. Then everything changes...


Ashley 'Bashy' Thomas moves up from his supporting role in Noel Clarke’s 4. 3. 2. 1. to take centre stage in this bleak but rewarding urban drama. The title refers both to the simmering aggression Thomas’ Clay Murdoch fights to keep a lid on and to his appalling father, Eugene (David Harewood). Murdoch Sr. is locked up like a London Hannibal Lecter, his terrifying past revealed in flashback. But while its supporting performances are variable, and the female roles fairly thankless, The Man Inside never descends into cliché, instead choosing to end its emotional journey in touching fashion.

Shelve those 'gritty' cliches because writer/director Dan Turner works hard to avoid by-the-numbers plotting in a drama that's far from flawless but always hard-hitting.