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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked Snatch, you'll LOVE Lock Stock & 2 Sm. Barrels
Possibly the most authentic gangster movie in wide release, this film actually features real criminals in some of its key roles. Indeed, Vinnie Jones got out of jail the day before filming started.
The plot centers around four working class friends who pool 25000 pounds each for their poker expert friend to play with in a high stakes card game. Naturally, their...
Published on Jan. 24 2002

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars "What did you shoot him with, an air rifle?"
There are two types of cinematic criminals - the suave and smooth experts embodied by Newman and Redford in "The Sting," and . . . the other kind. Guy Ritchie's "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" is a film about those "other kind" of criminals.
Three friends fund a poker player named Eddie (Nick Moran) in a high stakes game with a local gambler named Hatchet...
Published on July 20 2003 by Steven Y.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked Snatch, you'll LOVE Lock Stock & 2 Sm. Barrels, Jan. 24 2002
By A Customer
Possibly the most authentic gangster movie in wide release, this film actually features real criminals in some of its key roles. Indeed, Vinnie Jones got out of jail the day before filming started.
The plot centers around four working class friends who pool 25000 pounds each for their poker expert friend to play with in a high stakes card game. Naturally, their scheme goes awry, they end up way in debt to the game's host (Hatchet Harry), and chaos ensues as they attempt to find money to repay their debt.
The first third of the movie is spent introducing seperate groups of characters: Hatchet Harry and his henchman, Barry the Baptist, who "keeps the business running harmoniously" by drowning deliquent borrowers; Three soft upper-middle class pot growers in their 20's; Rory Breaker - the deceptively cute, cuddly-looking gangster with a poodle afro and the temper of a junkyard dog; two hilariously imbecilic thieves "Shotguns? You mean guns that fire shots?"; and Chris the lean, mean loan collector.
Each set of characters is developed in isolation (a little bit like Tarantino) with healthy doses of English wit. Yes...this movie is very quotable. As the plot develops, each party becomes increasing tied up with the others as the movie approaches its prolonged climax. There are MANY surprises at the end of this film.
As Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was in US theaters for about one week, very few people in America have seen it. What a shame. It's significantly more humourous than Snatch, and much easier to follow. In fact, the few people that have borrowed this DVD from me have purchased a copy for themselves. This one's a keeper.
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5.0 out of 5 stars British pulp fiction, May 23 2004
This review is from: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Widescreen) (DVD)
Lock Stock and Two Smoking barrels is a fantastic british crime drama that has more the disposition of a black comedy than anything else. in the Tradition of quinton tarintino films, this movie is stylish and compelling. With a character driven story and a long convoluted plot. The story follows a group of small time thieves who get way into deep in a game of cards. This sets of an INSANE chain reaction of events, all centered somehow around 2 antique shotguns worth a half million pounds - of course no one knows how much they're worth!!
This is one of the most ironic movies of it's type you'll find. The way all the shiesty characters are brought together in the film is brilliant and entertaining. You've got crosses and double crosses and triple crosses, and in the climax you have the stage set for a major disaster as everyone is killing everyone else, with thanks to great confusion and mistaken identity.
The actual plot twists turns are far too complex to go over in this review just suffiuce it to say that you'll be watching the movie laughing to yourself at the unbelievable turns of fate that unfold on the screen. The wild web of relationships between the characters is simply hilarious. There are chracters working for people they dont even know they are working for who end up killing their own boss unkowingly in the confusion. The camera style is excellent and the english flair is a nice component to the overall feel of the movie in comparison to typical american crime culture flicks. This is a must see for fans of resevoir dogs, pulp fiction, jackie brown, playing god, good fellas, or any similar movie. this is just one of those movies you'll have to sit down and watch in order to see what all the full is about.
Very well written and well directed, Lock stock and two smoking barrels is an enjoyable experience all around.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wild, Violent and Funny, May 16 2004
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This review is from: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Widescreen) (DVD)
Hopefully, Guy Ritchie will stop making movies with his wife and go back to what he is a master of: the British small-time crook flick. While not quite as clever as "Snatch," this movie is aprecurrsor of everything that made "Snatch" great: widely disparate small time crooks who somehow all become entangled with one another.
Some of the same actors, notably the great Jeremy Statham, who appear in "Snatch" are present here, to great effect.
