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AICN UK: "Britgeek says HARD BOILED SWEETS is the best British crime film in years in his world first review!!


These days, British crime films are ten a penny. As oversaturated as the video horror market is in the States, the same can be said for gangster pictures in the UK. And let's face it, the vast majority are inept, creatively bankrupt cash-ins on an appetite for guns and drugs with a generous slice of Cockney, as kick-started by Guy Richie with LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS nearly fifteen years ago. TRIADS, YARDEES AND ONION BHAJEES, THE BIG I AM and CASH AND CURRY are just three examples of the home-grown genre dross we've had to endure over the last couple of years.


As film fans, one thing that keeps up going when it comes to said genre dross is the pursuit of the light at the end of the cinematic tunnel. We dig through plenty of mud in the hope that we uncover a fat truffle, and long for that blue moon to rise and drop a highly enjoyable, very entertaining movie into our laps.


Thanks to writer/director David L.G. Hughes and his cast and crew, we have HARD BOILED SWEETS, a low-budget crime indie distributed by Universal Pictures that packs a punch like a mint humbug dipped in chilli sauce.


Welcome to the dark side of Southend-on-Sea, where silver crosses the palms of prostitutes rather than clinks into slot machines, men go for an evening swim chained to a weight with the pier as their diving board, and a motley crew of gangsters is about to come in contact with £1,000,000.


Southend is the backyard of Shrewd Eddie, the most feared and influential criminal to reign over the area, but he proves to be a little fish in a big pond when his boss, Jimmy the Gent, makes his way to the seaside town to collect £250,000 worth of dirty money. A huge amount of cash to most, but not to the Gent (a contrarian nickname if there ever was one), who carries a briefcase with him at all times, no matter what, that contains £750,000. It's no secret that these two authority figures of the local underworld are about to meet and there are people who intend on getting in on the action, from crooks who simply want to get rich quick, to those who want an escape from their unlawful existences.


The characters are given non-diegetic nicknames by way of intertitles and actual hard boiled sweets represent the different personalities of the characters. Although they bear no impact on the narrative and it's more or less a gimmick, the sugarcoated nicknames serve as an inventive way to ramp up the film's style. There may not be much sweetness harboured by these characters, but hard boiled they certainly are, whether it's from a life of crime or the result of being subjected to living with a notorious villain.


It was the intention of Hughes to write a story for the screen that folks like Elmore Leonard would conjure up for a novel if they found themselves somewhere in Southend with a pen and a spiral notebook. A long shot perhaps, but Hughes has managed to pull it off. The story is simple in itself, leaving enough breathing space for the characters to bloom, ensuring the twists and turns remain unpredictable throughout in this treacherous tale of blood and money.


HARD BOILED SWEETS is the best British crime film I've seen in years. It's BRIGHTON ROCK by way of Guy Richie and Quentin Tarantino, and ultimately the stylish realisation of a sharp, darkly humorous script from a fresh film-maker with bright ideas and a brighter future. 


The film opens theatrically on limited release on March 9.















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  • Feb. 21, 2012, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Hard Boiled Plants

    by robertdee

    still looks interesting, mind. Best British Gangster film of last decade was Sexy Beast, IMHO.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 9:17 a.m. CST


    by mighty boosh

    Does Twin Town count as part of the genre? I realise it was more of an attempt to cash in on Trainspotting via Wales, but it sort of has gangster figures in as well. I really hated Twin Town. Pointless, nastly little film.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Ill sllep when im dead was a good one

    by gus

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST

    tell the truth britgeek

    by mynamesdan

    you're getting paid directly on this one, right?

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 9:54 a.m. CST

    what's a world first review?


  • Feb. 21, 2012, 9:56 a.m. CST

    oh a world first review is when...


    a review is posted, with a trailer that already quotes the review that was only just posted. ow- that's some kind of time travel mindfuck

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Is it 'edgy' ?

    by spyro

    Is every other word 'fuck' or 'cunt' ? If Danny Dyer isn't in it then I'm not interested. I'm all for supporting new talent but i bet this is dreadful. Another gangster film filled with dodgy geezers with ridiculous nicknames. *ugh*

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Danny Dyer is a 'First Responder' on Casualty..

    by paul burnett

    First Responders are like uber paramadics, requiring intensive training,masters degrees and an ability to work and think on thier feet under intense pressure. Hence the beeb cast Dyer..'Get in the fhackin ambulance you slaag'.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Look,it's that bloke from`The Bill` and

    by chuffsterUK

    `Grange Hill`!

