• CriticNick18 December 1999
    Seriously addictive movie - The most balanced movie ever made?
    The first time I saw this movie I had difficulty in understanding a lot of the dialogue not just because of the weird accent, but because the actors spoke so damn fast. But despite this I became literally addicted to it. To begin with my wife got pretty annoyed because any other movie we rented would be ejected after about 20 minutes of viewing and in would go LS&2SB. Now she is hooked as well.

    I have lost count of the number of times I have seen LS&2SB and still cannot put my finger on why I find this movie so good to watch. I suppose the most obvious feature of this movie is that it is beautifully balanced between being serious and humorous at the same time. The characters are two-dimensional. The villains are menacing, and yet they are made to look like idiots, and the good guys think they are so smart yet keep getting the rug pulled from under them. They are all projected as 'cool' yet the situation is always out of their control. Maybe it could be called a satire on true life.

    The style of this movie is unique, full stop. I cannot think of any movie that can be compared to LS&2SB. Quite a few people say that the style is a mix of 'Pulp Fiction', 'Goodfellas', 'Trainspotting' and 'Reservoir Dogs', but I think that you would make that kind of description only if you are really desperate to match LS&2SB to something.

    The best description I can think of is 'MTV does a crime comedy', and I honestly don't think there is anything wrong with that. Like music videos, it is all non-stop movement and sound. Something is always happening but unlike music videos, not without reason.

    The humor is incredibly sharp yet 'as a matter of fact'. No one is really trying to be extraordinarily funny, but again it is the balance between being menacingly serious and funny that the humor really flies at you. I think that it is for this reason that a few people are really disappointed with LS&2SB. If you are expecting a 'belly laugh Leslie Nielson, Jim Carrey, Steve Martin, typecasted' type all out comedy, or a serious 'Al Pacino, Andy Garcia, DeNiro typecasted crime thriller, you will find this movie a big let down.

    My favorite characters are Rory Breaker (Vas Blackwood) and Big Chris (Vinnie Jones) mainly because their two dimensional over-the-top characters are the most obvious. Big Chris takes his son with him debt collecting, and while he beats up someone who owes chastises him for swearing in front of his son and Rory Breaker is the most idiotic drug-lord you could come up with.

    I haven't even mentioned the excellent and unique camerawork, speaker blowing soundtrack, beautifully threaded plot, perfect ending and the grittiest visuals I've seen. You wont see any reflective glass laden sky scrapers here, or 'over head city shots', or incredible special effects. This movie has actors I have never heard of, dialogues that you have to rewind and replay to understand, buildings that look as though they have been condemned for demolition, cars that wouldn't even be seen in our scrap yards, has probably been made with a budget that most movies in Hollywood use for make-up alone, has no love scenes, or romance or complex relationships, no Oscar-worthy performances, and yet is perfect entertainment.

    Where our movies normally rely on budgets, this movie works on human talent alone.

    If any movie deserves a 10 out of 10, then this is it.

    'And there's one more thing...............it's been emotional'
  • doktor d19 February 2003
    The essence of late 90's cinema -- hip, highly stylized, VISUAL
    Guy Ritchie's hip, highly stylized 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' is a truly remarkable film, not only for its appropriately pyrotechnic camera work, but also for its seemingly flawless, puzzle-perfect script/screenplay. While the picture's main focus is on a group of lads who invest money in a high-stakes, rigged card game and lose, the broader story concerns approximately eight different groups of criminals whose paths cross (more> than once, in some cases) during various illegal pursuits: money, guns, drugs, even revenge. The film is quite violent, both on and off screen, but it's also uniformly humorous throughout. It's important to note that the four central characters (a cook, a card sharp, and a couple of guys who sell "discounted" items) are interested only in acquiring the money to pay off their enormous debt; they kill no one. The same applies to the laid-back college boys who "grow copious amounts of ganja".

    The cast is comprised of mostly young, veteran, male actors. In fact, the only female in the film doesn't even speak, though she handles a machine gun fairly well. Sting appears briefly in several scenes as a bar-owning father figure. While his secondary performance is solid, as usual, it is also unmemorable. The soundtrack is first-rate, from the 60's hits of James Brown to the contemporary beats of London's underground. The groovy, pulsating music and lyrics are often succinctly synchronized with the action and dialogue in the film, creating a theatrical rhythm that is fairly uncommon in cinema (from any period).

