Mr Nice

  • 18
  • Bernard Rose (2010)
  • UK
  • 115 min
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Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

It makes a change to see a movie about criminality that doesn't romanticise male bonding and violence. And by glossing over some of the nastier aspects of the illegal hashish trade, director Bernard Rose's film works very nicely as an elegant if somewhat fey alternative. Essentially it's a biopic, with Rhys Ifans as Howard Marks, the highly intelligent Welsh Oxford graduate who, in the 1970s, became the world's most prolific drug smuggler. But Rose intentionally blurs fact and fiction, creating more of a sense of myth than reality. The rights and wrongs of this are open to debate, especially when Marks is seen cavorting with Mujahidin soldiers and crackpot IRA terrorists. There's a brilliantly bizarre cameo by David Thewlis as Republican rebel Jim McCann and an underused Chloë Sevigny as Marks's wife, Judy, and look hard for director Ken Russell in a small role. The scenes leading up to Marks's comeuppance are exciting and darkly comic, though the movie becomes frustratingly busy in the final scenes. But it gives a very good sense of why a bright young man would leave teacher training to become the most wanted man in Britain.

Plot Summary

Biographical comedy drama starring Rhys Ifans and Chloë Sevigny. As clever as he is wily, Howard Marks leaves his home in the Welsh valleys after earning a scholarship to study at Oxford University. But a whole new world opens up to him there, inspiring him to embark on a career as an international drugs smuggler.

Cast and crew


Howard Marks
Rhys Ifans
Judy Marks
Chloë Sevigny
Jim McCann
David Thewlis
Salem Malik
Omid Djalili
Craig Lovato
Luis Tosar
Hamilton McMillan
Christian McKay
Patrick Lane
Jamie Harris


Bernard Rose

Other Information

Colour and Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
E1 Entertainment
Sex scenes, drug abuse.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 8 Oct 2010
Certificate 18
Entertainment One UK