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 10:37 a.m. CST


    by spyro

    and then he sets her pubes on fire. He's a class act.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 10:40 a.m. CST


    by Creepythinmanlivez

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 11:18 a.m. CST

    I'm not one to pre judge a movie by its trailer


    But nothing I saw there looked even mildly interesting or engaging, nothing looked any different from the multitude of creatively bankrupt cash-ins this review mentioned. Plus, as has already been mentioned the fact that the poster for the movie already has this review's quote on it makes this whole endorsement look decidedly dodgy... but hey I could be wrong.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST


    by Adam Stephen Kelly

    Universal quoted what I wrote on Twitter a few daus ago.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 11:38 a.m. CST

    i've heard some good things about this

    by donkey_lasher

    But I'll wait until Rotten Tomatoes gets a hold of it.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Nope. Not getting burned by this one

    by torontoxic

    That right there is no review. It's a press release. I love British Crime movies but this one looks like a flop. If I'm wrong...great. But I doubt I am.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 12:05 p.m. CST

    I try to steer clear of making my mind up on a film

    by papabendi

    before I've even had the opportunity to see it, but this looks like a right load of old mockney bollocks. It sounds like every other "each character is harder than the last" type of utter wank we've come to expect from the British film industry (I use the term 'industry' lightly). I wish we would just leave the criminal/gangster films alone for a decade or two until someone comes up with a fresh idea or spin on things. Really, it's becoming embarrassing.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Danny Dyer

    by Lemmys_E_string a c@nt...and so is Nick Love, discuss. Get Carter is still the best crime film this country has produced, and that is in no small part to its location. Hard Geordies are a lot more intimidating than hard Cockneys walking around like they are carrying carpets. Southend On Sea is only forty miles south of bloody "LNDN". Try doing something different U.K film makers, at least Shane Meadows bucks the trend.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 1:36 p.m. CST

    nick love is directing that sweeney film with ray winstone an plan b..

    by paul burnett

    ..they were all on Top Gear the other week..If Guy Richie is a mockney then love is like twice removed eastender or sumfink. Anyway Love came across as a bit of a twat, saying that i thought The Business was cracking.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 2:36 p.m. CST

    There is an audience for this sort of stuff

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    It never ceases to amaze me the films that can turn a profit. Danny has his fans, thats for sure. Good luck to them. More indie films, please.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 3:48 p.m. CST

    If you want a proper British film fellow Americans

    by CoolerKing72

    Track down, 'Going Off Big Time' Class

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 3:50 p.m. CST


    by CoolerKing72

    Spot on pal.. Loved the Business but a 3 million budget on a such beloved show.. I dont think Nick love has the balls for it... He is a cheeky chimney sweep. Plus he pupped Bianca from Eastenders..

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Shameless plug!

    by Jamie

    Another Brit gangster flick. I'm gonna go to bed. Come on, VARIETY says that this flick is a straight to DVD title released by Universal OUTSIDE the US. Not good enough for the US, but good enough for the UK? Sure don't say much about this pic. "The best British crime film in years"?! Damn, this ain't no review but a big ass plug for a buddy's movie. So Britgeek, you ain't fooling us none. Own up. OWN UP.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Fire Britgeek!

    by Jamie

    For writing press releases and telling us dumb folks it's a review.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Dumb folks?

    by Adam Stephen Kelly

    Yes, you must be if you think this review was written solely to plug a friend's film. I have no association with anyone involved in the film except with the writer/director who contacted me in the first place about a potential review. I wonder why it's been released in the UK first? At a guess I'd say it's because it's an independent British genre film. It isn't straight-to-DVD release, either. Why am on I on the poster? Because Universal quoted a TWEET I sent out after seeing the film for review purposes. Find yourselves a brain, please, I beg you. 9/11 was an inside job and I'm on the Universal Pictures payroll.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 8:27 p.m. CST

    Britgeek still lies...

    by Jamie

    9/11 was no inside job and you ain't on the Universal Pics payroll. I'm not the only one thinking this is a plug in the comments above. The film isn't even on the release schedule in the UK. So a few token showings in some rep cinema constitutes a cinema release for you? Come on. "The best British crime film in years"? "By way of Ritchie and Tarantino"? Hmmmm. Okay, maybe this is no plug. But it stinks of very friendly hype. We ain't no dumb folks so we can smell b.s. when we smell b.s. Here's a couple of things for you: you talk up the flick before you even review it. You review it: it's a great pic. What a surprise. Damn, you even use some of the stuff fed to you by the filmmakers in the "talk up" piece in the review. Sounds like the filmmakers told you what to write, man... You must get approached by 100s of British filmmakers who want a review. Why pick this flick? Or is this flick the only British genre film around? Britgeek, OWN UP. J. PS: Don't tell us to get a brain. We're the reason you exist so show some respect for the AICN fans.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST


    by Adam Stephen Kelly

    I show respect to the Talkbackers who don't post mindless nonsense! I was being sarcastic. I'm not on the Universal payroll. I wish I was... The film-makers haven't fed me anything. I liked the film and hope that my positive thoughts spur people on to checking the film out when it's released in March. Think before you write clueless rubbish on here.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Britgeek STILL lies...