    Critics and audiences over the years have often dismissed stylized camera work as pretentious and unnecessary, stating that it detracts from the story, bogs it down, or pads it; however, the film medium has the luxury of actually "displaying" a story for its audience, unlike the written word alone. It's what the medium is all about -- it's VISUAL. Hence, one of the reasons a filmmaker chooses such visual displays is to "brand" his or her work, in the same way as writers like Cummings, Hemingway or Joyce did with their medium. It's hard to imagine a cinema without Hitchcock, Kubrick, or Scorsese to represent it. To this end, Ritchie has taken his first step in establishing his own brand. His energetic, ultra-contemporary camera work incorporates (through a fresh perspective) such devices as slow motion, fast motion, and freeze-frame coupled with narration. It is at times reminiscent of (and actually expands upon) Martin Scorsese's patented visual stylistics and camera movements, like those found in 'Mean Streets' and 'Goodfellas'. But the similarities with Scorsese's work end there.

    Critics' endless comparisons of Ritchie's film with the works of Quentin Tarantino and Danny Boyle's 'Trainspotting' stand mostly unwarranted, as these comparisons take away from the inventiveness and originality of 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'. Ritchie's film is a much more involved, complex, layered work than the aforementioned comparisons. While Tarantino's films are very strong on dialogue, screenplay, and editing, they often lack creative camera work and direction. Boyle's 'Trainspotting' does have a resembling "feel" to 'LS&TSB', but aside from its Great Britain origins, there really is no need for comparison. 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' is essential viewing.
  • Quag71 March 2002
    Have a butchers...
    I was a total and complete sucker for this film.

    If I were to write and direct a movie about gangsters or crime, this would be it. I wouldn't change one damn thing. Not a thing. Everything in this film was, to my eye, perfect - casting, the camerawork, the excellent dialogue ("It's been emotional.")

    Now I don't have much to compare this to, and I've heard some criticism that it basically draws quite heavily from older British crime dramas. I've got a bunch of these on my queue to rent, but I doubt you could make a crime film better than this.

    This film oozes with style, class, dark humor, plot twists and turns, and doesn't drag one bit. The casting and characterization is perfect, and Ritchie isn't afraid to move the cameras around; no pretense is really made here at "realism" - Ritchie doesn't mask the fact that it's a film and he runs with it.

    I really don't think of myself as easily impressed, and I have seen a hell of a lot of films in my time, but this one instantly made my Top 10 after only a single viewing. Yes, I'm raving about it, and while it may not be "spiritually enriching" or contain any deep sociological content (which I actually do look for in films), somehow it still scores as one hell of a film; memorable and entertaining, and stands up well to multiple viewings.

    I am a bit dismayed to see some of the marketing of this film comparing it to other things like Quentin Tarantino films or Trainspotting. It really does it a disservice because this film really is its own phenomenon and stands on its own two feet; if anything it is similar to Trainspotting and Tarantino films only because it actually has its own bold style.

    Can't recommend it enough.
  • ExtraCrispy-215 February 2000
    Comedy Noir well done
    I'm not sure whether to call this a black comedy or a comedy-noir. The story is about four working class lads who have each managed to save up 25,000 pounds to spot their card-shark friend for a high-stakes poker game with "Hatchet" Harry, the local gangster.

    Unfortunately, Harry's game is rigged and the four end up owing Harry half a million pounds, with just one week to come up with the cash. What ensues is a set of schemes, counter-schemes, rip-offs, and bad/good luck that demand you pay attention. On several occasions I had to pause the video just to take stock of which gang was planning what.

    The final thirty minutes of the film, as the plots all collide and overlap, turn set-piece shoot outs into comedic punchlines. The comedy is driven by exploding our expectations of what are otherwise pretty standard scenes from the film-noir genre.

    The acting is strong and the script very tight. Although I am not normally a fan of voice overs, this one informs without spoiling the action. And I liked the use of the slow-motion to disrupt the action and keep me paying attention.

    While this film may not be for everyone, if you enjoy a darker pallette, this may be right up your alley.
  • jedidp5 November 1999
    Brilliant script, brilliant cinematography, great acting and soundtrack
    Best comedy in years, friend turned me on to this hilarious comedy of errors and glad she did. The film is damn near flawless, forces you to pay attention to the twists and turns through it's witty dialogue. Wonderfully photographed with brilliant camerawork but not overdone. Worth several sittings and we could learn alot in Hollywood from this one....
  • sduston20 February 2000
    Incredibly funny and entertaining story of four yo...
    Incredibly funny and entertaining story of four young "criminals" out for big money. This is one of the most intelligently written stories I've ever seen. If you like to write screenplays, let this one take you for a spin. Very fast paced film with great editing techniques and a hilarious cast and storyline thats sure to entertain, as long as you can handle the accents. Great cinematography as well. This story will send you through a cork screw. See it once, then see it again to see what you missed.
  • smarty-1314 July 1999
    Plot twists and turns amongst the seedy London Underground
    Warning: Spoilers
    LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS ( rating, * * * * out of 5 )

    Four lesser thieves from the East End of London find themselves dangerously in debt to a local smut peddler - the result of a fixed poker game. The consequence being that until they repay the money owed, each one will lose a finger for each day the payment is late.

