Review: Tower Block / Cert: 15 / Director: James Nunn, Ronnie Thompson / Screenplay: James Moran / Starring: Sheridan Smith, Jack O'Connell, Ralph Brown, Russell Tovey, Julie Graham / Release Date: February 18th
The last remaining residents of soon-to-be-demolished and inaptly named Serenity House all refuse to help the police with their enquires following the brutal murder of a young man within their block three months earlier. Not even Becky (Smith), who tried to intervene and got a kicking for her trouble, will speak up. And – given how they've been forgotten by their local council and left to the tender mercies of property developers and neighbourhood thugs – who can blame them? But then they're thrown into disarray when a sniper starts taking them out through their windows. The few who manage to escape to the apparent safety of the corridors must work together to find a way out.
This ensemble piece could have easily fallen at the first hurdle, but, to writer Moran's credit, the characterisation is so spot-on we soon finding ourselves caring what happens to this motley bunch. Nasty young scrote Kurtis (O'Connell) confounds expectation by ditching gangsta bravado for a display of genuine guts (all it takes is a kick in the goolies). Tovey is as reliable as ever as the alcoholic loner forced to step up, and Brown lands more than his usual supporting role and is actually given something to do. There's implicit social commentary, too, in the form of Montserrat Lombard (Ashes to Ashes) as the obnoxious, loudmouth mother of two toddlers who thinks nothing of giving them a good hiding and going out on the town, and the game-addicted teen (McEntire) who knows more about assault rifles than Brown's ex-army Neville. Tense, grim and well-played, this is riveting viewing.
Extras: Interviews with the cast and crew