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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 30.26%
Just Average: 5.26%
Pretty Crappy: 1.32%
Sucks: 2.63%

8 reviews, 28 user ratings

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by Peter Sobczynski

"The man behind 'Trainspotting' makes a charming family film"
4 stars

Although the critical and commercial success of his first two films, the Hitchcockian crime drama “Shallow Grave” and the cult hit “Trainspotting”, many expected that British director Danny Boyle would continue to crank out similar films. Instead, he has quietly accumulated one of the more intriguing and eclectic filmographies of anyone currently working in the U.K. Like Alan Parker, he seems hell-bent on exploring new genres with each films and he has so far given viewers a goofy screwball comedy (“A Life Less Ordinary”), an odd literary adaptation (“The Beach”), several intriguing projects for British television and a low-budget horror extravaganza (the surprise hit “28 Days Later”). With his latest film, “Millions”, the predictably unpredictable Boyle has come up with something that no one knowing his work could have possibly expected that he had in him–a perfectly charming family film that still contains the edgy humor and stylish direction that made him famous in the first place.

The film stars Alex Etel as Damien, a saint-obsessed seven-year-old who discovers a sack stuffed with pounds while playing one day. Following the example of heroes such as St. Francis of Assisi, he begins to use the loot to buy the contents of a pet store (in order to set them free) and feed the homeless (with a trip to Pizza Hut); Anthony (Lewis McGibbon), his more materialistic brother, who is the only other person to know his secret, has other ideas and uses some of the cash to buy his own posse at school. Two complications soon arise to put a crimp in Damien’s plans. The first is that England is planning to convert to the Euro in less than two weeks, rendering any pounds he has remaining worthless after that time. The other is the arrival of the man who actually stole the money in the first place and threatens the brothers if they don’t return it.

Although filled with Boyle’s trademark visual flourishes, “Millions” does mark itself as a departure from Boyle’s other films (which include the flawed “The Beach” and the better-than-expected “A Life Less Ordinary”) and not just because it is pitched at audiences far too young to have seen any of his other films. The difference here is that, with the exception of “Trainspotting”, this is the first time that he has given viewers characters that are genuinely interesting and worth caring about instead of ciphers meant to move from one flashy set-piece to the next; an exceptionally big risk when you consider that this film must live or die on the strength of the performance of a six-year-old child. Happily, plays Damien with a refreshingly unforced feeling; you get the sense that he is a real kid with real hopes, fears and obsessions and not one of these perfectly-scrubbed moppets that too often dominate kid-oriented films.

“Millions” is sentimental, to be sure, but never sappy and even has the good sense to give us a bad guy who is genuinely scary and not just another bumbling dope of the “Home Alone” variety; between him and the action-packed robbery scene, “Millions” may be a little too intense for younger viewers. If they can handle that, not to mention a couple of heavy accents, this film should prove to be a delight for kids and parents alike.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=10622&reviewer=389
originally posted: 03/18/05 06:37:08
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Toronto Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival. For more in the 2005 Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/05/19 Suzanne Alex Etel is astounding; this movie always makes me cry. 5 stars
8/23/08 AnnieG Excellent! Enjoyable film for all ages. Makes a nice Christmas gift. 4 stars
5/29/07 Bob crap 1 stars
4/15/07 fools♫gold Very interesting; reaches the heights of the same director's Shallow Grave. 5 stars
2/01/07 billium good film were studying it in RE att school because of its religius morals ect.. 4 stars
4/02/06 robbo kept kids quiet 4 stars
1/08/06 Quigley had some very moving scenes and the kid was amazing, but it was a little confusing 4 stars
12/07/05 Phil M. Aficionado A truly silly little concoction. Can't bring myself to give the kids one star, but..... 2 stars
9/16/05 Green Gremlin A nice change from Hollywood schmaltz !!! 5 stars
8/25/05 EZ Blow up this movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
7/17/05 Captain Craig A feel good movie that really works! Wonderful entertainment. Hollywood take note! 5 stars
7/16/05 what the this guy is an idot, UK is certainly NOT moving to the Euro for a good few years yet! 3 stars
6/20/05 Agent Sands Not only one of the best films of the year, but one of the best family films of all time! 5 stars
6/19/05 Sean Lane Nice seeing yet another Danny Boyle movie. This one is better than the last. A lot. 5 stars
6/08/05 b landers Good movie. 4 stars
6/05/05 jcjs wow 5 stars
5/17/05 Neon Good movie worth viewing 4 stars
5/01/05 Teri CUTE 5 stars
4/06/05 Elizabeth S Charming! Alex Etel is wonderful! 4 stars
3/30/05 Nick Boyd A touching movie with two wonderful lead performances 4 stars
3/24/05 malcontent Believe it or notm Boyles seems in his element here 4 stars
3/02/05 Jason Smith A fun, vibrantly filmed movie with much less sentimentality than expected. 4 stars
2/27/05 Barry Appleby Only Eire switched to the Euro not the UK 3 stars
10/19/04 Colette The film was ok 3 stars
9/19/04 denny very different from any thing done earlier by boyle; not sure who will be the audience 3 stars
9/19/04 christine heath an amazing film, with two charming new stars 5 stars
9/14/04 MM Weird and wonderful 5 stars
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  11-Mar-2005 (PG)
  DVD: 01-Nov-2005



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