London Boulevard

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
London Boulevard Movie Poster Image
Lifeless crime drama has lots of violence and smoking.
  • R
  • 2011
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

London Boulevard suggests that transitioning from a life of crime to one of legitimacy is next to impossible, even if you're genuinely determined. The criminals in this movie seem successful, and the good people seem downtrodden.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Upon his release from prison, the main character makes the ethical choice that he no longer wants to be a criminal. Unfortunately, he can't beat the odds; try as he may, his old life manages to pull him back in, and he eventually pays dearly for his efforts.


Lots of bloody, realistic fights, with characters punching and hitting each other and spattering blood. Several characters are killed violently via shooting, stabbing, beating, and pummeling. Dead bodies are shown. The main character punches a woman and knocks her out.


In a nightclub, topless women are shown, and other (clothed) women perform sexy dances. The main male and female characters kiss and are seen lying in bed together, though no nudity is shown. Secondary characters are seen preparing for "kinky" sex, with the man handcuffed to a bed and the woman wearing a slinky outfit. There's also heavy innuendo; a man makes a vulgar "licking" motion in one scene.


Very strong, constant language, with multiple uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "c--t," plus "ass" and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Nearly every character smokes cigarettes throughout the movie. The main character's sister also seems to have a drinking and/or drug problem. Most characters drink from time to time: scotch, beer, and vodka (some occurs at a big party). Two secondary characters smoke pot in two different scenes. Some gangsters appear drunk and/or high in one violent sequence. Reference to Methadone.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this London-set crime/gangster drama about a reformed criminal trying to "go straight" is filled with arguing and fighting, as well as many violent killings and plenty of blood. Language is incredibly strong, with "f--k" and "c--t" used almost constantly. Characters regularly smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol, and two supporting characters smoke pot; one is shown to be addicted to drugs and alcohol. There's also some topless female nudity and some kissing and suggested sex between the main characters.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMother Joanna November 13, 2011

Good movie for age 9

4 sex 4 drugs?? No way!!! Wow. 1 sex, 0.5 drugs. This movie has almost nothing wrong with it but langauge, (He*l, Da*n, and one F**K, but thats it) . There is s... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 March 11, 2012

Oh,seriously who cares?

Saw this movie in movies and it sucked.Got my dose of mature content,but a sucking film.

What's the story?

Upon being released from jail, Mitchel (Colin Farrell) decides not to be a criminal anymore, though trouble springs up immediately when a former colleague (Ben Chaplin) hooks him up with a slightly illicit place to live and tries to get Mitchel to help collect protection money. Things look up briefly when Mitchel finds a job looking after a reclusive actress, Charlotte (Keira Knightley), helping keep the paparazzi away. Unfortunately, an attraction grows between them. And if that's not enough, some punks kill one of Mitchel's friends in cold blood, and he becomes obsessed with finding them ... a trail that leads to Gant (Ray Winstone), the most dangerous and bloodthirsty gangster of them all.

Is it any good?

Screenwriter William Monahan, who won an Oscar for The Departed, makes his directorial debut with LONDON BOULEVARD, and it's a far cry from that previous triumph. This crime story smacks of all-too-familiar elements and is told with a blandly straightforward approach. It's certainly possible to put some fire into a tired old story, but Monahan can't seem to get a spark going here.


Though blessed with a great cast and some supporting characters with intriguing quirks, London Boulevard somehow manages to render them cardboard flat. Their only purpose is to interact with the main character, and when he's not around, they all seem to be sitting around and waiting for him. None of the characters or details springs to life on their own. For example, Mitchel's friendship with an old hobo is never explained in the script, and it doesn't click on an emotional level, either. We're left with nothing much but a going-through-the-motions exercise.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about London Boulevard's strong violence. How does it compare to less realistic action violence? Which has more impact? Why?


  • Do you think it's possible for a reformed criminal to "go straight"? What other decisions could Mitchel have made to achieve his goal?

  • Keira Knightley's character has a monologue about limited roles for women in movies. Does her own role in this movie transcend that? Why or why not?


Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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