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RocknRolla is a 2008 British crime film written and directed by Guy Ritchie, and starring Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Idris Elba and Tom Wilkinson.

It was filmed in London and released on September 5, 2008 in the United Kingdommarker, hitting #1 in the UK box office in its first week of release.


Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson) is a crime boss who calls the shots in London's underworld and real estate market. We learn all about Lenny from Archy (Mark Strong)—his second in command—who serves as the film's narrator. When a wealthy Russian real estate tycoon and organized crime figure by the name of Yuri Omovich (Karel Roden) looks to Lenny for help on a major new deal, Lenny is eager to assist (for a very large fee, of course). Yuri agrees to pay, and as a show of faith, he insists that Lenny borrow his "lucky" painting. Yuri then asks his accountant, Stella (Thandie Newton), to transfer the money to Lenny, but things quickly go awry when a band of thieves known as the The Wild Bunch consisting of One Two (Gerard Butler) and Mumbles (Idris Elba)—intercept the money before it reaches him (at the behest of Stella). To make matters worse, the lucky painting has mysteriously been stolen, and the number one suspect is Lenny's estranged stepson, crack-addicted rock star Johnny Quid, who is presumed dead. As Lenny desperately tries to locate the painting, Yuri calls in sadistic henchmen to recover his money.

In an attempt to find Johnny, Lenny and Archy enlist his former record producers Mickey (Ludacris) and Roman (Jeremy Piven) to track him down or else their concerts and clubs will be shut down. Meanwhile, Handsome Bob (Tom Hardy) is distraught on the night before his court case, he's scheduled to do a five year prison stretch. One Two organizes a party for Bob. On the way to the party, One Two tries to cheer Bob up to no avail. Bob then comes out to One Two, admitting to having a crush on One Two. One Two is mortified, but thinking that it's Bob's last night as a free man, asks him what exactly he'd like to do. The next day, One Two refuses to attend Bob's court hearing to the surprise of Mumbles. One Two uncomfortably tries to explain that something happened between him and Bob the previous night, when Mumbles scoffs that everyone knows that Bob is gay.

When One Two, Mumbles, and Bob try to steal the second installment of Yuri's money, they are assailed by Yuri's persistent hired mercenaries, who engage them in a shootout and lengthy foot chase. They nevertheless deliver the money to Stella as before. By this time, Yuri has grown impatient and suspicious, and he organizes a meeting with Lenny on a golf course, arriving with his associate. After what changes into a foul exchange of words, he then has Lenny viciously beaten, demanding that the painting be returned and the money delivered to him, leaving him crippled on the course. The ordeal sees Lenny bound to a wheelchair, now unable to walk. Meanwhile, two petty thief junkies steal the painting from Johnny and sell it to the Wild Bunch, whence it is given to One Two, who then gives it to Stella after they have sex. Mickey and Roman find Johnny and call Archy to have him delivered. After taking all three captive, Archy and Lenny's men go to apprehend One Two, who they find in the hands of Yuri's vengeful mercenaries. Archy and his men kill the mercenaries and kidnap One Two, Mumbles and Handsome Bob who have arrived to deliver the name of a previously unknown police informer that has been plaguing the underworld, and who was previously responsible for putting Archy in jail for four years.

Yuri arrives at Stella's house to seal their arrangements while also asking her to marry him, as he has been smitten with her for a long time. Immediately after, Yuri spots his lucky painting in Stella's living room. On being asked how long she's had it, Stella says she's had it for years, not knowing it's actually Yuri's. Betrayed and enraged, Yuri orders his associate inside.

Meanwhile, Archy brings Johnny, the Wild Bunch, Mickey and Roman to Lenny's warehouse where Johnny begins to verbally provoke his crippled father. Lenny then shoots Johnny in the stomach before he can finish what he says. Lenny then orders Johnny, Roman and Mickey be brought downstairs and executed. He then angrily demands that the Wild Bunch tell him where Yuri's money is. Handsome Bob then suddenly calls out to Archy and offers Archy the documents in his jacket pocket which reveals to Archie the rat, code named "Sidney Shaw", was Lenny all along. Lenny had arranged with the police to routinely throw many of his associates in prison for years at a time in order to secure his own freedom. One Two, Mumbles and even Archy are among the people Lenny has ratted on over the years. With the information brought to light, Archy, enraged beyond belief at Lenny's treachery, orders Lenny's men to free the Wild Bunch and oversees Lenny's painful execution.

