London Boulevard (18, 103 mins)
Director: William Monahan ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
London hard-man Mitchell (Colin Farrell) has just been released from prison when he is hired as a minder cum handyman for Charlotte (Keira Knightley), a world-famous but semi-retired actress. As a constant target for paparazzi, she lives practically as a recluse, and Mitchell divides his time between her home and trying to avoid the attentions of the local crime lord (Ray Winstone, naturally) who sees big things in him. This latter aspect provides passing interest in a very sub-Carlito’s Way manner, but when the screen is given over to the impossible to swallow romance between Mitchell and Charlotte, London Boulevard attains school play levels of badness. Whether it’s the dreadful dialogue, the complete lack of characterisation in their non-existent relationship or the amateur hour acting from an unusually stiff Knightley and deer-in-headlights Farrell, the result is less a movie than a flimsily connected patchwork of scenes, many of which look as though they were shot without the benefit of a director.