Circus review

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

There is only one thing stopping Circus from becoming the number one reason why money should be withheld from the British film industry until they stop making F-list no-thrills "thrillers" like this piece of nonsense. It's not tight plotting. Nor is it decent characters. No, in its favour, Circus features the most desirable warehouse conversion flat ever to grace a cinema screen. It's gorgeous, all worn wood and rusted corrugated iron. That alone sneaks Circus into the runners-up slot, with Love, Honour&Obey just ahead of it.

Circus believes it's a very, very clever film. It smirks in smug satisfaction that Brighton's underworld is populated by TV comics, from Brian Conley to Eddie Izzard to Game On's Neil Stuke. It amazes itself that it can reveal the story in a series of flashbacks showing everyone is double, triple or octuple-crossing everyone else. And its trousers are positively tenting at the fact that it manages to introduce violence, swearing and machine guns into a British movie. In short, it believes that it's that holiest of Holy Grails - the British Pulp Fiction. Yet its makers are completely self-deluded.

This movie isn't funny because a speeded-up shag scene, a tall man driving a Mini and Brian Conley having a wank watching a sheep porno flick simply don't make you laugh. Nor is it clever: you'll realise how ludicrous the premise is if you pause for even a second (not difficult). And it certainly isn't Pulp Fictiony, because the writers have wasted all their time putting in yet another twist, when they should have been revising the stilted dialogue or realising that they're just wasting paper on what's an intrinsically bad idea.

Bottom line - in a film where every single character is self-absorbed and mean-spirited, why should we even care who does what to who or why?

Only Hannah and Ward emerge with any level of credibility from this poorly directed and utterly dull venture. Boycott this film to teach the makers a lesson in consumer power - - we haven't done anything evil enough to deserve Circus.

More info

Available platformsMovie

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, New Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Jack Shepherd. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.