FILTH (2013)


Starring: James McAvoy, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots, Jim Broadbent, Joanne Froggatt, Jamie Bell, Gary Lewis

Directed by: Jon S. Baird

Synopsis: A bipolar, bigoted junkie cop manipulates and hallucinates his way through the festive season in a bid to secure promotion and win back his wife and daughter.

This is one crazy film, as you would expect from the pen of Irvine Welsh, the writer of Trainspotting. It lives up to it’s name gloriously.

James McAvoy plays Bruce Robertson, a dirty cop in every sense of the word. He looks terrible (really, really terrible), smells terrible and acts terrible. He’s a manipulative backstabber, a homophobic, racist, misogynist who guzzles booze and drugs like it’s going out of fashion. McAvoy plays the role superbly, relishing every swig, snort and swear. The washed out colouring of the film only adds to it’s bleakness. Seriously, if you want cheering up then you’ve come to the wrong place.

Bruce’s wife and daughter have walked out on him and shacked up with someone else. He is sure that by winning promotion to Inspector that he will win them back. The trouble is, he is up against about five other colleagues, and his state of mind is frazzled to say the least. He tries to turn his colleagues against each other at every opportunity, he tries to belittle his friends (or friend) and just has a general disdain for life.

The film reminded me, in some of the hallucinatory scenes of something like Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, specifically the scenes with Jim Broadbent as a Doctor, with his comical looning (Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees Bruce, Ehhhhhhhhhhh Bruce). Some other scenes, this time the druggy ones are reminiscent of, obviously, Trainspotting and it’s grimy legacy. Seriously, after watching those two films, you would think Scotland is the worst place on Earth.

The cast are all decent, but McAvoy undoubtedly steals the show as the puffy, pickled and down right disgusting Bruce. He is entirely convincing and maniacal, and does a good job of convincing you he is Bipolar. Other stand outs are Imogen Poots and the aforementioned Broadbent who really is funny.

To summarise, those with a low tolerance to, well, filth, should look away as this film really is grimy in the extreme. Those who are a fan of the writers previous work, or of just so dark it’s pitch black comedy will find much to enjoy.

4 clappers

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.


  1. Now who’s watching crazy movies? 😉

  2. Bull’s eye, Tom! Another item on my TBW list! 🙂

  3. theipc

    This isn’t TIPTOES?



  4. Oh man cool movie! James McAvoy tends to land a lot of these kinds of roles, doesn’t he? Anyway, I thought Trainspotting was fantastic so maybe I’d enjoy this. Then again, I really disliked 50- Dead Men Walking. I’m just all over the place, aren’t I?

  5. This movie was amazing, McAvoy definitely steals the movie, oh and I second your opinion on Jim Broadbent’s cameo, it was memorable as well. As for the author who also wrote Trainspotting. I do hope the sequel titled Porno gets adapted to the big screens one day. Overall, a top notch blend of dark humor and exuberant drama.

  6. Fantastic film, and glad you felt the same way about it. He is a disgusting example of a man, yet maintains such a charm that you cannot resist liking him. I recently watched Trance, which I think was the previous film McAvoy did. I did not mind the film overall, but found myself missing this character the whole time.

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