In the meantime, Johnny informs Mickey and Roman how they will be executed, prompting Lenny's man to move prematurely. Mickey and Roman intervene and kill their guard and then Johnny shoots two more men waiting at the top of the elevator. The Wild Bunch save them from the last remaining henchman (One-Two knocks him out from behind) and they all escape.

Some time later, Archy picks up a rehabilitated but still eccentric Johnny Quid from the hospital. Archy offers Yuri's lucky painting to Johnny as a peace offering and "welcome home present", which Johnny happily accepts. Archy reveals to Johnny that obtaining the painting "cost a very wealthy Russian an arm and a leg." The film closes with Johnny proclaiming that with his new freedom, he will do what he couldn't do before: "become a real RocknRolla". The end credits reveal that there will be a sequel titled "The Real RocknRolla" and also that One Two and Bob had merely close danced together on the night before Bob's court hearing.


A scheduling conflict prevented director Guy Ritchie from casting actor Jason Statham, who appeared in three of his films.


In May 2007, director Guy Ritchie announced the production of RocknRolla, a film with a similar theme to two of his previous films, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000). RocknRolla, written by Ritchie, was produced by Joel Silver's Dark Castle Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros..The following June, Ritchie hired the cast for RocknRolla, and filming began on location in London on 19 June 2007.


Track listing

United Kingdom edition
  1. "Dialogue Clip: People Ask The Question" by Mark Strong
  2. "I'm a Man" by Black Strobe
  3. "Have Love, Will Travel" by The Sonics
  4. "Dialogue Clip: No School Like The Old School" by Various Artists
  5. "Bankrobber" by The Clash
  6. "The Trip" by Kim Fowley
  7. "Dialogue Clip: Slap Him!" by Various Artists
  8. "Ruskies" by Steve Isles
  9. "Outlaw" by War
  10. "Waiting for a Train" by Flash And The Pan
  11. "Dialogue Clip: Junkies" by Various Artists
  12. "Rock & Roll Queen" by The Subways
  13. "The Gun" by Lou Reed
  14. "The Stomp" by The Hives
  15. "We Had Love" by The Scientists
  16. "Dialogue Clip: Sausage & Beans" by Various Artists
  17. "Mirror in the Bathroom" by The Beat
  18. "Funnel Of Love" by Wanda Jackson
  19. "Such A Fool" by 22-20s
  20. "Dopilsya" by EX SEKTOR GAZA
  21. "Negra Leono" by Miguelito Valdes


Critical response

Critical reaction to the film has been mixed, with 59% positive out of 134 reviews on the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.The website Metacritic, which compiles and then aggregates major film critics' reviews, gave the film a 53 out of 100, which is categorized as having mixed or average reviews.

Chris Tilly of IGN UK gave the film a positive review with four out of five stars, saying "He's hardly re-inventing the wheel with this movie, but RocknRolla is nonetheless a comedy thriller that is every bit as accomplished as his early work, and without doubt a witty, adrenalin-fuelled blast from start to finish."Roger Ebert gave the film three stars, stating that "It never slows down enough to be really good, and never speeds up enough to be the Bourne Mortgage Crisis, but there's one thing for sure: British actors love playing gangsters as much as American actors love playing cowboys, and it's always nice to see people having fun."

By contrast Peter Bradshaw writing in The Guardian, awarded it one out of five stars and mocked the film's gangster dialogue writing, "I mean, Mr Ritchie: this genra: it's ova. I mean, doing yet anotha stinka of a drama about the mee-lee-a of the ersatz London gangsta? You're taking the piss – intcha?"

Box office

The film hit #1 at the UK box office in its first week of release.

The film did well internationally taking a total gross of US$25,728,089 worldwide.


Thandie Newton revealed Guy Ritchie stated he hopes to extend RocknRolla into a trilogy if the film receives enough positive attention.At the end of the film there is a title card stating "Johnny, Archy and the Wild Bunch will be back in The Real RocknRolla". According to the audio commentary, the second film has been written and is awaiting studio approval.


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