    by Jamie

    Checked out your FB and tweets and the filmmakers' FB and tweets. So here goes: you wrote the review and shared it with the filmmakers first. Then, damnit to hell, you feign horror that your quote was up on the poster before you publish the review... You even tweeted something like: "Damn, how did Universal get hold of my review?" Let me tell you how Universal did that: well, the filmmakers beat you to the publication day. They quoted you before you published your review cos you showed / discussed it with them. Your FB page shows you're kinda having a very cozy relationship with the filmmakers. Proves my point: you're in bed with the filmmakers if they see your review (and use your quote!) before you post it on here. Gotta be a first in movie history: filmmakers see the review and use a quote from it before the readers read the review. Hey, you do better: you talk up the flick too before the review. That ain't a reviewer's job, mister. I hope you'll understand why nobody trusts what you say about this pic. If you don't want me to post garbage, don't post garbage masquerading as a "review". It reflects badly on AICN. Take example from the venerable Harry Knowles. But, hey, if you got a beer or two out of this, man, good on ya. Britgeek, you screwed up... so OWN UP. Respectfully yours... PS: Delete all them embarrassing tweets and FB stuff.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 9:55 p.m. CST


    by Adam Stephen Kelly

    A. My Facebook page is private. B. The only person I have been in contact with who was involved in the film is David L.G. Hughes C. The very first time I told anyone about my opinion on the film was publically through Twitter D. Universal Pictures quoted my tweet about it being "the best British crime film I've seen in years" and I inserted the same words into my review, which was written hours after my tweets. E. My review was uploaded to AICN before anyone in the world, sans my editor, read it. F. Clearly you don't understand sarcasm, as my tweet regarding me questioning how Universal got hold of my quote was exactly that. They contacted Hughes to tell me they were going to quote my Twitter account and then he passed the information on to me. You have no idea what you're talking about, but it's fun to entertain such an idea.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Britgeek Fights Back...

    by Jamie

    Hey, This ain't the timeline I saw. But you know what? I don't care anymore. Your problem. Talking up a flick, then hyping up the hell out of it in a review or to see the quote up on a poster before the review is on here ain't smart for your credibility. And you tweet your opinion of a film before uploading the review? Yeah, okay (British sarcasm here...) I guess it woulda been nice for AICN fans to know about that before the filmmakers. I sure am with "mynameisdan" above on this one. I guess whatever it takes to get your name on a poster, right? Your very happy, proud tweet about that is proof of that. Still no answer about why you picked this film to review. Not enough filmmakers contacting you for a review? Not enough genre films in the U.K.? But hey, I learned something tonight. As you guys say in the good old U.K.: take Britgeek's "reviews" with...a pinch of salt. Respectfully yours... (No British sarcasm here. A man gotta do what a man gotta do for a beer.)

  • So is any of this really a surprise?

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 1:32 a.m. CST


    by paul burnett

    ..Love shagged Bianca!! Jesus no wonder he comes across badly after that ordeal..surprised he doesn't have the 1000 yard stare of a vietnam vet.. Britgeek.. Any chance of getting some news etc from the set of 'Filth'? Apart from a few pics on theres been hardly anything about this film, and considering it's based on Irvine Welsh's best book and what Trainspotting did for the UK film industry, Filth seems to be off everyones radar.

  • Which was about your level of journalism. Seriously, you're not good enough to write for this site. And this whole "review" is embarassing. Leave now, with at least some dignity intact.

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 5:29 a.m. CST

    This is hilarious

    by Adam Stephen Kelly

    Thanks for the laughs. cactusjack1972, on Screenjabber I reviewed what the editor sent me, so how does that work? Hmm. There are plenty of genre films in the UK, which is why HARD BOILED SWEETS isn't the first one I've covered. Yes, I tweet my opinions on films before I write my reviews. So do most critics I know! Never have been a quote whore. It's only marketing.

