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A movie-length prequel to Netflix's upcoming Rome-set gangster series.

Ah, bella Italia! Where men are men, politicians are corrupt, mafiosi are everywhere and women are either hookers or molls. Or at least, that’s the general thrust of this Netflix-produced gangster-movie-cum-extended-series-pilot from Stefano Sollima, veteran of both the ‘Gomorra’ and ‘Romanzo Criminale’ serials.

In the Roman suburb of Ostia, it’s all kicking off. At the behest of ageing gang boss Samurai (Claudio Amendola), politician Malgradi (Pierfrancesco Favino) is trying to push through a land bill that’ll lay the area open to rapacious redevelopment. But the deal starts looking rocky when the MP’s obligatory night of crack and prostitutes takes a fatal turn.

Sollima is clearly a fan of countryman Paolo Sorrentino (who directed ‘The Great Beauty’). ‘Suburra’ is drenched in flickering neon and filled with sour-faced men scowling at each other over very small cups of coffee. There are some bracing action scenes, and it’s enjoyably bloodthirsty. But with no decent characters to root for and precious little humour, it gets tiresome long before the apocalyptic finale.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Release date: Friday June 24 2016
Duration: 130 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Stefano Sollima
Screenwriter: Giancarlo De Cataldo
Cast: Greta Scarano
Pierfrancesco Favino
Jean-Hugues Anglade
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All about corrupt politicians & the mafia. Also something about the Pope which I didn't get.

It's all jolly plush, with enough sex & violence to get an 18 certificate.

I left the screening a bit confused, but feel I have to give it the benefit of the doubt (3 stars), as I feel I may not have paid enough attention.