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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Sean Bean
Abhin Galeya
Charlotte Rampling.
Directors
Hadi Hajaig.
Screenwriters
Hadi Hajaig.
Running Time
108 minutes

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Cleanskin
Aka One Lion


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Plot
Secret service operative Ewan (Bean) is escorting an asset when he's caught in a well-planned assassination attempt that results in the loss of a shipment of Semtex. The hit was orchestrated by Islamic terrorist Ash (Galeya), a young British man with murder in mind.


Review
Cleanskin
Secret serviceman Ewan (Sean Bean) and terrorist Ash (Abhin Galeya) are set on a collision course as shadowy forces put together a series of bomb attacks in London and equally shadowy forces (repped by the likes of Charlotte Rampling and James Fox) frame a response. An action thriller with political footnotes (and flashbacks), this has impressive performances (especially from Peter Polycarpou as a non-stereotype terrorist preacher) and some solid character bytes, but its corridors-of-power conspiracy is less credible somehow than the cock-up theory of terrorism advanced in Four Lions. Writer-director Hadi Hajaig is as ambitious here as in his unusual horror movie Puritan, though Cleanskin is a little too protracted to be suspenseful and see-saws between straight-ahead genre movie business and state-of-the-nation sincerity.


Verdict
A brutal, unsparing thriller, if a little on the long side. Director Hajaig's should be applauded for striving to show a balanced view of the radicalisation process and the campaign against terrorism. Sean Bean should be applauded for kicking several shades of ass.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Cleanskin
Empire Star Rating

Sluggish thriller

A cleanskin is a rogue terrorist element that has passed undetected by the security services. And while it’s laudable that this makes a serious attempt to understand what causes a young British Islam man to go down the radicalized route, the overfamiliarity of some of the scenarios and Bean’s tired performance as the secret service agent tracking down the terrorist mean that it’s unnecessarily hard going. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RJNeb2 at 11:27, 08 October 2014 | Report This Post


RE: Intense and superb!

I enjoyed this movie. Its part action movie, part thriller. I enjoyed the action sequences even if they were brutal, but the flashbacks went on for too long and bored me. HOWEVER - i felt it worked better as an action movie. They really should have stuck to that. It was marketed wrongly there is not much action in this and the main star is not Sean Bean. There is not as much action as hyped instead its really about a young man's journey into terriorism. The film was f... More

Posted by princessa at 16:08, 26 July 2012 | Report This Post


Intense and superb!

This film is amazingly intense and vicious and smart. The two plot lines are of the suicide bomber and his past where an how he was radicalised at university and the current day plot line is that of the secret service agent hunting him brilliantly played by Sean badass Bean. So it cuts back and forth between the two characters. So it's not entirely wham bam action but thats why I liked it. It shows why these loony terrorists turn and you see the gradual transformation of a young British born... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ChowDown at 15:52, 08 May 2012 | Report This Post


Worst film of the year. Avoid.

i absolutely HATED this horrible film. Save yourself the bother of walking out by not walking in. Aside from the smoking fetish that the director clearly has, all of the characters are annoying to the point that you want them all to die to end this preaching, racist, human centipede 2 of a film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mocfilms at 22:15, 11 March 2012 | Report This Post


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