    While trying to figure their desperate predicament, they overhear their gangster neighbors setting up a score from some slumberous marijuana dealers and decide that knocking over the neighbours is their only way out.

    After the triumphant thievery, they discover that the pot belongs to the same menacing individual they want to fence it through - a black psychopath whose history reads like the Anti-Christ's resume. Enter a miscellany of desperadoes and hoodlums who target our four lads.

    For the first time since 'Pulp Fiction', a movie comes along that breaks the shackles of tedious cloning. This film is entertaining and moves along at a cracking pace. Guy Ritchie's script is a tapestry of well-written characters, sharp dialogue that says what needs to be said and leaves the unsaid as food for thought, and a mesh of sub-plots that interlace together with imagination and expertise.

    His direction is crisp and inventive allowing the cast of eccentric characters to move about freely while maintaining that erratic edge. In this slick piece of film making, Guy Ritchie denies hackneyed Hollywood trends by scripting no true good-guys just varying degrees of bad ones.

    This is a terrific movie. It is violent but not extreme considering the subject matter and cast of cut-throat characters. The language is strong and the humor is black where you'll find yourself belly laughing at the brutal misfortune of others. If this makes you uncomfortable, then this film is not for you. It is also not for those who have been trained by television sit-coms to laugh on cue.

    Broadminds are required to enjoy this fine British film where it will definitely add some zing to your day. So stick your tongues firmly in your cheeks and hop on the thrill a minute ride that is 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'.
  • Sean Gallagher14 January 2000
    As T.C. said, this movie rocks!
    You all may know the story at how Tom Cruise saw this movie at a screening in London, and afterwards said, "This movie rocks." Whatever you may think of Mr. Cruise, I happen to agree after watching this film. Although I had trouble following the story at times, it was a lot of fun, and Ritchie managed to juggle all the characters around and keep me interested and compelled to watch. I also didn't have any trouble understanding what the characters were saying, and I think those who blind themselves to films like this by saying, "Oh, I can't understand them" lack patience. I also liked all the actors, particularly, of course Lenny McLean and Vinnie Jones(one of my few complaints is I would have liked to see more of them in the film). And for a film which feels violent, there's surprisingly little actual violence, which is refreshing. Overall, not a particularly deep film, but a lot of fun.
  • Master of Insanity3 February 2000
    `100 pounds is still 100 pounds!' `Not when the price is 200 pounds!'
    If this film had been dubbed for American viewers, (even if it would have lost the magic of the cockney accent), not one person from the States would have said this wasn't a really good film. I didn't even understand most of the dialogues, but the weirdness of the characters and of what they did was really funny. Not hysterically funny, but Funny! The mixture of comedy and violence was the thing that most amused me. The story itself isn't of the most original, but surely efficacious. The photography and the soundtrack were also brilliant and to finish, I saw Pulp Fiction, I loved it, but after seeing LS&2SM I was too busy thinking over and over how much I liked it for noticing a whatsoever similarity with PF. 10 out of 10 is a bit too much… but 9/10 definitely isn't! Watch it!
  • Chrysanthepop11 May 2008
    ''And there's one more thing...it's been emotional' says one of the Slickest 'Gangster' flicks ever!
    'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' is one of those films that I can watch x number of times and still enjoy it as much as I did in the first viewing. This is pretty much what an action gangster flick should be like. It has all the required ingredients. The action, humour, drama and suspense balance extremely well. Ritchie's writing and direction are excellent as not only does the film keep one at the edge of his/her seat but the characters (including minor ones) are rich. They're over-the-top but that only works for the film. While the bad guys think they're powerful and all, they're actually portrayed as dumb and the good guys think they're clever and have all the answers to their problems when they're actually not so bright. The characters are portrayed as cool yet they end up getting caught in a mess. The film too is somewhat satirical as it reflects a part of life e.g. the closeness between the four friends, the son following the father's (Big Chris's) footsteps. The humour is mostly dark with sharp, witty and funny dialogues and hilarious situations. It all seems a 'natural' part of the story. Shot in DV, the camera-work and use of music is very effective. The film has a raw and gritty look yet the execution of it makes it very stylish. Richie uses the same style in 'Snatch'. He should become an auteur and make more movies of this kind as it is clearly his fort (remember his disastrous attempt at romance with 'Swept Away'?). All the actors, whether it's Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham or more recognized faces like Vinnie Jones and Sting, seem to naturally fit their parts. 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' is one of the coolest 'gangster' flicks. A must watch to those who love action films that have both substance and entertainment.
  • Popcorn-2812 December 1999
    Now do you understand everything I've said? Because if you don't, I'll kill ya
    I've avoided this movie for sometime now. Firstly because friends told me that it was 'Pulp Fiction'-ish (and boy do I hate that movie). Secondly, because its British and although I'm from South East London myself and love British television comedies, I have rarely found British humour well translated onto the big screen. Normally it is toned down to plain slap-stick goofy uncomplicated Inspector Cleuseau type humour tailored for American audiences.

