Filth Movie Review [WATCH VIDEO]

By Ambika Thakur | 4 years ago
Filth Movie Review [WATCH VIDEO]
James McAvoy at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International in San Diego, California. Date 20 July 2013 Source Own work Author Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

“Filth” is a film based on Irvine Welsh’s novel of the same title. It is a Scottish crime comedy-drama film written and directed by Jon S. Baird. Read on for the Movie News Guide’s (MNG) “Filth” movie review and synopsis.

“Filth” Synopsis:

Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson wants a promotion. He is evidently the best man for the job compared to the rest of his contemporaries. Bruce’s boss wanted him to investigate the murder of a Japanese student. When he solves the case and wins the promotion, he will get back to his wife and daughter.

Bruce Robertson played by James McAvoy is a veteran of the Edinburgh police force. He is a Machiavellian, controlling and cynical. He is a man who spends most of his time indulging in drugs, alcohol and sexually abusive relationships.

Robertson is devoted to Euphemism and what he calls “the games.” This is the manipulation of others in futile and often vindictive ways.  In the beginning we watch him grab a helium balloon from a kid, and intentionally let it fly into the sky. Robertson’s main goal in life is to gain promotion to become a Detective Inspector. His promotion revolves on his ability to solve the murder of a Japanese student, but the stuff of sex, melancholy and self-hatred keeps getting in the way.  Robertson breaks down. He plots frantically against his despised colleagues, blackmails a young girl for oral sex, then he mocks her technique and sniffs lots of cocaine.

Robertson also takes  pleasure in thoroughly bullying and taking advantage of his friend Clifford Blades played by Eddie Marsan, a member of Robertson’s Masonic lodge whose wife he frequently hoax calls and stalks as part of one of “the games.” He slowly loses his hold on real-life as he works the case. He suffers from hallucinations which start gradually and become severe. These hallucinations drive Bruce into insanity.

It is finally exposed through surreal exchanges with his psychiatrist played by Jim Broadbent that he is on medication for bipolar disorder, and afflicted with penitence over a heart-rending accident which claimed his younger brother’s life at some point in his childhood. His wife had left him for another man some time prior to the film’s events and is not letting him see his daughter. His desperate bid for promotion and hope to reunite with his wife and daughter led him to switch on dressing as his wife after working hours so that he can keep her close to him. While roaming the streets on such an occasion, Robertson is abducted and physically harassed by the gang accountable for the murder of the Japanese student. Robertson as a result of the events, gets demoted to Constable.

“Filth” Movie Review:

“Filth” has some toilet humor displayed as fart gags, cock-comparing competitions  at the Christmas party and the Hamburg pause, where Bruce and Clifford indulge in a wicked weekend. The talking tapeworm that grows inside Bruce is also interesting. But, such is the vigor of McAvoy and the dynamism of Baird that it’s impossible not to get sucked into Bruce’s troubled, and sometimes touching, universe. “Filth” is simply a rasping traverse through one man’s perplexed psyche. The central performance works marvelously. But, the film around it doesn’t work that way. “Filth” takes asylum in vagueness and the screenplay sacrifices the dramatic value.

Critical response:

Critical reception about “Filth” has been mixed so far.

According to, “Filth” will be released on May 30, 2014 in U.S. theatres.

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) reported that “Filth” Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use, language and some violence. The film received a rating of 7.1/10 from 34,533 users.

As of this writing, Rotten Tomatoes has given the film a rating of 6.7/10 or 70% in its Tomatometer, based on 61 reviews from critics. 90% reportedly wants to watch it, based on10, 266 user ratings.  Metacritic has also given “Filth” a score of 57/100, based on 18 reviews from critics.

“Filth” stars James McAvoy as Bruce Robertson, Jamie Bell as Ray Lennox, Eddie Marsan as Clifford Blades, Imogen Poots as Amanda Drummond and Brian McCardie as Dougie Gillman.

Running time: 97 minutes

Official Site:

Genres: Drama, Comedy, Crime

And that’s it for MNG’s “Filth” movie review. For more details about upcoming movies including trailers and reviews, as well as other entertainment news, stay tuned here at Movie News Guide (MNG).

Check out the “Filth” trailer below.

[jwplayer mediaid=”18720″]

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Gage Skidmore


About the author

I am an Indian native filled with charm, a sense of humor, style, and a passion for writing. I am an instinctive artist and writing prose and verse since I was 15 years old. I first realized my dreams of becoming a writer at age fourteen and wrote an anthology of Hindi poems. My academic background includes: FDCT ( Fashion Design and Clothing Technology), MA in English, M Sc. in Ecology and Environment Science, and M. Phil. in Sustainable Development. I write on Entertainment, Fashion, Lifestyle, and Sustainable Development.