Jon S Baird (2013)

bbfc_rating|ages_18_and_over Certificate


Our Score
Irvine Welsh is a prolific author whose seamy, invective-strewn novels have largely remained unfilmed and are even regarded as "unfilmable" - with the honourable exception of symbolic "Cool Britannia" smash Trainspotting. Filth, in which misanthropic, bipolar Edinburgh detective Bruce Robertson descends into a hell of drink, drugs and debasement, could have been a case in point. But writer/director Jon S Baird has successfully streamlined a near-Shakespearean comic tragedy out of the novel's stream-of-semi-consciousness narrative. Through the counterintuitive casting of "good guy" James McAvoy in the central role and some new fantasy elements, the depravity, duplicity and, yes, downright filth may just about get a broad-minded audience onside. A top-flight supporting cast (including Jamie Bell, Jim Broadbent, Eddie Marsan and Imogen Poots) further raises the palatability of what remains a deeply unpleasant journey. It won't be for everyone, as Baird pulls no punches with the rough sex, drug abuse, political incorrectness and human cruelty, but McAvoy gives a vanity-free performance that may well be the crowning glory of his career.


A corrupt policeman with a cocaine habit plans to advance his own career by turning colleagues against each other, while also desperately hoping to persuade his ex-wife to take him back. He rapidly loses his grip on reality as the drug use spirals out of control and his web of lies grows increasingly complex. Black comedy, starring James McAvoy, Imogen Poots, Jamie Bell and Jim Broadbent.

Cast & Crew

Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson James McAvoy
Ray "Raymundo" Lennox Jamie Bell
Amanda Drummond Imogen Poots
Mary Joanne Froggatt
Dr Rossi Jim Broadbent
Bunty Shirley Henderson
Clifford "Bladesey" Blades Eddie Marsan
Peter Inglis Emun Elliott
Gorman Martin Compston
Gus Bain Gary Lewis
Carole Shauna Macdonald
Chief Inspector Bob Toal John Sessions
Dougie Gillman Brian McCardie
Ocky Iain De Caestecker
Chrissie Kate Dickie
Punter David Soul
Size Queen Pollyanna McIntosh
Hector Ron Donachie
Director Jon S Baird
see more

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Lions Gate UK LtdGuidance: Violence, swearing, drug abuse, sex scenes, nudity.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 4 Oct 2013
Drama Comedy