    But to find not just British, but straight-faced East London cockney-slang and swear filled humour in a really stylish movie was a revelation.

    I have always believed that British humor, especially East London humor is much more sophisicated than American humour. Maybe the reason why American audiences have been more forthcoming with LS&2SB is that despite the accent, they finally 'get it' without having to have it remade into an American version, ala Faulty Towers and Threes company and other British comedies. Yet, I believe Tom Cruise is remaking the movie with an American cast. I suppose for those who just cannot understand English unless its spoken in an American accent. That is really a shame as there are so many diverse accents all around the world and LS&2SB could not have been done in any accent other than cockney.

    Still, there are bits only the British will get, like the scene with the three guys pouncing on the traffic warden in the back of the van. That scene had me clutching my sides. Only someone living in London can feel true loathing for a traffic warden, the most hated person in Britain.

    Cinemtography was superb. I wont go into who's already done the slow-mo's and stop action argument. It is near impossible to do anything in a movie today that has not already been done. You can either do nothing - or do whatever you can as long as it suits the mood and the flow of the movie, and Guy Ritchie just cannot be faulted. He projects the seedy, thin laned, miserable weathered London, yet with such style that you want to see more. The camera work could not have been better. Just see the projection of Eddy's unsteady, light-headed wooziness as he gets up from the gambling table having lost everything and owing even more. Brilliant.

    The Soundtrack was as diverse and yet brilliant as I have ever heard in a movie. I dont want to look like waving the Union Jack here, but this movie shows that the British have a more diverse taste in music. From Reggae, to Ska, to Rock, to Mikis Theodorakis every track played just added to the scene showed.

    In short, LS&2SB is a movie that just does not stop for a second, is full of refreshing humour, filmed with style, has a lively soundtrack, some violence thrown in for good measure, and a story with more twists and turns than a bowlfull of spaghetti.

    Dont let this movie slip you by. You'll either love it, or hate it.

    If this movie was not British, I'd give it an 8/10, but since it is, it gets 9/10 from me.

    Favourite dialogue: Rory Breaker: If you hold back anything, I'll kill ya. If you bend the truth or I think your bending the truth, I'll kill ya. If you forget anything I'll kill ya. In fact, you're gonna have to work very hard to stay alive, Nick. Now do you understand everything I've said? Because if you don't, I'll kill ya.
  • crisp_morning_200427 July 2006
    In this criminal subculture, they cheat and rob each other.
    Never seen a more entertaining gangster film than this one. It elicits belly-laughs with its black humor.

    Guy Ritchie lures us deep into an intricate world, a world only belonging to streetwise charmers, merciless debt collectors, dope drug dealers, paranoid marijuana growers, eccentric Afros and inept burglars. In this criminal subculture, they cheat and rob each other.

    Such a film as it is, if shot by a less intelligent, would be a disaster. But Guy makes the story full of twists and coincidences and weaves them all into his well-craft web. Elements like guns, knives, corpses and claret are indispensable parts for a gang film. In Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, guns are replaced by air rifles and antic shotguns, knives by kitchen ones and some kicking. And the bullets fly and corpses aren't that bloody since most are off-screen. And I couldn't help laughing at Soap's theory like " guns for show, knives for pro" especially when he soapboxes it with a seriousness on his soft-soap face.

    The dialog is recommendable and quotable. The shooting angles, especially close-ups cannot be more suitable for this films. See a label sticker under the sole of Harry? To crown them all, the cliffhanger ending is peerless.
  • Paul Andrews5 March 2008
    Very funny, very witty & very excellent British crime caper.
    Warning: Spoilers
    Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is set in London where four close friends Eddie (Nick Moran), Bacon (Jason Statham), Tom (Jason Flemying) & Soap (Dezter Fletcher) all chip in £25,000 to make up the £100,000 entrance fee to a big high stakes poker game held by hard as nails villain & crime boss 'Hatchet' Harry Lonsdale (P.H. Moriarty). Eddie is an expert poker player & figures he can make each of them a clear £100,00 profit, if they play their cards right (ha!). Unfortunately 'Hatchet' Harry doesn't like losing & cheats, Eddie not only loses the £100,000 but actually ends up owing 'Hatchet' Harry £500,000 after borrowing it from him to continue in the game. 'Hatchet' Harry is not the sort of person you owe money to, Eddie & his friends must find a way to raise a half a million pounds in the next four days or start losing their fingers...

