User Reviews (119)

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  • fung020 July 2012
    If you're expecting James Bond, or even Jason Bourne, you've come to the wrong place. This is a brutally realistic film about how both sides in the so-called 'War on Terror' bend every rule of civilized conduct in order to further their own questionable ends. It's a story about people who have absolutely no doubt that their ends justify the means... even though those 'ends' long ago ceased being particularly noble, if indeed they ever were.

    The story concerns the journey of one Middle Eastern man from political agnostic to suicide commando. His compelling, if fairly obvious, tale is counterpointed against the gradual awakening of the British assassin sent to track him down, operating well outside the rules of police work or even espionage.

    There are no laughs in this movie, no car chases. There is extreme violence, and a lot of incentive to question the purpose of that violence. The characters are strong, as is the message. Unfortunately, those who most need to hear that message are likely to either avoid this film entirely, or conveniently misunderstand it.
  • What I enjoyed most about this films that it showed both sides of a very British story without being preachy, one sided or have an agenda. What made me watch it all the way through is that it was all built into the thriller format.

    What I have found in many films dealing with this subject matter is that they all have been either heavy handed but mostly too worthy. Cleanskin gets on with telling a story and just observes and keeps a distance from the issues, simply presenting them asthey are.

    It was good to see the process of how a man born here in the UK is turned to the road of murder and how people use him for their own reasons and benefits. Very refreshing to have a film show the process and treat the character of Ash objectively but showing all his appalling faults.

    It was Sean's Beans best performance for many years, I'm not too familiar with all his films but I thought he did a very good job with this film as he did on Game of Thrones. The good thing about his character is that he wasn't the standard angry soldier, he had a history and motivation.

    My favourite scene was when Ash is about to commit his attack he visits the Cleric, Ash wants reassurance about heaven and the cleric reassures him then hurriedly goes to his sons birthday party leaving Ash alone to commit his act while the Cleric is enjoying himself elsewhere. I think that scene sums the film up, very poignantly written.
  • For me, Sean (aka 'Ewan') puts on a fantastic performance, in a film where I was also very impressed with Peter Polycarpou (aka 'Nabil'). The romance between Ash and Kate felt very believable, not all actors/actresses can pull this job off.

    It was a film that touches on a very serious subject, so for all you rom-com addicts, prob not one for you, lol! However, although a serious topic, you'll find some light hearted humour in parts of the film.

    Have already recommended to friends and family, purchased on DVD myself, so go and watch too if you already haven't.

    Overall, a great watch with some excellent action shots and twists and turns throughout.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    OK, so lets get to Sean Bean's character. He lost his wife in the London tube bombings (I'm presuming) so already has an issue with terrorists. He is played like a pawn by Charlotte Rampling because she knows he will do whatever it takes to stop these murderers, particularly when it's in her interests too (she is aiming to knock the top Secret Service guy - James Fox - off his perch and grab a promotion).

    While the young terrorist Muslim being manipulated by the recruiter of Nabil, Sean is busy on the streets of London hunting down the bad guys. His partner in crime isn't who he seems to be and I thought that from the very beginning. Does he really have child, like he says the toy is for? Or is he playing on Sean's mind knowing that his wife is dead?

    Anyway, the various twists and turns keep the viewer on the edge of their seat and in an apparent 'suicide' by Charlotte at the end (once Sean survives numerous attempts on his life), was this a nod to a famous story about Dr Kelly?

    The viewer can make their own assumptions as to whether the real government is as corrupt as what they are made out to be in "Cleanskin"
  • After an unsuccessful mission when a load of explosives is stolen by the terrorists Ash (Abhin Galeya) and Paul (Tariq Jordan), the British Secret Service Agent Ewan (Sean Bean) is assigned by his superior Charlotte (Charlotte Rampling) to team-up with agent Mark (Tom Burke) and hunt down the terrorist before the elections. Ash had used a bomber in a restaurant to kill many people and Ewan has a trauma in this regard since his wife died in a terrorist attempt. Ewan track Paul and Ash down and in-between he kills a Muslim in an old building believing that he would be another terrorist. All his deadly actions are covered by Charlotte team until the day he discovers a locker key hidden inside the coat that belonged to the Muslim that he killed and he discloses a web of lies and manipulation.

