The Legend Of Barney Thomson. Image shows from L to R: Holdall (Ray Winstone), Barney (Robert Carlyle), Cemolina (Emma Thompson).

The Legend Of Barney Thomson

Press Clippings

Film review: The Legend of Barney Thomson

Adapted from Douglas Lindsay's novel Long Midnight of Barney Thomson, Robert Carlyle's directorial debut is a raw comedic Glaswegian twist on Sweeney Todd.

Clive Botting, The Huffington Post, 28th July 2015

In The Legend of Barney Thomson a mild-mannered and boring Glasgow barber, a scissors-wielding Barney accidentally kills his boss Charlie (Brian Pettifer) in an argument after Barney is sacked.

Terrified that his sacking will be considered a motive for murder, Barney decides to dispose of the body, and hope that Charlie's disappearance will be linked to the ongoing serial killings plaguing Glasgow.

Adapted from Douglas Lindsay's novel The Long Midnight of Barney Thompson, this comedy is chock-a-block with twists and turns, and boasts a superb cast -- Ray Winstone plays a fish-out-of-water Cockney copper convinced of Barney's guilt, Emma Thompson has a whale of a time playing Barney's hard-drinking harridan of a mother, while Tom Courtenay's turn as the least effective Chief Superintendent of all time is a joy.

Throw in Carlyle's own terrific performance as the harried Barney, and The Legend of Barney Thompson should be an instant comic classic, but somehow the individual elements, all excellent in their own right, fail to gel.

It's difficult to work out why, because Carlyle keeps things moving along at a fast clip and the comic moments are crisply timed.

The Legend of Barney Thompson is a frequently funny but ultimately dissatisfying black comedy.

Declan Burke, The Irish Examiner, 25th July 2015

The Legend Of Barney Thomson review

This black comedy from Robert Carlyle is a solid first go in the director's chair...

Andrew Blair, Den Of Geek, 24th July 2015

The Legend of Barney Thomson review

Ray Winstone stars in Robert Carlyle's capable directorial debut that has some smart touches and a scene-stealing Emma Thompson.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 23rd July 2015

The Legend of Barney Thomson reviewed

As the bodies pile up, the plot's plausibility flies out of the window in this dodgy debut from Robert Carlyle.

Deborah Ross, The Spectator, 23rd July 2015

Video: Robert Carlyle on The Legend of Barney Thomson

Trainspotting and 28 Weeks Later star Robert Carlyle discusses his directorial debut, the Glasgow-set black comedy The Legend of Barney Thomson.

The Skinny, 22nd July 2015

EIFF 2015 - The Legend of Barney Thompson

It's a decent first attempt at directing by Carlyle.

Stuart Addison, Short Com, 17th June 2015

The Legend of Barney Thomson review

Robert Carlyle's directorial debut is a disappointing black comedy.

Eddie Harrison, The List, 17th June 2015