Plastic (2 stars)


An appealing young cast can't save this idiotic heist movie

The art of a good con movie is populating it with likeable characters, articulating it with a witty script and having them pull off something ingenious. It should also make you forget that what’s unfolding on-screen is actually illegal! Unfortunately, Julian Gilbey's Plastic comes nowhere close to achieving any of this. It’s populated by brash, obnoxious teenagers who speak in laddish English, while the (apparently true) story fails to deliver anything clever or interesting. If anything, you’ll be rooting for the characters to get some kind of comeuppance.

Sam (Ed Speleers) is the leader of a group of kids who finance their high-flying lifestyle by indulging in carefully plotted credit card fraud against anyone who they view as having it coming, whether it be arrogant fast car drivers with trophy girlfriends who badmouth them in petrol stations or lecherous old men with a fondness for prostitutes. When they rip off the wrong target, however, they find themselves owing a ruthless businessman (Thomas Kretschmann) £2 million in two weeks, so head off to Miami to plot a payday heist. Along the way, there’s room for an obligatory romance, a little bit of internal betrayal and life lessons for all involved.

Gilbey’s film clearly aspires to combine the cocky bravado of British crime films such as Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock with the smoother panache of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s 11 but it's clearly operating way, way out of its depth – and that’s despite the presence of an appealing young cast, including Downton Abbey’s Speleers, Game of ThronesAlfie Allen and EE Rising Star winner Will Poulter. Instead, what emerges is mostly moronic (check out some of the laughable disguises that are employed) and verbally crass with little or nothing to recommend it – even the unintentional laughs eventually give way to groans of disdain. Don’t be conned into seeing it.

General release from Wed 30 Apr.

Plastic Official Trailer 1 (2013) - Mem Ferda, Emma Rigby


  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 1h 38min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Julian Gilbey
  • Cast: Ed Speleers, Will Poulter, Alfie Allen
  • UK release: 30 April 2014

Sam (Speleers) is the leader of a group of teenage credit card fraudsters. When they find themselves owing £2 million to a ruthless businessman (Kretschmann), they have to carry out a heist to pay him back. Good con movies have likeable characters, a witty script and an ingenious plot; this has none of the above.