Filth – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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A trippy story about a corrupt cop tumbling his way to rock bottom.

Trigger Warning(s): Drug Abuse, homophobia, sex with a minor, and sexism

Review (with Spoilers)

Since Trainspotting, I have had an interest in Irvine Welsh’s films. From the drug abuse to the trippy scenes, and then the central characters who as out of their mind as they were, knew how to grab you and take you on their mad ride, it is hard to say his work isn’t always worth checking out. So, with familiar faces like Jim Broadbent, James McAvoy, Imogen Poots and Joanne Froggatt, I prepped myself for a mad man’s story, and woah what a ride.

Characters & Story

The story of Filth deals with a highly corrupt cop Bruce (played by James McAvoy) who is on his way to becoming the DI at his Scottish precinct, but has to take out the competition first. So, we watch as he one by one takes down his competition, seemingly, until he finds himself losing control. Not in the sense of him losing control over taking people down, but guilt, drug abuse, and a mental problem seem to take him from being an almost head shot who knocks out competition with ease, to a liability to the precinct which seemingly won’t give him a chance in hell of becoming anything more than a foot soldier.


Like with any film based off of Welsh’s work, even if not under the influence of anything you will find the motion picture trippy. Also, a great soundtrack will accompany everything and usually the story does wonders. For this film, McAvoy seems to tap into his more twisted side and takes on every bit of drug-fuelled, sex crazed madness that the story can use and faces it head on. Be it Asphyxiation scenes, blackmailing a minor into a blow job, and so many other scenes which sort of blow your mind in a way. You truly get an experience which is so weird that you feel like watching the film twice, just to make sure you didn’t imagine something in the movie, but it really happened.


My main criticism for the movie is that I feel Bruce wasn’t the type of character you connected with, and no one really was. In comparison to Trainspotting, I felt the story didn’t compare to all the craziness which was happening. So while, yes, there was a plot going on while Bruce was screwing with people’s lives, or just plain screwing, the story never matched the outlandishness.

Overall: Rental

This is the type of film worth renting because it gives you this weird mind buzz after watching it. I mean, to not receive some type of mental effect after watching this film I think is impossible. I would even say watching this is like someone giving you a contact high and because of that I would say it is a rental. While certainly not as classic as Trainspotting to say it is worth buying, it does have the type of appeal which keeps Welsh’s name, and brand, amongst those who create great trippy stories which surely have value past the sex and drugs, but at the same time it is hard to say how they interlace the two things into their stories aren’t the main draw.

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