The plot: four buddies suddenly find themselves owing a local gambler known as Hatchet Harry $500,000.00. To pay him back, they concoct a plot to rip off some crooks who plan to rip off the local pot growers. Basically, everyone is trying to rip everyone else off. Playing into this are two antique shotguns, which Hatchet Harry covets (they would be the two smoking barrels of the title) and the buddies come into possession of, totally oblivious to the fact that Harry wants the guns.
What develops is a throwback to the old screwball comedies of the thirties and forties (albeit a very violent throwback), where surprises await as different scenes are viewed from different points of view.
If you loved "Snatch," you will, at a minimum, like "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels." Watch for Sting is a small but important role as the father of one of buddies in trouble.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "I HATE TRAFFIC WARDENS", May 1 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Widescreen) (DVD)
I hate traffic wardens, but I love this movie! LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS is graced with many hilarious and multi-dimensional characters and is lucky enough to have actors that accurately bring them to life. This film from Guy Ritchie, much like the film that would follow it, SNATCH, is about many different characters with different motives tied into one twisted, comic, and even more complicated stroyline. This film can be quite funny if you understand it, but beware of getting lost. Most every line in this film has some significance to the plot, and if that weren't enough, you have to understand it with the thick accents. So, pay close attention to what the characters are trying to say and you will most likely enjoy yourself. If you do do your best at paying attention to every line, and you end up not enjoying the film, then you probably missed something, or you didn't miss anything and your cold and have no sense of humor. Guy Ritchie directs with his own unique style and uses many interesting techniques to tell this energetic and fast-paced action comedy. If you enjoy this film, then you will definitely enjoy SNATCH, Ritchie's follow-up (not a sequel). But back to LOCK STOCK, if you like comedy, action, suspense, more comedy, and energy to wrap it all up, along with a great soundtrack, then I strongly recommend LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS. Enjoy the cockneyrhyming slang.
'
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wild, Violent and Funny, Oct. 2 2003
By 
James Sadler (Plano, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Widescreen) (DVD)
Hopefully, Guy Ritchie will stop making movies with his wife and go back to what he is a master of: the British small-time crook flick. While not quite as clever as "Snatch," this movie is aprecurrsor of everything that made "Snatch" great: widely disparate small time crooks who somehow all become entangled with one another.
Some of the same actors, notably the great Jeremy Statham, who appear in "Snatch" are present here, to great effect.
The plot: four buddies suddenly find themselves owing a local gambler known as Hatchet Harry $500,000.00. To pay him back, they concoct a plot to rip off some crooks who plan to rip off the local pot growers. Basically, everyone is trying to rip everyone else off. Playing into this are two antique shotguns, which Hatchet Harry covets (they would be the two smoking barrels of the title) and the buddies come into possession of, totally oblivious to the fact that Harry wants the guns.
What develops is a throwback to the old screwball comedies of the thirties and forties (albeit a very violent throwback), where surprises await as different scenes are viewed from different points of view.
If you loved "Snatch," you will, at a minimum, like "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels." Watch for Sting is a small but important role as the father of one of buddies in trouble.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "What did you shoot him with, an air rifle?", July 20 2003
There are two types of cinematic criminals - the suave and smooth experts embodied by Newman and Redford in "The Sting," and . . . the other kind. Guy Ritchie's "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" is a film about those "other kind" of criminals.
Three friends fund a poker player named Eddie (Nick Moran) in a high stakes game with a local gambler named Hatchet Harry (P.H. Moriarity). The sneaky Harry fixes the game and imposes a huge debt upon Eddie. Unless Eddie and his friends can come up with the money, enforcer Barry the Baptist (Lenny McLean), will start doing unpleasant things to them. However, there's a way out - if Eddie's father (Sting) turns the ownership of his pub over to Harry, all debts will be forgiven. Needless to say, Eddie's father isn't fond of the idea and a "Plan B" must be formed. With the help of some criminal neighbors, antique shotguns, drug money, and a whole lot of luck, Eddie and his buddies somehow squirm their way out of their predicament.
"Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" plays like a stylistic mobster film mixed with a screwball comedy. The film has its grim elements but its tone is surprisingly light as Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Jason Statham and Moran come across as a darker version of the Marx Brothers. The outrageous situations the four men continuously find themselves in are always amusing even with the continuous presence of gunshots and crude language. In addition, Ritchie's clever camera work and layered narrative gives the film a fresh, hip feel. "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" proves the point that while watching films with expert criminals at work can be engrossing, watching films with inept criminals at work can be just as amusing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic London Gangster Film With Humour, March 18 2003
By 
D. M. Farmbrough "Dave Farmbrough" (Wisconsin, USA) - See all my reviews
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What can I say about this film that hasn't already been said?