    "Cleanskin" is a good thriller with a full of action story of terrorism and manipulation. Sean Bean is perfect in the role of an agent in disgrace that is assigned to kill the terrorists responsible for several casualties. The character Ash is very well developed in flashbacks since he was a law student, his recruitment to a terrorist cell and his training. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): "Cleanskin: Jogo de Interesses" ("Cleanskin": Game of Interest")
  • I saw this film in my local Tesco store, the misses saw Sean Bean on the cover and before I knew it, it was coming down the conveyor belt. I was quite impressed with this movie, considering I had not seen it advertised previous. It has a lot of action and some of the stunts are better placed in one of the bigger US flicks so was really impressed by those. Sean has such a natural ease at playing these sorts of characters, and almost felt sympathy for both the hunter and the hunted as the film progressed. There are also a couple of other recognisable stars which almost play a lesser role considering their wider film experience, this was quite an interesting casting approach. We both agree that it was money well spent, but will probably go for a softer more light hearted movie in the weeks to come, good insightful viewing though.
  • This film really impressed me and far outweighed my expectations. A real quality thriller with some highly intelligent twists which will leave you thinking about the subject topic well after you've left the cinema. I understand the writer/producer spent a great deal of time researching some of the deeper issues of terrorism and at no point is this film afraid to deal with very topical and difficult issues. This film is going to start many a conversation following its release. I find it hard to understand how the film was made from such a slim budget. It's packed with effects, graphics, music, quality actors and is a very accomplished piece of work. This is a first class effort from Hadi Hajaig of the newly formed UK Film Studio which has really hit the mark for me. Most gripping film laced with edgy undertones that I have seen in a while - daring, exciting and compelling viewing.
  • Insightful is a word which best describes this film. The reasons as to why British born terrorists turn to the path of mass murder are explored well in this very British film.

    Sean Bean is well cast and his performance is brutal and minimal, he ticks the boxes of Cleanskin's demands. As always with Bean there is a hidden and minimal intelligent subtlety, but this needs to be observed closely in the context of the film.

    The film examines with subtlety who (and how) persuades individuals to perpetrate horrific acts. This is shown with Ewans and Ash's character and their leaders, played by Charlotte Rampling and Peter Polycarpou.There are key moments in the film that are obviously meant to show and mirror the traits and similarity of the two leads, both have started moral but Ewan has turned to questionable and Ash has no excuse for his horrific acts, but the interest is how it is done this with subtlety.

    Look out for certain key characters checking their appearance, marks on their clothes, dirt on their hands, this seems to be a reference in line with lady Macbeth and the blood she imagines on her hand. Guilty and frayed psyche's occupy this film.

    Blending the action with drama is exactly why the film transcends into much more than just another violent film. The fact that these two elements are put together is what makes it deeply disturbing.

    Cleanskin is insightful and thrilling.
  • Good cast and a believable story line made CS an enjoyable film to watch. Sean Bean's character Ewan lost his wife "in the bombings a few years back" which I guess is reference to the London tube/bus bombings, and so you can forgive him for wanting to catch all terrorists and "send them to the deaths they pray for" (which is my favourite line in the film).

    There are lots of twists throughout this movie, and you can never be sure if people are who they say they are - much like the modern world really.

    Apart from the few niggly continuity mistakes, I think the production team can give themselves a pat on the back for making a film that touches on a very sensitive subject yet tackles this subject from both sides.

    On a side note, Tom Burke (Sean Bean's sidekick) puts up an excellent performance.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Ewan is a British Secret Service Agent faced with the task of pursuing and eliminating a British born suicide bomber Ash and his terrorist cell

    Whilst the narrative that centres around Ash is him wrestling with his conscience and reflecting on his journey to terrorism.

    I was expecting a sub terrorist thriller with Bean running around shooting people and spouting one liners, that's just me growing up in the eighties.

    What I got was a lovely little movie that centres around Ash, and showing the viewer just how he became to turn against his country and his people, it's almost as if the makers want us to sympathise with him, in sense it works, but then the other people who are with him are portrayed as the most despicable people seen in the film.

    The film flits between Bean, who has made some sort of connection with a job and Ash, flashbacks of Ash at uni and being drawn in.

    It's really made well, and pulls no punches with its subject matter, and it's very, very violent. Not in your face violent, but the camera doesn't draw away for the viewer.

    Bean is fantastic as usual, and he really doesn't get to say a lot, he spends the majority of the film shouting and punching people.

    The ending is a bit dour, but other than that, it's a fine movie, cruelly ignored on its theatrical release.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I watched this movie as I wanted to see some action, Sean Benn did reasonably good job in this movie portraying an ex agent trying to get his job done for the country he loves and for his countrymen. The movie brought into the light not only of the political play but also the play between influential guys who control politics from outside the walls. At the start I thought it pretty boring with the same genre repeated -> Muslims as the villains and others as the better part, and I was about to give 6 for this movie until the last 2-3 minutes which turned my rating,view and perspective about this movie. The last dialog him saying "Not if you buckle up under the pressure" made me laugh out and made me rate the movie to 8 as it toppled so called concepts that I had in mind about the movie. Awesome ending.
  • I surely enjoyed this film, there are some very good action scenes and a couple that stand out in particular (not to spoil them). As for the story, this was mostly very good, it requires some concentration from the audience to follow, but it all comes together really nicely at the end. There also appear to be some hidden or subtle messages and suggestions in this film. I had to re watch the ending sequence and noticed some interesting word to screen connections. This film has a level of depth that you wouldn't normally see from the all out action movies nowadays, it shows it has been well thought out and put together with detail. Sequel to Sean's character maybe?..
  • This move pleasantly surprised me. I was expecting a rather mindless 'lets get the terrorists' themed action film but was instead treated to a film that, to a limited extent, tried to explore the motivations of the main characters whilst still maintaining the feel and pace of an action movie.

