The Rise of the Krays

The Rise of the Krays

Zachary Adler (2015)

18 Certificate


Our Score
The lurid early history of notorious British gangster twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray is rendered surprisingly boring in this flat and feeble biopic. Released in the same year as Tom Hardy impressively portrayed both brothers in Legend, the truth-bending low-budget flick struggles to engage, seeming bitty and stilted thanks to poor scripting and execution. There's no proper narrative, just a jump from one brutal incident to the next, as director Zackary Adler fetishises the violence using excessive slo-mo and lots of grisly close-ups of wounds, while turning the siblings themselves into two-dimensional caricatures. The miscast leads lack screen presence, with Simon Cotton's Ronnie more risible than fearsome as he broods through his eyebrows, and Kevin Leslie utterly bland in what feels like a supporting role as Reggie. A concluding film, The Fall of the Krays, followed in 2016.


Biopic of the gangster brothers, exploring their formative years. Twins Ronnie and Reggie begin their criminal career as 18-year-old amateur boxers, and rapidly rise to become the most feared gang leaders in the London underworld, their brutal excesses observed by a close friend. Starring Kevin Leslie, Simon Cotton and Nicola Stapleton.

Cast & Crew

Ronnie Kray Simon Cotton
Reggie Kray Kevin Leslie
Dickie Baker Phil Dunster
Nipper Read Danny Midwinter
Teddy Smith Dan Parr
Liza Prescott Alexa Morden
Violet Kray Nicola Stapleton
Director Zachary Adler
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Violence, swearing, sexual references, nudity.Available on: DVD and Blu-ray