Richard (played by co-screenwriter Paddy Considine) and his younger brother Anthony return to their sleepy hometown that they had left years ago. But lurking beneath the hamlet's peaceful surface is a gang of sleazy small time drug dealers and thugs. Richard wastes no time making his presence known to the gang who at first are amused, but shortly grow annoyed and then suspicious of him. But as the true motive for Richard's return is revealed, he shifts from erratic behavior to escalating violence, terrifying and torturing the gang one by one. The relentlessness of Richard's offensive behavior propels both the film, and us, into a downward spiral of revenge and loss. Director Shane Meadows has crafted a masterful tale of vengeance that is firmly planted in the gray area between the moral high ground of forgiveness and the lowland of seeking retribution for the sins of the past. Considine delivers a commandingly brutal performance as Richard, a man of quiet desperation, weighted down and inspired by the guilt and misery he carries with him.
Shane Meadows was born in Uttoxeter, England. A self-taught filmmaker, he honed his craft by directing one short film every month for a year. His feature films include Small Time (1996), TwentyFourSeven (1997), A Room for Romeo Brass (1999), and Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (2002).