    On the action side, it was quite good. The fight scenes felt quite real and were not over the top but still managed to have quite an impact. Where the film fell short however, was the other side, in the explaining motivations. It almost seemed to me that a 30-45min chunk of the film was left out in the middle. The part of the movie that drew me in the most was the bomber and how outside influences as well as his own personal feelings pushed him in the direction he ended up going in but, it needed more of that. As, to me at least, I couldn't attach myself to the leaps he made along the way which overall, ruined what would have otherwise been a very very interesting exploration of the subject.

    Perhaps I'm asking too much of an action orientated film, but, I think the film makers in this instance, were doing the same.
  • I'll have to do some research about the filming locations, in particular the opening shoot-out scene, as I'm sure some of the bigger budget films use these too?

    Anyway, what starts off well gets even better! There are scenes that make you squirm, laugh, gasp and applaud (I won't give away too much) and that's why I also found the ending great - just simple acting with continuous twists and turns.

    Considering the budget, I am amazed how they manage to get Sean Bean, Charlotte Rampling & James Fox all in the same line up? Can anyone enlighten me on that?

    All in all, a very good watch considering the lack of promotion of the film.
  • A friend of mine borrowed me his DVD of this film. It started off well, had some great action scenes throughout and finished excellently (a nod to a famous death perhaps?).

    It amazes me that a film of just £2m can produce such a twisty-turny story with some easily recognisable British actors. The stand out for me was an unknown actor (Tom Burke) who plays Sean Bean's sidekick.

    I also couldn't help thinking about 7/7 throughout. Also, I see the beheading scene (which we DON'T see to all the blood lovers out there!) was similar to a story from Birmingham a few years back (which thankfully was stopped in time).

    I would recommend it.
  • A great performance from not only Sean but also the girl (Tuppence?), and it was nice to see Peter Polycarpou back on our screen!

    cleanskin will appeal to a wide audience, not just those who are still recovering from 7/7 (which i couldn't stop thinking about whilst watching) and it's helpful seeing the side from the "good guy" and the side from the "bad guy".

    having lived in London when i was younger, it was nice to see some of the landmarks i visited as a kid, so it seems they really went out of their way to keep the realism in the film. it could have easily been filmed in a film studio but it wasn't, which makes it home more for me.

    Still the scenes linger in the memory after i watched them.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After some patience getting through the beginning scenes, I thought it had a great story line and plot build up, combined with some very engaging and captivating actors. Nabil's character especially stood out, and I thought that this Abhin was great in this role, I saw him some time back in Hustle - glad to say his performance in this flick was much more convincing.

    I was also left trying to work out how the mid air head shot, hand stab hanging and point blank range head shot were pulled off? could not see the cut between Sean pulling trigger and Mark's bullet mark appearing?.. from me it was great value for money and well worth a re watch. good job
  • SamDyce6 July 2012
    Warning: Spoilers
    The movie was good, not amazing or poor but a solid "good".

    The violence is very intense and brutal, there is an air of brutality that pervades this film. Bot the the leads have it and it is sometimes shocking but it is effective nonetheless.

    The subject matter is nothing 24 has not covered, Jack Bauer at his most vicious is just the same as the Sean Bean character, both are prepared to go to questionable lengths to save innocent lives.

    I did enjoy the big ending at the wedding and cheered when Ash got it in the head numerous times, the fx were convincing.

    There is standard twist as there always is with most thrillers of this subject matter but its not that revelatory but it works.

    Its good to see Sean Bean working on good projects again, since he did the excellent Game of Thrones and Cleanskin is a good project.
  • The film has violently constructed action and fight sequences. Heads splattering, arms snapped and one of the best head shots I've seen in a long time. The pace is good and Mean Bean is grizzled and grazzled, like he eats broken glass for breakfast and nails for lunch, the bloke looks like he's been shoved through a cement mixer and survived.

    The terrorist is good and the guy who plays the assassin maniac who comes from abroad is seriously scary, that blokes eyes make you sh*t yourself.

