×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Complicity

Starting out like a "Defence of the Realm" conspiracy thriller, but soon morphing into a more character-driven piece, "Complicity" is an above-average mystery-drama that far more deserves play than many of the substandard Britpics dumped onto screens during the past few months. Given a token theatrical release in Scotland earlier this year, item recently surfaced on rental in the rest of Blighty.

With:
With: Jonny Lee Miller, Brian Cox, Keeley Hawes, Paul Higgins, Jason Hetherington, Bill Paterson, Samuel West, Rachael Stirling.

Starting out like a “Defence of the Realm” conspiracy thriller, but soon morphing into a more character-driven piece, “Complicity” is an above-average mystery-drama that far more deserves play than many of the substandard Britpics dumped onto screens during the past few months. Given a token theatrical release in Scotland earlier this year, item recently surfaced on rental in the rest of Blighty.

Rising thesp Jonny Lee Miller gives one of his best perfs to date as Cameron Colley, a maverick crime journalist on a Scottish rag who enjoys occasional kinky sex with Yvonne (Keeley Hawes), wife of businessman friend William (Jason Hetherington), and desperately needs a good story to kickstart his faltering career. Cameron reckons his big break could come from a series of phone tips from Mr. Archer, who claims to be a security services mole.

The names Archer has been feeding him all suffered weird deaths during the past few months and appear to be connected with an old British-arms-to-Iraq scandal. When a fourth guy, who’s just sold off his traditional distillery to the Japanese, dies, Cameron gets confused.

Then the police, led by Inspector McDunn (Brian Cox), tell him the murders seem to follow a campaign of personal retribution jokingly suggested by Cameron in an article he wrote a year ago: death to establishment figures who bend the rules for their own gain and disregard ordinary people’s well-being.

Cameron holes up in the countryside with another longtime friend, Andy (Paul Higgins), who’s just returned home after a disastrous business outing funded by William. The calls from Archer — and more murders — keep coming, and Cameron slowly realizes he could be being set up, possibly by one of his friends.

Without overdoing the charm, Miller is good as the freewheeling hack who’s never taken life too seriously until now. Flashbacks limn his circle of friends and their history, and the script even leaves open the possibility that Cameron could be the perp. Weakness of the movie is that when the truth is revealed, the killer’s motive is hardly believable, given the scope and ambition of the murders. But until the final reels the film is a well-played, solidly directed, mid-range drama.

Disquietingly, for a non-U.S. production, the script has been prominently doctored with anti-drug/smoking warnings. Technical credits are fine, with David Odd’s lensing making the most of the Scottish and Highlands locations, and Cox, Hawes and Higgins playing easily alongside Miller. Veteran Scottish actor Bill Paterson has a nicely etched scene as Cameron’s boss.

Complicity

U.K.

Production: An Entertainment Film Distributors release of a J&M Entertainment/Entertainment Film Distributors/Carlton Films presentation of a Talisman Films production. (International sales: J&M, London.) Produced by Richard Jackson, Neil Dunn. Executive producers, Julia Palau, Michael Ryan. Co-producers, Andrew Warren, Peter McAleese. Directed by Gavin Millar. Screenplay, Bryan Elsley, based on the novel by Iain Banks.

Crew: Camera (Deluxe color prints), David Odd; editor, Angus Newton; music, Colin Towns; production designer, Jamie Leonard; supervising art director, Paul Kirby; costumes, Kate Carin; sound (Dolby Digital), Colin Nicolson, Craig Irving; assistant director, Tommy Gormley; casting, Susie Bruffin. Reviewed on videocassette, London, July 28, 2000. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: With: Jonny Lee Miller, Brian Cox, Keeley Hawes, Paul Higgins, Jason Hetherington, Bill Paterson, Samuel West, Rachael Stirling.

More Film

  • DF-10193 – L-R: Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor),

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Leads MPSE Golden Reel Awards for Sound Editing

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” followed up love from Cinema Audio Society sound mixers with a pair of honors at the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ 66th annual Golden Reel Awards Sunday night. The musical biopic scored wins for dialogue and ADR as well as sound editing in a musical. The film is nominated for sound editing at the Oscars [...]

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" in

    Writers Guild Makes It Official: This Is the Most Wide-Open Oscars Race Ever

    For the record, we’re in uncharted territory this Oscar season. While we still have the costume designers’ ceremony to get through on Tuesday, the Writers Guild Awards put a bow on the major guild kudos circuit Sunday night. The results have yielded what is, unequivocally, the most wide-open Oscar field in history. The major guild [...]

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" and

    WGA Awards 2019: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?,' 'Eighth Grade' Win Screenplay Awards

    In a pair of upsets, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” has won the Writers Guild of America’s adapted screenplay award for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty and Bo Burnham has won the original screenplay award for “Eighth Grade.” The major television trophies went to “The Americans,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Homeland” and “Barry” for the [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' No Match for China's 'Wandering Earth' Overseas

    Hollywood movies like “Alita: Battle Angel” and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” are doing respectable business overseas, but they’re proving no match for foreign titles at the international box office. The Chinese New Year is bringing in huge business in the Middle Kingdom. China’s sci-fi epic “The Wandering Earth” pulled in a [...]

  • ABA_062_DAU_0060_v0409.87501 – Rosa Salazar stars as

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' Wins Dismal President's Day Weekend

    Fox’s sci-fi adventure “Alita: Battle Angel” dominated in North America, but its opening weekend win isn’t leaving the box office with much to celebrate. Tracking services estimate that this will be one of the lowest grossing President’s Day weekends in years. Ticket sales are on pace to be the smallest bounty for the holiday frame [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Oscars Placeholder

    Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild Applauds Academy's Stance on Airing Every Oscar Winner

    Rowdy boos were followed by triumphant cheers at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Hollywood union touched on a week of controversy over a reversed decision to hand out four Oscars during the show’s commercial breaks. Hair and makeup was one of the four categories that would [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content