    This English production was written & directed by Guy Ritchie & has already deservedly reached pretty much classic status, in fact it still resides in the IMDb's top 250 films list over ten years since it was originally released & for me it throughly deserves to be there. It's just a wonderfully entertaining, witty, funny, clever British crime caper with bags of personality & at the time it was made originality although in the ten years since it was released many a British film has ripped it off trying to recreate it's success. There are a few things which make Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels so brilliant. First it's just so funny, I have seen Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels several times now & I laugh my head off every time, the really funny dialogue, the spot on performances, the hilarious one liners, the use of funny cockney rhyming slang & the things which happen along with the often bizarre situations the character's find themselves in means there isn't a scene that goes by where something funny doesn't happen or there isn't some instantly quotable insult or one liner. Secondly the character's are great, they have real depth & the good guy's are very likable so you root for them while the bad guy's are real nasty pieces of work so as a consequence you don't root for them, just the way it should be. Then there's the plot which at the time was fresh, new, original, clever, witty, full of great twists & turns & there's certainly plenty going on which rather improbably all come together at the end in a somewhat far fetched way but when a film is as entertaining, clever & downright funny as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels you just tend to go with it. A brilliantly funny British comedy crime caper, one of my favourite films ever & it's as simple & straight forward as that.

    Director Ritchie really injects some style, pace & energy into the film with various tricks which never become gimmicky or intrusive & only help tell a brilliantly story with style, originality & panache. Not only did Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels revolutionise the British crime caper genre with it's story telling but it has also influenced plenty of films since with it's slick editing & visual techniques. There's a fantastic soundtrack too, I really can't think of one bad thing to say about Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels which is pretty high praise in itself as I am not easily pleased. There's a fair amount of violence but nothing overly graphic & a lot of it is played for laughs as is the bad language & profanity of which there is a lot. In fact I don't there is a single scene which doesn't involve the use of strong language at some point.

    According to the IMDb Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels had a budget of about £960,000 which is simply amazing, a film this good & this stylish for less than a million? Shot on location in & around London Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels were the film debuts of both ex footballer Vinnie Jones & Jason Statham who have both done very well off the back of it. During the final credits the film is dedicated to ex bare knuckle fighter Lenny McClean who played Barry the Baptist & who died of cancer shortly before the film premiered. The acting is great from all involved, there's boyish charm to downright menacing criminal unpleasantness.

    Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a brilliantly funny, witty, clever & entertaining British crime caper that is a true genre great & one of my own personal favourite films ever. Ritchie followed Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels up with the equally brilliant British crime caper Snatch (2000) a couple of years later.
  • s-dewitt13 October 2004
    I have watched this film countless times and it is always funny, entertaining and visually appealing. It combines a great story (actually about 8 stories), lush cinematography (a personal must have), and superb dialog. When I first saw it, I thought it was a good rip-off of pulp fiction (a common theme on the message boards), but later you come to realize that this simply is not the case. IMO, it is much more like "The Usual Suspects", another great film.

    The visual appeal puts it in my top three list for this (along with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and Das Boot).

    There is no weak character - everyone is perfect and fits into place and has their own role in the whole story. But my personal favorite is Rory Breaker. He manages menacing and humorous at the same time in perfect combination.

    Favorite lines (from Rory Breaker) "If you hold back anything, I'll kill ya. If you bend the truth or I think your bending the truth, I'll kill ya. If you forget anything I'll kill ya. In fact, you're gonna have to work very hard to stay alive, Nick. Now do you understand everything I've said? Because if you don't, I'll kill ya."
  • Flagrant-Baronessa29 June 2006
    Watch this with subtitles, if you can
    Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels features a lot of local slang and Cockney accents and, while it is far from impossible to comprehend, you will be doing yourself a favour if you follow the dialogue in subtitles. In fact, even the unbearably annoying 'hard-of-hearing' option is welcomed. It follows a group of four very "working class" blokes as they try to help their friend Eddie (Nick Moran) get out of an enormous debt he amassed one night, playing high-roller with a local gang-boss that cheated. The lads resort to illegal ways to get the money, like ripping off their pot-selling next-door neighbours.

