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Review: Mr. Nice

Rhys Ifans joins the cinematic rogues' gallery
By BETSY SHERMAN  |  September 6, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

Rhys Ifans is hilarious, and sexy as hell, in Bernard Rose's Blow-like true story of the crazy life of Howard Marks. A working-class Welsh lad who beats the odds by getting into Oxford, he employs his intellect in smuggling hashish from Kabul to London and across the Atlantic. He finds a way to backdoor the stuff into England through Ireland with the help of an IRA chieftain (played by a madcap David Thewlis). This liaison doesn't escape the notice of British intelligence, who recruit Howard as a spy. Under a series of aliases, Howard and wife Judy (Chloë Sevigny) raise a brood while on the lam. Director Bernard Rose changes up filmic styles as the timeline progresses and makes movie magic by layering his actors onto vintage footage from the '60s and '70s. Ultimately, Mr. Nice doesn't transcend its genre, but the title character is a bright addition to the cinematic rogues' gallery of charmers for whom the real high isn't the drugs or the cash, but the con.

  Topics: Reviews , Rhys Ifans, Chloë Sevigny
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