Cipher Films/UK, 2013
Directed and written by George Isaacs
Also starring: Toby Stephens, Rufus Sewell, Ralph Brown, James Frain, Leo Gregory, Pierre Mascolo, and Julian Sands
UK release April 5 , 2013
DVD UK title change: The Deadly Game
DVD and Blu-Ray release in UK January 6, 2013
DVD release under title All Things To All Men at Amazon in USA March 11, 2014
This film is thoroughly rotten at Rotten Tomatoes (27%) but there are good reviews, too.
It’s the heist of a lifetime
Once you are in, there is no getting out
George Isaac’s crime thriller All Things to All Men stars Rufus Sewell as a police detective so obsessed with toppling a crime kingpin (played by Gabriel Byrne) that he is willing to leave ethics and the law aside in order to succeed. —Rotten Tomatoes
UK title changed to The Deadly Game
Perhaps against the odds, it’s a smart, engaging film, hitting a confident stride right away, and coolly proprietorial in its attitude to London, taking on the big, iconic locations without looking touristy…By nicking a medium-level villain Mark Corso (Pierre Mascolo) on charges that he can withdraw later if he wishes, Parker has a leverage on his father, crime lord Joseph, played with menace and gravitas by Gabriel Byrne…it’s a stylish and involving experience, with an intriguing touch of Mike Hodges. Isaac is a film-maker with a future.
The gritty London crime thriller is a genre somewhat overcooked in British cinema and on the verge of being burnt for good – and when gearing yourself up to indulge in yet another addition to this particular variety of film, a rolling of the eyes is the natural reflex – yet in George Isaac’s defence, the producer of Kidulthood and Adulthood has done a commendable job in taking an obvious, unsubtle narrative and making it feel rather unique, in his directorial debut All Things to All Men…
Fortunately the mediocre screenplay is brought to life by the fantastic cast, adding a rich touch of gravitas and prestige to proceedings – with Byrne the stand-out performer. Even Neil Maskell gets involved, as an actor who is fast becoming the Frank Harper of our generation. If you make a British film and he’s not in it, you’re doing something wrong. Meanwhile, a compelling element in this feature is that there is no determinable line between the good guys and the bad guys, as everyone involved has a mean streak, and you soon realise that you aren’t rooting for anyone in particular. Given Isaac’s inclination to throw in a surprise or two, you never know who to trust.
Little White Lies/David Jenkins [this review is no longer available]
We’ve looked at that title from every conceivable angle and – no, we’re unable to explain exactly why this impressive London-set neo-noir is called All Things To All Men. One spurious guess is that it might have something to do with the fact that the film has a vast cast of male protagonists who all want… things.
It’s a huge cast, and, against all odds, first-time writer and director George Isaac (who earned his spurs producing Kidulthood) manges to marshal them with the ease of an old hand…
Details of the story are too elaborate to go into, but the central characters are a dodgy cop (Rufus Sewell) and ace safecracker (Toby Stephens) and a local gangster (Gabriel Byrne). The inclusion of the latter feels apt, particularly as this harks back to the Coen brothers’ mind-melting gangster tango, Miller’s Crossing. All the men have henchmen and partners and sons and bosses to deal with, and Isaac does well to make every small character count. There is no dead wood here.
poster artist Paul Shipper
Paul Shipper has a way with posters! He created the official poster for All Things To All Men (see the red poster above) and he also created this variant poster, which he shared with Gabriel Byrne fans everywhere because, well, he knew we would love it! Below is the complete poster and two details. Thanks, Paul, for sharing your work with us!
Interview with director George Isaac and actor/producer Pierre Mascolo (Mascolo plays Gabriel’s son in the film):