    This is a really excellent film—entertaining; funny, exciting, and extremely realistic. The style is gorgeous. In fact, I have nothing bad at all to say about it except that it may not be everyone's cup of tea. You also have to be patient with it. That may have been my problem the first time I saw it because I can remember mixing up quite a few people when not paying attention.. Still, the realism of the situations make up for its occasionally slow pace and dialogue-driven plot. For instance, none of these working-class guys know how to handle a gun when they need to, and the result is hilarious. They're not goofy by any means, but they're just normal guys that struggle with the life of crime that they are forced to turn to in order to repay Eddie's debt. Also note the fantastic use of "I Wanna Be Your Dog" by The Stooges. 8/10
  • Matt Maltby13 June 2005
    Good fun, but ultimately failing to live up to the comparisons
    I will be honest, I turned on 'Lock, Stock' with very little hope - I had been led to believe that it was a senseless action movie, the type of film that FHM give 10/10, and the rest of the world wouldn't touch with a barge pole. I was pleasantly surprised upon viewing the film, but still could not see how people compare the film to the Pulp Fictions and Trainspottings of this world.

    Upon reading the comments on 'Snatch', which I am yet to see, I noticed someone saying that the performances on both films were excellent across the board. Not having seen 'Snatch' I am unable to judge that, but i can certainly say that I was disappointed with the acting in 'Lock, Stock'. I felt that while Vinnie Jones made a good debut, and there was the odd good performance, the main quartet certainly let the film down. At times the focus on reeling off snappy dialogue took precedence over actually acting, and to a certain extent this led me to stop actually caring about what happened to the characters. While the thrill of their audacious attempts was great, and some of the lines were hilarious, most viewers get too swept up to really care at all about the characters. Some will say that this doesn't matter, but it certainly does to me.

    Ritchie's style of direction at times baffled me - at times I saw glimpses of cinematic genius, and realised exactly what the 'music video style' could bring to film, (e.g. Eddie's departure from the poker game) but occasionally shots felt amateurish and lazy - for example look at the two Kennys' 'get the guns' argument near the end of the film. This meant i could occasionally see what the plaudits were on about, and occasionally jumped right back to my original feelings about the film.

    There is normally nothing that I hate more than pretentious film critics rubbishing a film because it isn't a) a postmodern satire on what it is really like to be a man or b) a documentary on Ukrainian house-husbands, and I did thoroughly enjoy Lock, Stock (I gave it 7/10). However, it is not, in my opinion, worthy of top 250 entry, and will always remain for me a post-pub fun fest.
  • kenjha28 September 2007
    Slick but Unpleasant
    This slick film details the lives of a bunch of blokes in the British underworld as they fight over drug money. The Cockney accents of most of the characters are so thick that anyone outside Britain would have to have the subtitles turned on to understand what is going on. There are too many characters and not a single one of them is likable. It's difficult to keep track of the three gangs, who all seem to have similar looking young men. The plot is interesting though somewhat convoluted. Ritchie directs with a lot of energy but his cinematic tricks (freeze-frames and voice-overs) are distracting. Songs are overused on the soundtrack.
  • Lumpenprole21 January 2002
    For $8 million, this is a fricking monument of 1990's film. The first time I saw it I laughed at most of the jokes and followed the plot with pleasure. That's more than I can say about any number of movies in the 1990's that cost ten times as much to make and starred pricey talent. The editing is clever and cute. The casting is just short of flawless. Of the four principles, only Bacon seemed consistent to me. The minor parts were sometimes spectacular, esp. Big & Little Chris and Barry the Baptist.

    There are some legitimate complaints about this movie. The big one is that it doesn't really go anywhere or mean anything. It seems like an awful lot of flash and talent to end up saying nothing about anything. But um… it's not like Lock, Stock is trying to be anything it isn't, so maybe it's not a valid critique after all. Considering how long Tarrantino's influence has been around, it's a little unfair to call Ritchie on imitating him. There are some similarities – large casts, distinct characters, clever dialogue, rapid shifts in narratives from one string to another and shifting in time, and few other things. I think the problem is that years of dumbing down by Hollywood have almost eliminated all these things. The influence is there certainly, but it would not seem as pronounced if there were any other hugely exposed filmmakers in recent memory that put as much emphasis on dialogue and character besides Tarantino.

    I haven't watched MTV since the mid-1980's, so the style of Lock Stock and Snatch didn't seem trite to me. Some people I talked to said that the film style was too much like the average car commercial or pop video, which is getting the influence backwards, but I could see how those associations would spoil the experience.
  • brando64723 December 2007
    Guy Ritchie's Hilarious Feature Debut
    This is one seriously funny movie. I've probably seen it close to 10 times and it hasn't gotten old yet. Guy Ritchie brings us a hilarious look into the London criminal underground in one of his earliest features. The story revolves around four friends who become indebted to the local crime lord after a card game goes horribly wrong. The humor in this movie is sharp and fast-paced. At times, it becomes a little hard to keep up with the thick British accents and the cockney rhyming slang but overall, it doesn't detract from the movie. The movie keeps you guessing as to the outcome when the story becomes complex with multiple lies and double-crosses but the ending satisfies.

