Worst To Best: Ray Winstone

From gobby gangster to big softie

The Devils Tomb (2009)

The Movie: Winstone teams up with Cuba Gooding Jr and Ron Perlman for a film that doesn’t deserve their sort of name power, as a group of elite soldiers uncover an ancient evil in an underground lab.

Winstone Grit: Winstone gives a game performance, clearly feeding off the enthusiasm of his co-stars. Shame the film’s not up to much.

Elfie Hopkins (2012)

The Movie: Winstone teams up with his daughter, Jaime, for the first time. She’s an aspiring teen detective, he’s the manic-looking Butcher Bryn. The film isn’t good. At all.

Winstone Grit: Barely recognisable with a slug-like moustache and in full-on butchers garb, Winstone’s got a twinkle in his eye, but what’s the script doing?

The Magic Roundabout (2005)

The Movie: A CGI reprise of the classic TV series which sadly fails to capture much of the show’s intrinsic charm. Winstone heads up the UK voice cast (bogglingly, there’s a separate US voice cast).

Winstone Grit: Not much room for grit in this sickly-sweet kiddie offering, though Soldier Sam at least gets a gun.

Fools Gold (2008)

The Movie: Winstone’s in the background as the spotlight spares Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey few blushes in their post- How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days reteam.

Winstone Grit: Winstone has a go at an accent (is it Texan or Australian?), but fails entirely to conceal his cockney burr. Still, he’s the grittiest thing in this shiny turd.

The Hot Potato (2011)

The Movie: Sixties-set drama ominously based on ‘true events’. The hot potato itself is a lump of Uranium (well, it’s better than ‘Unobtainium’, right?), which is found by two chancers who attempt to sell it in Europe.

Winstone Grit: He’s clearly having a grand old time, not least because he gets to share a smooch with the lovely Louise Redknapp. Who needs grit when you’ve got girls?

Darkness Falls (1999)

The Movie: Not the Emma Caulfield tooth-fairy horror, but a forgettable thriller from director Gerry Lively, in which John Barrett (Winstone) attempts to find out what caused the car crash that put his wife in a coma.

Winstone Grit: He may be wielding a gun, but Winstone shows he has a soft side here, letting a little fragility shine through as he goes about busting blocks. Good work.

44 Inch Chest (2009)

The Movie: When Colin (Winstone) discovers that his wife’s been unfaithful, he recruits some friends to help him kidnap her lover. This isn’t going to end well…

Winstone Grit: Winstone shines as the film’s tortured anti-hero, alternately vengeful and wounded. Shame the movie isn’t quite as good as he is.

Final Cut (1998)

The Movie: An odd reality-aping drama in which Jude Law plays Jude, whose secret video recordings are watched Ray (Winstone) and Sadie (Frost) after his death.

Winstone Grit: Winstone has fun playing a heightened version of himself, not least in a scene that has him swearing ‘til he’s almost purple in the face. Diamond.

Five Seconds To Spare (2000)

The Movie: Winstone stars opposite Andy Serkis and Max Beesley in this Brit drama, in which a young musician new to the streets of London witnesses a savage murder.

Winstone Grit:
As the quintessential Londoner, Winstone brings charisma and guts to a film that is lacking in other areas. Proof that Winstone’s frequently the best thing about the films he’s in.

London Boulevard (2010)

The Movie: The directorial debut of William Monahan, with Keira Knightley as a retired actress who hires Colin Farrell’s ex-con as a bodyguard. Meanwhile, gangster Gant (Winstone) wants the con to work for him.

Winstone Grit:
The film’s a mess, but Winstone’s terrifying as the uncompromising Gant. You wouldn’t want to meet this guy on a dark night.