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Triple 9 - C4

Kate Winslet is a mob boss
(Image credit: Bob Mahoney)

A gritty thriller. 3/5 stars

Buoyed by a big-name cast, including Chiwetel Ejiofor and Kate Winslet, this is a typical tale of dirty cops and double crosses.

Ejiofor leads a ruthless bank-robbing crew made up of corrupt Atlanta police officers and former special-forces soldiers, and a brassy Winslet, all bouffant hair and bling, is the flint-hearted Russian-Israeli mob boss who is coercing the gang into attempting a near-impossible heist.

The bent cops in Ejiofor's band include Anthony Mackie and Clifton Collins Jr's cutthroat duo, while Casey Affleck's guileless young officer and Woody Harrelson's cynical police veteran represent the city's beleaguered forces of good.

Australian director John Hillcoat gives the action scenes plenty of muscle, but the script fails to give the characters enough substance to make us really care about their eventual fates or give their ordeals emotional heft.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.