I guess its strengths come from the mood it projects. One of carefree killing and jolly violence. The viewer is left in no doubt that his is fantasy land, so there's no need to moralise over the thefts and killings that take place here. A worthy successor to Get Carter, The Sweeney, and The Long Good Friday, this film draws on elements of all those and adds extras of its own. It even uses several of the Long Good Friday Actors (Dexter Fletcher featured as a boy in the former film, and is one of the four co-stars in this). The film is teeming with cameos, stereotypes, and vignettes, and these only serve to highlight the comedy aspect of this film. Cleverly plotted, its story is more reminiscent of an Ealing Comedy than a gangster film, despite its less gentle tone. The camera work is innovative, seemingly using a lot of hand held and sped up sequences to give an unique look and feel.
The film is not overlong, and is thoroughly recommended to anyone who likes a good laugh and doesn't mind a few swear words.
The DVD is good, but the lack of extra features (and specifically the lack of a commentary) mean there is no real benefit over the VHS copy unless you want to save shelf space.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Low budget - high talent subculture classic, Aug. 1 2002
By 
L. Brooks (OK, United States) - See all my reviews
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Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a watch-it-again movie: definitely worth buying instead of renting. It is not just a British version of Pulp Fiction, although the story runs along similar crime comedy lines. Guy Ritchie's debut movie smacks of quick-witted talent and an innate knowledge of his subject - no doubt why second movie Snatch turns out to be more of the same.
The premise of four lads with a get rich quick scheme that goes wrong is basic enough, and so is the impossibly large sum of money that they end up owing a predictably mercenary crime boss. However, all of this is sharply conveyed in inventive and riotously funny scenes using a cast sprinkled with bona fide criminals.
One thing, as an ex-pat Brit, that I adore Guy Ritchie for is including the making of a cup of tea in each of his movies. It doesn't get more convincing than that.
This nifty film proves that you don't need a big budget, you don't need big name actors, and you don't need an exotic location to create a classic - but you DO need to be as clever as Guy Ritchie. If you enjoy a slice of subculture, inspired cinematography, and a hilariously twisted story, this film was made just for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fresh, sharp, fast-paced crime thriller, May 29 2002
By 
Beau Yarbrough (Between Disneyland and Las Vegas) - See all my reviews
When "Pulp Fiction" came out, it sent giant waves through pop culture. Suddenly, everyone wanted to emulate Quentin Tarantino's dialogue, direction, worldview and characters. A score of poorly conceived knockoffs flooded the marketplace.
Happily, "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" isn't one of them. Although it dwells in the shadow of "Pulp Fiction," Guy Ritchie's film is a work that stands on its own, without a single snickering reference to Tarantino's work. Only the age of the cast and the director form the basis for any real comparisons. Ritchie's film has more heart, no particular interest in popular culture, is even more of a character study and, at its heart, is intensely English.
The trouble begins when four friends pool a substantial sum (100,000 pounds) to get their cardshark friend into a high stakes poker game. Unfortunately, the mobster wants the bar owned by the cardshark's father (wonderfully portrayed by Sting, in a performance fans of his hard-nosed Police days will cheer), and rigs the game. Suddenly, the boys have to come up with half a million pounds in a week, or lose digits off their hands as well as the bar. Living in a shady area of London's East End, opportunities for a criminal enterprise present themselves, and suddenly we're off, peeking into the world of one criminal after another, all of whom seem set to rob, beat or kill one another, and all of whom are more enmesshed in each others' business than they realize. The extended climax throws around more bullets than "Pulp Fiction" and "The Wild Bunch" combined, and somehow, out of all the chaos and bloodshed, manages to find real humor and a surprising sweetness even in the most hardened of mobsters.
Strongly recommended for fans of crime movies including, yes, Quentin Tarantino's works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A lot of giraffes in a movie that kicks a lot of khyber, May 22 2002
In baseball they talk about the best all-around players as being "5-tooled": they hit for average, hit for power, run, play defense, and throw. To become a 5-tooled filmmaker, one would have to: present stunning and effective visuals, control a propulsive story, create indelible characters, write smart and important dialogue, and select a fitting and articulate soundtrack. In contemporary cinema only two American auteurs, Wes Anderson and the Coen Brothers, come even close to filling out all five criterion. You have to cross the pond and get a Brit, Guy Ritchie, to find my choice as today's only 5-tooled filmmaker. With his debut movie, "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", he proves why.