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 5:31 a.m. CST


    by Adam Stephen Kelly

    Honestly, I can't stress enough how misinformed you lot are. It's a review of a film and you have absolutely no inkling of this process. Believe what you like, despite me explaining it in detail.

  • Wait...this place has an editor? I kid because i love!!

  • Oh dear. Could you be any more condescending? Face it, you've lost this one. Even your arguements are dumb. Admit defeat.

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Wow, this Talkback quickly turned into a massacre...


    I think Britgeek would be better off just not getting involved in a shit slinging contest. Don't feel you have to justify yourself, knowing most talkbackers it'll be like arguing with a brick wall.

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 11:16 a.m. CST


    by mighty boosh

    ...THANK YOU for bringing some kind of objectivity and rational thought to this thread. Shame how one small, incorrect accusation (or a few) gained such momentum, based on pure hearsay and lacking any actual fact.

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 11:21 a.m. CST

    It was like...

    by mighty boosh

    ...the stubborn mule on Family Guy. Facts are - they took their tagline from his Tweet, written before he finished the review. He likes the film so has praised it. He's trying to support small, independent UK movies. None of this is bad or makes him a 'bent' critic. Talkbacker maturity is a massive problem with the credibility of this site, not the reviewers. Unfortunately the internet gave everyone a voice, and those who shout the loudest aren't necessarily the most intelligent.

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 4:25 p.m. CST

    just as well this was a busy day..headline wise.

    by paul burnett

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Birtgeek = Britquote

    by Jamie

    1 - Britgeek IS a quote whore. He gloats about his quote on Twitter. Hell, he even got the poster with his quote on his FB page. 2 - He hypes the flick then he posts a great review about it. Best British Crime Film In Years", Brighton Rock by way of Tarantino and Ritchie? Smells like b.s. to me. Not even Scorsese gets reviews like that. The film's so awesome, you didn't find one thing wrong? Yeah, right. Terrible hype anyways. Tells me the film is derivative and old stuff. Tarantino and Ritchie gangster flicks? That was 15 years ago, dude. You know what? If the flick was so awesome, why Universal ain't putting it out in the US or in the whole world? Where is the festival circuit for this flick? That's because it ain't that great. 3 - Real movie reviewers don't insult their fans with sarcasm, calling them dumb, telling them to get a brain. They can take the heat. 4 - Film reviewers release their reviews on Twitter. Uh, no. They tweet a teaser to get folks to read the full review when it's posted. You released a real baby, dude. A full quote. A quote that shows up on a poster before the review 5 - I've checked out the flick Facebook page. Damn, these guys are good at hype/b.s. Their flick is distributed by "Hollywood Studio Universal". Sounds great. We're gonna get the flick all across the U.S. and beyond. Oh, wait! It ain't Universal Pictures in Hollywood, it's Universal Pictures International Entertainment, the "entertainment home division of Universal Pictures" London. That's the DVD division. Their flick is going to hit the cinemas on the 9th March. Oh wait, it ain't on the release schedule or advertized. Nada. But hey, they probably got one theatre to show it. This ain't a proper release. Get real. S'all good. These guys are good. Whatever it takes to sell their pic. So I'm gonna be fair, Britgeek. You're either in bed with them and helping them push their b.s. on here or you fell for their b.s. without checking. Problem is both cases show you're no reviewer. And you ain't helping UK indie moviemakers with this b.s.

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Britgeek =Britquote #2

    by Jamie

    You've been punk*d, Britgeek. OWN UP. Respectfully yours (this is no sarcasm...) J.

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Mighty Boosh

    by Jamie

    Hey, How many beers did Britgeek buy you to defend him? I am way impressed by your maturity, dude cos you sure didn't notice that the internet gives you a voice too. Oh yeah, the internet needs to give a voice to smart folks like you, right? My bad. Gonna go get myself a B.A., get almighty smart and use the internet. Man, I hope you don't write reviews... J.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 3:27 a.m. CST


    by mighty boosh

    By yelling your opinions louder, it doesn't make you any more correct. I don't know Britgeek, but your childish, dumbfounded shit-slinging is reprehensible so I felt obliged to give my opinion. "He gloats about his quote on Twitter." - he's already stated this was SARCASM. "He hypes the flick then he posts a great review about it" - He's giving it more publicity to support an INDEPENDENT MOVIE THAT WOULD OTHERWISE GET VERY LITTLE PRESS and he posted a great review because HE LIKES IT. "Tells me the film is derivative and old stuff" - no it doesn't, it shows various influences and homages, yet that it stands well on its own according to Britgeek. "If the flick was so awesome, why Universal ain't putting it out in the US or in the whole world? Where is the festival circuit for this flick? That's because it ain't that great." - not every good independent movie can get that kind of attention or publicity - the few you see on the festival circuit already have had a hard slog to get there, or were in the right place at the right time to get attention. "Real movie reviewers don't insult their fans" - so you were a fan of Britgeek? You lack of objectivity would suggest otherwise. "Film reviewers release their reviews on Twitter" - that's not what he said. He said he'd expressed some thoughts about it on Twitter before he'd posted a full review. A LOT of reviewers do this, then those thoughts end up forming part of their final review. I doubt that offering a rational argument will change your 'view' or avoid yet another immature, ill-informed response. Fling more insults out if you like, but it doesn't make you right.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 3:28 a.m. CST