    I enjoyed it, it's a fun genre movie. Not for all the family lol!! and certainly not a date movie, you will not get laid with your lady if you take her to this movie but it's a lads film with a twisty turny ending that makes you know this is pure genre.
  • I can only agree wholeheartedly with the other reviews. This is a pulsating , vibrant film that will stick in the memory for a long time and will, undoubtedly provoke muck discussion and media interest (as well as a great deal off critical acclaim). The action comes thick and fast and the film benefits from screen writing which is both economical and expansive whilst the dialogue ranges from the gritty to the poetical. Strong performances all round make this one of the thrillers of the year and a solid 9 rating on merit and for the sheer bravery to put out a film about terrorism when Oscars scream "tweeness". Catch this while you can and you wont be disappointed!
  • what a great film, especially as I really was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. It did not start off like your usual kind of terrorist, hunt and eliminate movie. Almost a few stories going on at once, I thought it was good character development, you have to concentrate to keep up in between the present and past sequences, but that's what made this film different in its style and approach of the topic. I sure we can say that the main terrorist is certainly dead, no no chance of bringing him back, but I would like to see the character of the secret agent continued in a secondary movie with a new task at hand and a cleaned up loyal team (not to give to much away). for my part, I enjoyed this film, like the opening scene, and the end conclusion especially, didn't see it coming at all, although i'm probably not the quickest film analyst on here. Nice, gritty British thriller with an attractive directing style and plot build up.
  • This movie was not what I was expecting at all, the synopsis and plot summaries do give you a hint of the subject, but the film itself opened into something a lot better than just chase, shoot and kill.

    There appears to be a clever character build up to both the heroin (Ewan in my opinion) and the enemy (Ash among others), leaving the viewer piecing together the hints and clues (which almost seem to be subtle) along the way. Although there is a lack of peace and identity in both, if not all, characters, I felt somewhat satisfied by the harsh but somehow justified ending.

    Overall, a good piece of work - not sure what is out at the moment from the UK that impressed me as much as this one.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sean Bean at his usual best in a very current political story line showcase. A slow star gets you warmed up to the cast but the plot soon thickens and quite accurately portrays the UK Islamism underbelly and pulls no punches. I have to say that some of the acting is a bit paint by numbers at the very beginning but that soon disappears as the story starts to unfold. Sean Bean's part as the bitter, vengeful secret agent is played perfectly. Absolute cold hatred for terrorists blended with a sense of justice for his own personal loss makes his character (Ewan) a very angry man. Abin Galeya also plays his character to perfection. Spinning the other side of the coin for a young British Muslin who feels the injustice and racism is just to much to take. Coming from Muslim upbringing but living in Western society is synonymous for many young Muslims in the UK and he makes every line count.

    The final twist may leave you with an uncomfortable feeling as the credits roll. Action & plot, setting & quality acting! It's all you need for a great film.
  • I recently caught this film, billed as an action/drama/suspense flick, quite by accident, and immediately wondered why I saw no promo for it...

    First off, it was nice to see Sean Bean, who has played some bad ass bad guys (eg. Patriot Games, Goldeneye), get to play the bad ass good guy, Ewan. No other actors were known to me, except for Charlotte Rampling, who was in the short Ghost Recon: Alpha. This was not a disadvantage as all the major and minor characters played their parts well. Rampling in particular did well as the pseudo "M" character.

    The movie begins with more drama than action, and enough keeps going wrong, that you begin to wonder if Ewan still should be in this "game." But his ruthlessness (again, pseudo Bond) proves that he should. The plot is heavy with the middle east and terrorism situation and there is a considerable amount of socio-political undercurrent; there is plenty of ruthlessness to go around.

    A fair amount of time is used to build suspense and establish motivations, all going to show once again how violence for revenge sake, or any sake for that matter, perpetuates. Pay attention to where there are flashbacks or you might get lost in the details.

    The fight scenes seem graphic, not because of blood and gore, so much as for the sound effects. And when the action finally begins to build, it is punctuated with plot twists that underscore the complexities involved.

    While ultimately enjoyable to view, the movie is ultimately less action and more drama, and the more realistic for that reason.
  • I found this DVD on offer in HMV, I was quite impressed with this movie, after a bit more research on IMDb it is quite a low cost movie, but it stars a couple of big names and incorporates some impressive stunts. I would say that this film looks a lot more exspensive that it appears to have cost, which is normally the other way round nowadays. I found myself really having to think and was almost triggered to make premature assumptions and conclusions before the film was over. This is a pretty thoughtful display of some wide spread issues and events that are happening in Britain and the world. It takles the build up to such events in a different way, and gives you some insight into motives and catalysts. I would of liked to see more about Sean's past, but maybe its left a bit untold to leave a sequel open. Good film and well worth a watch.
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