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Jim Sturgess
Timothy Spall
Clémence Poésy
Joseph Mawle.
Philip Ridley.
Running Time
113 minutes

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Looks can kill

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Jamie Morgan (Sturgess), born with a disfiguring birthmark on his face, makes a pact with the devil that has fatal consequences.

British writer-director Philip Ridley (The Reflecting Skin, The Passion Of Darkly Noon) makes a film every ten years and saves up weird ideas to fill every frame of his rare outings. Jamie Morgan (Jim Sturgess) hides his face because of a disfiguring heart-shaped birthmark, and glimpses Hellraisery demons lurking in East London posing as violent hoodies. After a complicated family tragedy, Jamie meets Papa B (Joseph Mawle), apparently the devil, and makes a deal to look normal in exchange for a sinister favour.

Jamie cops off with a model (Clémence Poésy), but bad things happen — with two or three explanations forthcoming. The romance comes out flat and the clever-clever last reel tries too hard, but it also has a lot of good stuff — including Eddie Marsan as a funny/evil minion of hell and a couple of well-timed jump-out-of-your-seat scares.

Effective jump-shocks and a strong turn from Eddie Marsan mask an over-complicated last act.

Reviewed by Kim Newman

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Average user rating for Heartless
Empire Star Rating


I really liked this and thought that Empire's 3 stars was spot on. I usually find myself being the one explaining things to my friends when they dont know what hell is going on, but on this occasion I really struggled with the ending. If someone has a few mins can they please explain what happened in this film? Thanks in advance (and maybe warn people of spoilers) ... More

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Posted by guysalisbury at 12:34, 03 June 2011 | Report This Post

Who really wrote this review?

10+ years of reading Empire and this is easily the worst review I've read. This whole paragraph is a shambles: "Jamie cops off with a model (Clémence Poésy), but bad things happen — with two or three explanations forthcoming. The romance comes out flat and the clever-clever last reel tries too hard, but it also has a lot of good stuff — including Eddie Marsan as a funny/evil minion of hell and a couple of well-timed jump-out-of-your-seat scares." I'd recomme... More

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Posted by boriordan at 01:49, 31 May 2011 | Report This Post


To be honest, I think this deserves 4 stars. It's one of the best horrors in a good few years. Excellant. ... More

Posted by nhassell at 21:57, 02 September 2010 | Report This Post

Jaime has been inflicted with a heart shaped birthmark on his face which has held him back in life until he unearths what seems to be demons on the mean streets of London. He is summoned to what seems like the devil to do a deal to horrific consequences. Directed by Philip Ridley, this film doesn't seem to make much sense at first. But it's many layers and strangeness makes this an enthralling watch. Being a fan of Ridley's Mercury Fur what I saw unfold on the screen did not disappoint . Bloo... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by zedphelan at 23:07, 01 September 2010 | Report This Post


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