    *"your lack..."

    by mighty boosh

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 3:44 a.m. CST

    And, jamie...

    by mighty boosh still haven't stated any tangible facts to substantiate your comments. Therefore you just keep saying the same things over again. So you carry on responding with insults, and the rest of us who know better will just carry on with our lives. See you later, chum.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Mighty Boosh

    by Nicola

    Hmmmm. I think bigging up a film first and then overpraising it will always raise doubts, especially if this comes from a lone voice in the industry. I know I've never heard about this film. But I'd like to take a wild guess here... Mighty Boosh = David L G Hughes, the director of the film or...someone strongly connected to this film. His (her) comments are too defensive in tone. So, the uxb, mynameisdan, zombot, Kevin costner recycled piss, supermarch, thisisjamie, and cactusjack1972 might be onto something about Britgeek's write up. Peace All! :-) xxx

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:22 a.m. CST


    by mighty boosh

    Ha! That amused me. No, I'm not David Whats-his-face, I've never seen the movie either, nor am I connected to it. I work in a boring office job in finance and the interwebs is the only respite from computer-based drudgery. I just have a keen interest in movies, as I assume most peeps here also do. The movie could be shite for all I know, the trailer certainly didn't excite me and these movies aren't usually my cup of tea, although I did like The Bank Job with Statham. I just felt that the abuse from some of the TB-ers towards ol' Britgeek was akin to a witch hunt, flaming torches and pitchforks included. Also their arguments were becoming repetitive despite evidence to the contrary, and any logical defense from Britgeek. I just get tired of some of the TB on this site - granted, some of it is hilarious, insightful, silly, and enjoyable, but other times it's replete with baseless accusations and idiocy. Although to be honest the interwebs are full of that stuff so I should just let it pass...

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 9:21 p.m. CST

    Mighty Boosh

    by Jamie

    Hey dude, Thanks for your little lessons about the biz. Very kind of you, sir. You write good but you don't read too good. Reread what I wrote and you gotta admit something: I never insulted Britgeek (aka Britquote) personally. Now who called us dumb? Who told us to get a brain? Who used sarcasm? The dude himself: Britquote (aka Britgeek) I know I ain't got no Phd but sarcasm is used to convey insult and scorn, right? And I am damn right to say that Britgeek (aka Britquote) is using AICN to hype up a flick in a way that no other critics do. You admit it too when you say Britquote (aka Britquote) is doing it to give publicity to this pic. First, in a big post in which he lets the filmmakers talk up their flick. Second, in a review that praises the flick to high heavens without finding one little wrong with it. And no, Britgeek (aka Britquote) ain't talking about homage when he talks about BRIGHTON ROCK, Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie... Then you got that piddly matter of the filmmakers trying to fool us this is a Universal Pictures flick when it's a DVD release from UPIE (London) or all the other stuff... Sure, they're selling their flick so whatever floats their boat but it sure bugs me when a reviewer buys the filmmakers' b.s. Maybe I'm damn wrong thinking the filmmakers bought Britgeek (aka Britquote) a coupla beers but, hey, I ain't the only talkbacker in here thinking that don't smell too good. Respectfully yours (no sarcasm)... J. PS: I asked Britquote (aka Britgeek) why he ain't doing the same thing for other flicks. Like let moviemakers use his space to put up their trailer and hype their flick. There's gotta be plenty more genre pics in the U.K., right? He never replied. That don't smell too good either.

  • March 16, 2012, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Mighty Boolsh*t

    by Mr Julius

    So you have a boring office job in finance? You're not by chance one "Kitty Deane" are you? The same Kitty Deane that works for AXA International? The same Kitty Deane that despite 'not having seen the film' has posted the only user review on IMDB? ..and a glowing one at that! The same Kitty Deane that is a relative to the DOP on this film, Sara Deane? This review is complete and utter toss. Anyone with half a brain can see the back scratching going on.