Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

The Corrupted


Set ahead of the 2012 London Olympics, the film follows Liam, an ex-con trying to win back the love and trust of his family. He has lost everything at the hands of a local crime syndicate run by Clifford Cullen who has high-level connections in politics, finance and the police force. Liam’s drive for redemption sees him caught up in a web of conspiracy, crime, and corruption.



Sam Claflin – Liam

Joe Claflin – Sean

Timothy Spall – Clifford Cullen

Hugh Bonneville – Hammond

Cathal Pendred – Gerry Dwyer

Shaun Dooley – Eamonn

Charlie Murphy – Connelly

Noel Clarke – Beckett

Naomi Ackie – Grace

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I sat down with my latte and prepared to endure a gangster flick, far from my usual taste in film. I bet I would be bored shitless through this..


I found The Corrupted hugely entertaining from beginning to end. WIN.

This is one of those little gems that peeks through the curtain of Hollywood and asks, ‘is it my turn yet?’. And in dramatic glory all other headline movies parted to let Spall and Claflin own the spotlight with a refreshing gangster story. I don’t mean this film blasts the viewer with groundbreaking screenplay or plot twists, but it definitely isn’t boring. It is laced with a sense of utter dread which more or less lasts the entire film, amplified by the story’s dreary setting. They set this in east London, just ahead of the 2012 Summer Olympics which gives it an authentic feel largely due to real locations and events being used rather than fictional ones (a little touch of familiarity for me too as I’ve lived close to the area). Dingy streets and apartment blocks also provide a backdrop for quieter scenes, it makes a decent watch.

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Its winning streak is how it is written; The Corrupted is based on a very simple story and one that might possibly hit home for some viewers who have been involved with some dodgy people in the past. It is classic case bad boy takes the wrong path and crosses a bigger bad boy with disastrous consequences. And as such, this film has no need for complex plot twists or unimaginable scenarios – it delivers very imaginable ones. Claflin does a good job at playing the protagonist who gets himself in deep trouble. He looks the part and brings about a natural aggression as soon as he appears on screen, this adds nicely to the gritty feel.

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Many gangster flicks are guilty of the extended action rubbish; building up scenes in a lengthy fashion with a lot of chat to ensure the characters and their purposes are literally burnt into the viewer’s brain. I’ve seen a few films which slowly become nothing but bad boys conversing constantly (usually in cars or police stations) with one or two actually entertaining scenes – when it should be the other way round. But with The Corrupted we get a good mix of both as Spall rules the screen, his menacing character calling the shots and making sure subsequent scenes are as grisly as promised. The atmosphere shifts from dread (a good guy being hunted and then tortured) to gripping (the main good guy confronting the main bad guy), to shocking (the actions of a sociopath), to vengeful. And incredibly, there’s a bit of relief towards the end of the film. But at the same time a brief air of sadness lingers once the story has spiralled out of control and reached its showdown.

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The worst thing in this film has to be Grace (Ackie). I knew from her first scene she’d make as much of an impact as a hairbrush on Boris Johnson – and I was right. The woman doesn’t just look bland, but she has the screen presence of a fucking doormat. God knows where they found her, but Ackie’s performance is of such a moderate level that she makes Paris Hilton look like an Oscar award-winning actress. Her first moment on screen is a very dramatic one, and yet the woman appears as though she’s about to start laughing as she delivers her lines. Not good.

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Fear is the name of the game here, and with Spall being cast perfectly, this contemporary crime-thriller certainly gives it to the viewer. The Corrupted is a constant threat which runs at a good pace and is built from watchable scenes. So it’s not amazing – but it does have a nasty feel to it that might just keep you watching until the end, regardless of how quickly you switch it off.

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This entry was posted on August 10, 2019 by .
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