A VIOLENT MAN (2022) Reviews of Craig Fairbrass British crime drama

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‘From the makers of Villain’

A Violent Man is a 2022 British crime drama film about a dangerous prisoner’s inner turmoil in a maximum-security prison.

Written and directed by Ross McCall.

The movie stars Craig Fairbrass, Stephen Odubola, Jason Flemyng, Ross McCall, Ulrich Thomsen, Zoë Tapper, Robin Laing, Philip Barantini and Morgan Watkins.

Steve Mackleson (Craig Fairbrass) is a dangerous prisoner, incarcerated for double murder in a maximum-security prison. We follow, as he navigates his struggle against redemption the system and his inner turmoil, when a young black gang member becomes his unlikely new cellmate and a daughter he has never met, finally requests to meet her estranged father. Face to face…

“Ultimately, A Violent Man is well shepherded by McCall whose social commentary provokes a reaction and raises awareness and he elicits yet another sublime performance from persistent powerhouse, Fairbrass.” 3/5 Cinema Chords

“The execution of its themes may be a little on the nose, but Ross McCall introduces himself as a visually inventive director with a flair for presenting vicious brutality. A Violent Man is a stylish sign of things to come, and further proof that the screen presence of Craig Fairbrass should not be taken lightly.” 3.5/5 Cinema Perspective

“At 105 minutes it is a little too long for a movie that essentially doesn’t have much of a plot, and once Steve and Rebecca have their meeting there isn’t really anywhere else for it to go, but if you are a fan of the type of brutal Cockney gangster movies that Craig Fairbrass, Ross McCall and Jason Flemyng usually star in then A Violent Man makes an imposing and thought-provoking companion piece.” 4/5 Flickering Myth

” …a weary procession of scenes in which Fairbrass’s longtime convict Steve Mackelson growls, glowers and recites monologues full of self-serious pauses about prison life and how hard he thinks he is. All this seems to take place in one or two rooms in one of Her Majesty’s establishments where budget cuts appear to have deprived the cells of lightbulbs.” The Guardian


A Violent Man is a thriller that will give us a reflective look at life from the violent prisoner, one that will show that people can be broken after committing crimes, not knowing why they can’t control themselves. The film will keep the locations simple, the prison cell is used for nearly every scene, showing an even more tight compact environment that Steve finds himself living in…” Movies Review 101

“Obviously it won’t be for all tastes, but McCall is definitely a filmmaker to look out for, not least because the simple setting means he coaxes terrific performances from his cast rather than worrying about complex location setups. A brutal, memorable tale with an outstanding turn from a guy who has long deserved more credit than he receives. Take a bow Craig Fairbrass.” 7.9/10 On: Yorkshire

“As well as writing and directing, McCall gives himself a one-scene role with Fairbrass, which is one of the film’s highlights. He’s also picked a strong supporting cast […] Uneven in places, the film is still a strong, stylish calling card for McCall as a writer/director to watch out for. And a further illustration of Fairbrass’s ability to command the screen.” 3.5/5 The People’s Movies

“While the film carries its story well, there are moments of some strange editing choices which are somewhat jarring, but not in way that helps the narrative. It’s a solid directorial debut though and one that will have you interested to see what McCall does next. A Violent Man is a intense ride and is up there with some of the best prison dramas.” Screen One

” …Ross McCall […] proved adept at atmosphere and that feeling of ever-present threat that distinguished the better, non-comedic prison dramas, and was imaginative enough in his options for keeping this visually interesting and staving off monotony, plus the cast were well-chosen. If it was somewhat limited in its achievements, it used its resources with an artier quality than expected from a Fairbrass effort, and that was interesting.” The Spinning Image

A Violent Man is available to rent or buy in the UK via Amazon Prime

Cast and characters:
Craig Fairbrass … Steve Mackelson
Stephen Odubola … Marcus Wainwright
Jason Flemyng … Frank Gillespie
Ross McCall … Luke
Ulrich Thomsen … Governor Goodwillie
Zoë Tapper … Claire Keats
Robin Laing … SO Martins
Philip Barantini … Morgan
Morgan Watkins … Danny Wilson
Thomas Dominique … Dwayne Barstowe
Lloyd Everitt … SO Brooks
Michael Lindall … Scotty
Roger Suubi … Greene
Rosie Sheehy … Rebecca
Hamza Siddique … SO Philips
Graham Kitchen … Mills
Hector Bateman-Harden … Young Steve
Uché Gabriel Akujobi … Fatch

Technical details:
1 hour 45 minutes


MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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