Visually, "Lock, Stock..." is a stunner. Ritchie's camera is free and expressive and full of energy, while never relying on the tired and the cliched to make a point. Two sequences quickly come to mind. The first, which I call the "I can't believe I lost it all" scene, displays Eddie's dismay after [losing] out in a high-stakes poker game. The woozy, punched-in-the-gut feeling that we all can relate to in moments like this is stunningly captured by an array of subtle camera tricks. No words are spoken, but Eddie's anguish is palpable. The second sequence, which I call the "let's celebrate by getting [blind drunk]" scene, details the cathartic elements of consuming massive amount of alcohol. It begins with wretched excess, and ends with sloppy sleep. Anyone familiar with a night of drunken revelry will have it immediately called to mind in this, another wordless sequence. Throughout the entire film, Ritchie doesn't spare any part of his visual palette, always in a tasteful and significant way.
The story he's come up with is just delightful. It's infinitely more complicated than most contemporary gangster films, weaving a labyrinthine path from start to finish that always has the audience guessing. That is until the key moments when it wants the audience to know exactly where it's heading. It then telegraphs, most amusingly, the next plot point. One such moment sees a gang driving back home after a job. The audience has just seen a bloodbath at their destination, and can't wait to see what the characters' reaction will be when they arrive. Ritchie's command of dramatic irony is astounding in these moments, as is his ability to keep clear several dozen parallel plots. It all leads up to an ambiguous ending that reminded me a lot of John Sayles' "Limbo". You don't necessarily know what happens after the credits have rolled, but it doesn't really hurt your enjoyment of the story (in fact, it helps. A lot).
Patrolling this story is a vast army of characters, none coming close to a third dimension, but all somehow fully drawn anyway. Ritchie gives us clueless would-be cons, ganja growing private school boys, aggressive and unpredictable black gangsters, a sadistic card sharp, and a paternal debt collector. All are skillfully portrayed, funny, and believable. Ritchie wastes little time developing character, but manages to anyway. Clever shortcuts, such as the names he gives them speak, volumes without saying much at all. A ruthless gang leader is appropriately named Dog. The moneylender's muscle is named Barry the Baptist, for his predilection towards drowning his victims. And in one of the film's most curious running jokes, a skinny member of Eddie's gang is nicknamed "Fat" Tom, a sobriquet even he doesn't understand. All of these characters are skillfully acted, more often than not by credible non-actors. Notorious footballer Vinnie Jones is the best of the bunch, as Big Chris (who squires around his son, Little Chris, to jobs). Jones shows true menace under Chris' relaxed exterior. Jason Statham and Lenny McLean are the other amateurs who bring real life grit to their roles.
North American audiences may have a tough time chopping their way through the jungle of Cockney accents, but if they can they'll find that Ritchie's dialogue is stylish and sublime. One of my favourite irritated monologues, in a film full of them, is this gem spoken by Rory Breaker, the aforementioned unpredictable black gangster:
"If you hold back anything, I'll kill ya. If you bend the truth or I think your bending the truth, I'll kill ya. If you forget anything I'll kill ya. In fact, you're gonna have to work very hard to stay alive, Nick. Now do you understand everything I've said? Because if you don't, I'll kill ya."
It's stylized, true. And funny as heck. But as written, and especially as delivered, it's a menacing little bit of theatre. Furthermore, Ritchie's reliance on Cockney rhyming slang gives the film an authentic and puzzling tone. Thankfully, the DVD comes complete with a rhyming slang dictionary, so it's ham and cheesy to get a translation in no bird.
The soundtrack holds a mix of songs from many disparate styles. But they always manage to provide relevant commentary on the action, and they always make the action, and sometimes the audience, move. We've got a couple of James Brown tunes, a track by the Stone Roses, the Stooges doing "I Wanna Be Your Dog" in one hilarious moment, and Robbie Williams (!) punching up the action in another. The punkier elements mix perfectly with the funkier ones, creating a unified message where I'd thought one couldn't ever exist.
After the first time I saw "Lock, Stock..." in theatres, I made it my mission to create a good word-of-mouth buzz about this film. I wouldn't shut up about this fantastic little movie. It's the kind of edgy, addictive cinema that should be more common and more popular. I'm doing my best to spread the word. Won't you follow me?
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Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Widescreen)
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