Kill Your Friends

I thought I wiped my nose properly...
Verdict: 
7/10 - Not your average gleaming cinema feature. Dark, fun and a thumping soundtrack.
Release Date: 
Friday, November 6, 2015
Written by: 

A&R man Steven Stelfox won't let anything, or anyone, get in his way on his rise to the top.

7

A movie based around the time Britpop dominated the charts and Cool Britannia took over the world is always guaranteed one thing: a generation defining soundtrack.

Luckily though Kill Your Friends wins in more ways than just music.

Meet Steven Stelfox (Nicholas Hoult), a 20 something A&R man living the highlife in London as British music continues to soar.

His privileged life affords him all the drinks, drugs and women he could want (and boy does he want a lot), and he laps it up like a cat with a bowl of cream.

Despite professing his hatred for most music, especially the indie kind, Steven has become a beacon of success at one of Britain's top record labels.

This isn't enough for him though, far from it, and he soon sets his sights on becoming head of A&R - and God help anyone who gets in his way.

He deceives, manipulates and even kills to fulfil his ambition, taking his quest for the next killer track to a whole new level.

Colleagues Roger Waters (James Corden), Anthony Parker-Hall (Tom Riley) and his assistant Rebecca (Georgia King), quickly find out what it's like to get on the wrong side of sociopath Steven, but still the ambitious talent scout falls short of his dream.

Kill Your Friends is a black comedy that provides a lot of laughs, gasps and good tunes along the way.

Hoult makes a good leading man, although it takes a while for him to warm up.

The scene where he's sat in his boxers, losing his mind on coke watching Radiohead's Thom Yorke sing Karma Police is so on point it makes up for earlier misgivings.

The supporting cast is strong, and proves to be a who's who of British talent.

Craig Roberts' star continues to soar, and he's great as Steven's music loving assistant Darren, Joseph Mawle is solid as Trellick, as is man of the moment Ed Skrein. Corden, Riley and King are all top notch too.

It's based on the book by John Niven and the writer also penned the script.

It's full of sharp wit, dark humour and a murderous sense of ambition.

Director Owen Harris perfectly captures the life of riley attitude that was no doubt prevalent in the music business before illegal downloads meant money became too tight for all night champagne and cocaine binges.

He also perfectly weaves in a soundtrack of Oasis, Radiohead, Blur and Blue Boy that leaves us drunk on '90s nostalgia.

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