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Cleanskin (15)


Ewan is a secret service agent faced with the task of pursuing and eliminating a suicide bomber and his terrorist cell.

The critical consensus

A brutal, unsparing thriller, if a little on the long side. Director Hajaig's should be applauded for striving to show a balanced view of the radicalisation process and the campaign against terrorism. Sean Bean should be applauded for kicking several shades of ass.

***(*)(*)Kim Newman, Empire Online, 05/03/2012

Could have been a British 24 but is undone by terrible plotting, implausibility and lack of excitement.

**(*)(*)(*)Henry Fitzherbert, Daily Express, 08/03/2012

A decent calling card, but next time round Hajaig must recognise a good thing, and then run with it.

Tom Seymour, Little White Lies, 08/03/2012

It plays like a lad-mag fantasy of counterterrorist work, juxtaposing mediocre action sscenes with a lot of deadly serious Islamist rhetoric.

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 08/03/2012

Hajaig stages the fights, chases and explosions with flair, but the plotting grows so preposterous and the direction so heavy-handed that all nuance and subtlety are soon squashed.

**(*)(*)(*)Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent, 09/03/2012

It’s a measure of how bad the film is that you’re actually on the side of the suicide bombers.

David Edwards, Daily Record, 09/03/2012

Cleanskin is weighed down by an unwieldy flashback structure and by way of conclusion falls back on an improbable and unsatisfying 'strategy of tension' explanation, whilst its target audience is almost certainly itching for more mano-a-mano combat.

**(*)(*)(*)Tom Dawson, The List, 09/03/2012

Contentious stuff, then, which makes the clumsy execution especially troubling.

Nicholas Barber, The Independent, 11/03/2012

It's a competent, conventional thriller, but there's something suspiciously unbalanced going on here.

Philip French, The Observer, 11/03/2012

Laughable stuff, if it wasn't for the wall to wall stereotypes, the dodgy acting, the general bad taste and some appalling scenes, many of them involving women.

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 15/03/2012

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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