Charlie Review

Charlie Richardson (Goss) is a London-based gangster in the 1960s, who indulges in creative violence and general gangstering.

by Alan Morrison |
Published on
Release Date:

20 Feb 2004

Running Time:

94 minutes



Original Title:


The British film industry's '90s/'00s obsession with true crime nostalgia continued with this biopic of 1960s gangster Charlie Richardson (Luke Goss). But rather than taking an objective approach, writer-director Needs decides to submit a one-sided case for the defence, as witnesses against Richardson at his trial are shown up as unreliable, while mock-interviews with his 'sidekicks' paint him as a diamond geezer who never hurt no-one who wasn't in the business.

For a film that questions accusations about the tortures carried out in Richardson's South London scrapyard, it rather hypocritically takes an unhealthy relish in showing dramatised scenes of pulled teeth, broken toes and electrocuted genitals in extremely gory detail. Despite this, however, it becomes rather repetitive and boring unless you're already interested in the era.

That said, Goss follows up his Blade II turn with an eye-catching central performance.

A good central performance from Goss fails to make up for a one-sided and exploitative look at real-life crime.
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