The Legend of Barney Thompson

Robert Carlyle directs and stars as the titular character, a cantankerous barber whose boring life is turned upside down when he accidentally kills someone and ends up being wanted for a string of other murders in the area.


The story of an inadvertent killing has been done better elsewhere (see Sightseers), but Barney Thompson is kept watchable by excellent performances from Carlyle, Ray Winston, Ashley Jensen and an almost unrecognisable Emma Thompson as Barney’s elderly mother.

The script could be funnier, with plenty of chuckle-worthy moments but no hilarity, with the best moments coming from the performances rather than the writing. But Carlyle is clearly competent behind the camera in his directorial debut, with good quality visuals and well-chosen music. The result is enjoyable if not as legendary as Barney himself.

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