    This film marks the debuts of two of England's coolest new actors: Jason Statham (who went on to do 'Transporter', among other movies) and Vinnie Jones (now a familiar cinema tough guy). Jones is especially good as Big Chris, debt collector/family man. The majority of the cast aren't common faces in America (aside from Sting) but they all have the charisma to keep the audience interested. Another plus is the film's soundtrack, ranging from reggae to 70's soul. It adds to the movie's already laid-back feel.

    Everyone I've seen the movie with enjoys it (once they get past the thick accents, anyway) so I can say with confidence this is a fun movie. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good comedy and I feel this movie's humor hits more often than it misses. I'd recommend giving this movie a chance at least once and I don't think you'd be disappointed.
  • dunmore_ego5 November 2006
    "Lock, Stock" comes at us with two smoking barrels
    Warning: Spoilers
    "Right! Let's sort the buyers from the spiers, the needy from the greedy and those who love me from the ones who don't…" Bacon (Jason Statham) and Eddie (Nick Moran) work a street crowd with their hot merchandise. Cops. They flee. When the film suddenly crashes into super-slomo, and a hard, street-savvy narration kicks in (Alan Ford's voice) telling us of Bacon's and Eddie's street chicanery on its last legs, we hark back to the opening of *Pulp Fiction* (where Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer are dialoguing intriguingly and cooing like lovebirds over coffee in a diner one minute and in the next, suddenly viciously holding up the joint). Like *Pulp*, this Guy Ritchie-penned and –directed trash whore promises to be a dialog-luscious film with a rabid style all its own.

    It is.

    With a frenetic energy that few films today possess, *Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels* is the work of a film-maker who remembers that movies are, first and foremost, Entertainment. Guy Ritchie is Danny Boyle (*Trainspotting, 28 Days Later*) on crank.

    Along with Statham and Moran, Dexter Fletcher (as Soap) and Jason Flemyng (as "Tubby" Tommy) round out the quartet of twenty-something East End street friends who pool their cash to enter Eddie, a card-shark natural, into a life-or-death stakes card game with local gangster and porn king, "Hatchet" Harry Lonsdale (P.H. Moriarty).

    Which Eddie, through Harry's cheating, promptly loses.

    So begins Eddie and the boys' crooked quest to deliver "half a million knickers" to Harry before Harry's bulldog, Barry "The Baptist" (Lenny McLean) starts claiming their digits as vig.

    That's the short version. In the final telling, Lock, Stock - filmed with a leached look that makes London look even stinkier and gloomier than it actually is - is a Mobius strip of black comedic robbery and nihilistic bloodletting, shot through a revolving-door of criss-crossing, cross-killing, kill-switching plots.

    Concurrent with our desperate hero foursome (calling them anti-heroes does not even suffice for their level of "anti," so let's drop the prefix and stop pretending we don't support bad guys), there are the dazed and confused marijuana farmers led by the willowy Winston (Steven Mackintosh), whom we first meet inanely arguing over locking the front gate; there are Eddie's neighbors, a gang of thieves as ruthless as they are inept, led by a chilling sadist, Dog (Frank Harper), whom we first meet as he swipes golf balls off the nose of a victim while machete-ing another hanging upside down; there is a black gang of giants led by a cockney midget with a fashion-challenged 'fro, Rory Breaker (Vas Blackwood), whose introduction to the story sees him setting a man on fire for insisting he change the pub television channel; then there are the two clueless, low-rent bandits (Jake Abraham and Victor McGuire) who burgle the smoking barrels of the title with plot-twisting consequences; there's Big Chris (Vinnie Jones), a merciless hit-man who is yet intent on raising his son with manners, and a hardened bar owner, JD, who shuns the maelstrom, not for want of street-cred, but because he is miles beyond mustered (played by Sting, as hard as the day he formed The Police).

    With a source-music soundtrack that swivels effortlessly between savage, scarring guitars to ska figures and traditional Jewish plucking, and slang so rich your ears will gain ten pounds ("not with Liberia's deficit in ya skyrocket," "orders an Aristotle of the most ping pong tiddly in the nuclear sub"), Lock, Stock wends its complex way to a furiously satisfying climax, twists aplenty and a final shot that will renew your faith in creative storytelling like a date with a drunk Hans Christian Andersen.

    This movie is a modern classic.

    No matter the Serious Critics denigrating style over substance, this movie - stylistic to a fault – defiantly does not lack for substance. It is no secret that the nature of the medium is *reliant* on style, so it is as silly to say that a movie should lack "style" as a rock band should lack "image" – these are the selling points of the products. Style is an integral aspect of a modern director's toolbox and Ritchie has consciously chosen to present his product this stylishly - and his cup overfloweth with substance too.

