.

Gangster No. 1

Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis, Paul Bettany, Saffron Burrows, Jamie Foreman

Directed by Paul McGuigan
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3
Community: star rating
5 3 0
June 5, 2002

"He's good — who is he?" so say audiences watching the Brit newcomer playing Chaucer in A Knight's Tale and Russell Crowe's fantasy of an Oxford roommate in A Beautiful Mind. His name is Paul Bettany, and he is good. He's even better taking on the title role in Gangster No. 1, a potently in-your-face crime drama from first-time feature director Paul McGuigan. The movie has energy and danger and depraved wit. And it's all packed into Bettany's performance as the unnamed gangster in 1960s London who goes to work for the stylish hood Freddie Mays (a superb David Thewlis) and turns his boss into a role model and psychosexual obsession. The excellent Malcolm McDowell plays Gangster in the present-day scenes that bookend the film, but it's Bettany's portrait of the monster as a young man that rivets attention. So remember the name, or don't. Just watch Bettany strut his stuff. You'll know a star when you see one.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Santa Monica”

    Everclear | 1996

    After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com