Review The Legend of Barney Thomson film poster robert carlyle

Published on June 19th, 2015 | by Allan Brown


EIFF 2015: The Legend of Barney Thomson Review


Movie Review: The Legend of Barney Thomson (2015)THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMPSON film robert carlyle and ray winston

Running Time: 90 minutes

Rating: TBC

Director: Robert Carlyle

Writers: Robert Carlyle, Richard Cowan, Colin McLaren

Cast: Robert Carlyle, Emma Thompson, Ray Winstone, James Cosmo, Ashley Jensen, Martin Compston, Kevin Guthrie, Stephen McCole


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A string of bad luck, two suspicious police investigators and a ferocious, foul mouthed mother, all plague Robert Carlyle in The Legend of Barney Thomson.

THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMPSON robert carlyle and emma thompsonGlasgow Barbour Barney Thomson, lives life in a perpetual cycle of tedium and dreek monotony, in a profession filled with awkward dialogue exchanges, bullish colleagues and unappreciative clients.

But when Thomson accidentally kills someone with his styling shears, he quickly finds himself at the centre of a large serial killer investigation, championed by two of Scotland’s most incompetent task forces.

Carlyle’s directorial début is a riotous crowning achievement in comedic excellence. Not only does he skilfully deliver a delicious dose of macabre black-comedy drenched in Glasgow city culture, but offers a punchy screenplay (adapted from Douglas Lindsay novel Long Midnight of Barney Thomson) complete with side-splitting dialogue, in a playground built for comedic absurdity, to which the entire cast relish with delight.

Leading the foray is of course Robert Carlyle, who offers nothing less than a rich intuitive performance as our bumbling lead, Thomson. However, it is his supporting cast that really shine here, and brightest of all is Emma Thompson who intentionally hams it up delivering a fiendishly riotous turn as Barney’s mother Cemolina, who truth be told, is mad as a bag of cats. Kevin Guthrie, Ray Winston and Ashley Jensen also deliver memorable, larger than life performances as competing coppers, and James Cosmo, Martin Compston and Stephen McCole bring the barbershop floor to life in some hilarious dialogue exchanges that are an absolute delight to watch unfold.

EIFF 2015: The Legend of Barney Thomson Review Allan Brown


Summary: The Legend of Barney Thomson is a strong directorial début for Carlyle, who not only shows tremendous skill behind the camera, but demonstrates a real knack for character drama and comedy.


User Rating: 4 (9 votes)

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About the Author

Despite my 9-5 being consumed by the daily duties of an Electrician, Movie Review World serves as a platform for me to share my thoughts, explorations and reflections on one of my biggest passions, film.

4 Responses to EIFF 2015: The Legend of Barney Thomson Review

  1. Mark Walker says:

    Good to see you rate this so highly, man. I’m very much looking forward to this.

  2. Mirko says:

    Emma Thompson in nomination Oscar fast, please.

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