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DVD review: James McAvoy is good being bad in repellent 'Filth'

Published August 9, 2014 12:18 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Grade • C

DVD •Like a good pitcher on a bad baseball team, actor James McAvoy has an impressive outing for a lost cause in the lurid, overheated police drama "Filth." He plays Det. Sgt. Bruce Robertson, the scourge of the Edinburgh police force, who's aiming for a promotion he's sure will impress his bombshell wife, Carole (Shauna Macdonald).

To that end, he's willing to sabotage his colleagues, including younger cops Lennox (Jamie Bell) and Drummond (Imogen Poots), sleep with hookers and housewives, partake of many drugs and bend the rules investigating a high-profile murder case.

Writer-director Jon S. Baird adapts a novel by Irvine Welsh (who also wrote "Trainspotting"), loading up on chaotic visuals to depict Bruce's mental breakdown toward a predictably nihilistic outcome. McAvoy (familiar to "X-Men" fans as the young Prof. Xavier) gives a full-throated performance that's better than the material deserves. —

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