    Yet Ritchie's stylistic verve earns him his share of detractors, some rationally decrying the new breed of crash-cutting, shotgun storytellers, some just too slow-witted to keep up with the swagger of the Ritchies, Tarantinos and Boyles – subsequently, there are only two ways to take this movie: either not at all, or lock, stock and two smoking barrels…

    (Movie Maniacs, visit: www.poffysmoviemania.com)
  • emuir-125 February 2008
    Vera Day
    I want to know how Vera Day, the sexy blond of British films in the 1950's, who had not made a film since 1964, came to do such a wonderful cameo in this film. The moment she came on the screen, she was the epitome of the attractive, aging, hardboiled sports/pub owner, the kind where they stage boxing matches, and the kind of woman who knows how to keep her mouth shut.

    There was a pub on Eel Pie Island, in the east Thames - London's dockland, which was run by a woman who staged boxing matches in the pub. Tanya reminded me of her and brought back many, many memories.

    I loved the film, but Vera Day, as Tanya, is the character I remember most.
  • Keyser Soze-1220 January 2001
    Easily one of my all time favorites
    I didn't know what to expect when I popped this movie in my VCR. On one hand, I had heard this movie is hilarious, fun, and three steps from Pulp Fiction. On the other hand, it's British and it may not transfer into my American head very well. I had heard also that the movie is a rip-off of Pulp. Well, let me tell you what I think.

    When the movie was over I found myself on the floor laughing like a giddy schoolchild. I was laughing for two reasons: 1) This movie is as funny as they say it is and 2) THE MOVIE IS SO GOOD! I haven't been this giddy after a movie since, well, Pulp Fiction, which is why people compare the two I guess. But don't let anyone convince you that Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a British remake of Pulp fiction, because anyone who says that is a fool. The two are completely different. Okay, maybe not completely different, but they're different enough.

    For one thing, Lock is no where near as serious as Pulp. Don't get me wrong, Pulp had its funny moments, but Lock is 100% comedy. The movie's laughs come from two places. The first place is the funny dialog. Once you get past their accents, which are a little on the thick side, you will find that these guys are just plain funny. The second place is where most of the laughs come from: the plot. The plot is so damn funny; I can't even begin to talk about it. Watching these fine British lads get caught up in this mass confusion is good ol' fashion entertainment my friend.

    The only problem I have with this movie is that the director, Guy Richie, can get a little on the music-video-direction side. With all the twisted camera angles and the pumped up music one could almost mistake this for a music video on TRL. This really didn't bother me that much. Just like in Pulp Fiction, these guys spent some time compiling the soundtrack. Great soundtrack people!

    If you liked Pulp Fiction, you'll love Lock, Stock, etc. so pick this movie up.

  • rps-215 December 2010
    Tasteless violence
    Hollywood has no monopoly on crass, vulgar, tasteless, blood spewing depravity.This ghastly piece of British trash is as good (bad?) as anything the schlockmeisters of US cinema have ever done. The film runs 110 minutes. The F word is used 125 times. !!! There is not one character with one redeeming quality. Indeed, if I was a British criminal I would be offended. The story line is complicated enough --- you can't tell the bad guys from the good guys because there are no good guys --- but the thick east end London accents make the dialogue incomprehensible for the most part. There are two or three attempts at comedy. But none of them is funny. Cinema can be so downlifting!
  • DavidPumpkins15 March 2001
    Probably the least enjoyable movie experience of my life...
    This is the film that spawned all the shockingly bad British gangster films of 1999 and 2000 and this is no better than any of it's offspring.

    The basic premise of the film is far from original, a group of young criminals make a mess of a job and so on, blah blah blah. The film is billed as being a crime comedy but I don't recall laughing once. The characters are your typical cockneys, aside from the irritating accent, all you hear is various people being referred to as muppets, mugs and slags and then indulging in glorified violence. Nothing wrong with violence, some of my favourite films are heavy on the bloodshed, including "Goodfellas" and "Reservoir Dogs" but this is a dismal attempt to make it seem funny, when it really isn't.

    Guy Ritchie, despite the reputation he is building for himself strikes me as being a director of a lot of style but very little substance and I don't care how many people tell me otherwise, VINNIE JONES CANNOT ACT. The same could also be said for the rest of the performers in this appalling, yet well-received film. Avoid at all costs.
  • Truman B-316 November 1998
    Ahhh... another witty British film. Or is it? The answer is plain and simple - NO. It's a very sloppy, messy, Tarantino rip-off that tries to entertain us with pointless violence and not-so-funny dialog. The acting is some of the worst ever and it seemed that they threw in the bad language at the last minute so try and steal some cheap laughs. And cheap they are. So, if you want entertainment, avoid this like the plague and watch The Truman Show. You won't regret it. Trust me.
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