Ordinary Decent Criminal Review

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Michael Lynch is Dublin's most notorious criminal, his brazen robberies making him the bane of the Gardaí...


Michael Lynch (Spacey) has a family and a successful career in crime. Successful that is, in that the local police force, led by Det. Noel Quigley, can't seem to pin anything on this man. The charismatic figure is rapidly becoming a hero to the people of Dublin, something that leads him to bigger and better scores, including a daring daylight raid on a prestigious art gallery which sees Lynch and his gang now dealing with millions and more pressure from the police than ever before. As his notoriety rises, and his gang starts to crumble, Lynch grows more and more enamoured of the chase, rather than the actual prize...

Ordinary Decent Criminal is at pains to point out that it is a fictitious story and not based on anyone in particular, but the similarities it shares with John Boorman's The General are at times overwhelming. In both movies, the lead character keeps his face covered whenever in public, both pull off significant art-related thefts, and there are even scenes here which appear to be taken shot by shot from Boorman's film. While both films were made at a similar time, it is ultimately a shame that they share so much source material, and this one, if only by dint of being late in the race, comes off the worse for it due to this familiarity.

The cast are strong, as you'd expect: Spacey is cool and edgy (although the accent seems a tad non distinct), Dillane is compelling, and the supporting cast are fine.

In short, there's nothing really wrong with Ordinary Decent Criminal; you just feel like you've seen it all before.