Dead Man's Cards review

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A chillingly apt title for a movie that’s likely to be remembered as actor Tom Bell’s last screen role. The Prime Suspect star plays Billy, an ageing Teddy Boy who runs a deadbeat club in Liverpool. On the door is washed-up boxer turned bouncer Tom (James McMartin) and ex-squaddie Paul (Paul Barber), in deep with local gangsters after bitch-slapping a mouthy dealer.

A knuckleduster of a thriller, its modern day Western trappings ( High Noon meets Brookside) are less compelling than its vicious violence as bar brawls give way to no-holds-barred street fighting. It knows its nocturnal world well, blowjobs in grubby bathrooms and hard-men prone to ear-biting giving it real edge. Okay, so the brooding atmosphere doesn’t quite disguise the script’s flaws, but be forgiving and you’ll find the grittiest British thriller since The Firm .

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