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The Sweeney

Act like a criminal to catch a criminal 

Year: 2012 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Nick Love 
Starring: Ray Winstone, Damian Lewis, Hayley Atwell  
An image from The Sweeney

Out of the familiar, crime-ridden streets of London comes a gritty, true-to-life police drama, based on the popular 1970s television series of the same name. Ray Winstone and rapper Plan B, otherwise known as Ben Drew, reprise the roles of Jack Regan and his dependable partner George Carter, two unscrupulous Detectives from the Met Police’s Flying Squad, who specialise in tackling armed robbery and violent crime.

After a successful bust at a warehouse robbery, Regan swipes a few gold bars from the extensive stash to slip to his informant, but when Internal Affairs get wind of foul play, Regan finds himself subject to a procedural investigation. To his misfortune, this investigation is spearheaded by the jilted husband of Regan’s casual mistress and fellow Detective, Nancy (Atwell). With his methods in question and his judgement undermined, Regan must execute a bust on a deadly cartel of notorious armed robbers, against the explicit advice of his boss Frank (Lewis) and at a lethal price.

Nick Love’s film credits include a swathe of inherently British films that address the grit and grime of working-class London and this film is no different. His remake of ITVs The Sweeney, recalls the cockney, darkly humorous, gangster London of Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and RocknRolla. While Ray Winstone is a veritable deity within this genre, the real surprise is Ben Drew, who delivers a surprisingly believable performance as Winstone’s headstrong, but loyal, sidekick, making the rare and successful transition from musician to actor.

Georgie Rawson

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Screenings of this film:

2012/2013 Spring Term (35mm)