Wild Bill

Wild Bill

Out on parole after 8 years inside, Bill Hayward returns home to find his now 11 and 15-year old sons abandoned by their mother and fending for themselves. Unwilling to play Dad, his arrival brings them to the attention of social services. With the danger of being put into care looming, Dean forces his Dad to stay by threatening to grass him up for dealing. Dean soon connects with Jimmy and through this new bond starts to realize what he's been missing. He has a family and a place in the world, but when Jimmy gets into trouble with Bill's old cohorts, he quickly has to decide what kind of Dad he wants to be. A good one, or a free one. 3.3 out of 5 based on 13 reviews
Wild Bill

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Drama
Director Dexter Fletcher
Cast Will Poulter, Liz White, Andy Serkis, Iwan Rheon, Jaime Winstone Charlie Creed-Miles
Studio The Works
Release Date March 2012
Running Time 98 mins
 

Out on parole after 8 years inside, Bill Hayward returns home to find his now 11 and 15-year old sons abandoned by their mother and fending for themselves. Unwilling to play Dad, his arrival brings them to the attention of social services. With the danger of being put into care looming, Dean forces his Dad to stay by threatening to grass him up for dealing. Dean soon connects with Jimmy and through this new bond starts to realize what he's been missing. He has a family and a place in the world, but when Jimmy gets into trouble with Bill's old cohorts, he quickly has to decide what kind of Dad he wants to be. A good one, or a free one.

Reviews

Empire Magazine

Kim Newman

Yes, it’s another East End gangster movie/dysfunctional family saga, but it’s also a fresh, engaging debut feature, with an underlying suspense.

19/03/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Tough-but-tender is a difficult routine for any actor, but Creed-Miles carries it off. With maturity and unassuming warmth, he turns himself into the beating heart at the centre of this likable and involving British picture, which incidentally shows that you are not necessarily letting the social-realist side down by having your characters smile and laugh.

22/03/2012

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

The big surprise is that this East End-set dysfunctional family-drama-cum-gangster film is properly charming, certainly much more so than its hybrid premise suggests.

22/03/2012

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The Times

Wendy Ide

The sentimentality of the tale is tempered by an irrepressible urban humour in the dialogue and a wicked eye for character detail in the screenplay. The extraordinary level of quality in the supporting cast is testament to quality of the writing.

23/03/2012

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Total Film

Matt Mueller

As Wild Bill trots to its inevitable showdown, Fletcher tosses in a spot of visual poeticism and social commentary, but his biggest achievement is making us dead keen to see what he does next.

19/03/2012

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The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

Wild Bill is not only enjoyable, it’s an important, genre-busting film ... Wild Bill has plenty of heart without straying into sentimentality, which a film about a man trying to reconnect with his sons could so easily have done. In an age when most movies are far too long, Fletcher has shown that you can do wonderful things in only 98 minutes.

25/03/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

The dialogue mostly rings true, and Fletcher's fellow thesps have rallied to his side. There's a familiar face in every role, however brief, among them Olivia Williams as an unglamorous probation officer and Andy Serkis as a menacing Mr Big who holds court in a local cemetery.

25/03/2012

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Scotland on Sunday

Scotland on Sunday

A tendency to cut corners in plotting means that no one will be surprised by the way this story of distant dads and aggressive sons pans out. And the women are pretty baldly typecast here as happy or unhappy slatterns, traits that comes off as roughly offensive. Fletcher clearly relishes cinematic flourishes but applies them in broad, superficial strokes.

18/03/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

Fletcher has whisked together a batter of Old West motifs, folded it into a social-realist baking tray and slammed it in the oven at gas mark eight. The result is slightly soggy in the middle, but still enjoyably warm and chewy.

22/03/2012

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Time Out

Tom Huddleston

Ask the average man in the street what he’d expect from the directorial debut of child actor turned Guy Ritchie cohort Dexter Fletcher, and the answer will most likely come close to ‘Wild Bill’. Gritty, grotty council estate setting? Check. Brash Burberry-clad blaggers spouting snappy dialogue and brandishing shooters? Check. Cameo appearances from the League of Ritchie Veterans? Check. But for all its predictability, ‘Wild Bill’ is a promising first film,.

20/03/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

Proves to have something more under the bonnet, and by the end it's been quite a ride.

23/03/2012

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Modest and British, [it] is more discriminatingly crackpot.

22/03/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

With these credentials, Wild Bill should be just another of the tawdry bloke-sploitation movies that the British film industry keeps foisting on us ... which makes it all the more cheering to report that it's the most affecting, funny, and sure-footed comedy-drama that we're likely to see this year. Yes, it has boozers, brawls and a tart with a heart, but its tone is very much its own: gritty without being gloomy, soft-hearted without being sentimental. And it has a polished script.

25/03/2012

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