The Legend of Barney Thomson

Out Now On-Demand

Black comedy about Barney (Robert Carlyle, who also directs) - a downtrodden barber who, after an accidental killing, turns to his fierce mother for help. Co-stars Ray Winstone and Emma Thompson.

"Based on a novel by Douglas Lindsay – the first of seven books about Barney Thomson... Emma Thompson is a revelation as the mother, complete with Glaswegian accent and a serious amount of make-up to help transform her into a truly memorable character. The strong cast also includes Ray Winstone (as a fish-out-of-water London copper exasperated by his Scottish police colleagues), Martin Compston (as one of Bobby’s hairdresser rivals) and veteran actor Tom Courtenay (as the police chief baffled by a serial killer who is mailing body parts from a series of different Scottish tourist spots)." (Edinburgh Film Festival)


Directed by

Written by

Comedy, Crime


UK, Canada

Official Site

Telegraph (UK)


Deliciously macabre.

Hollywood Reporter


Barber-noir wields a less-than-razor-sharp comic edge.

Variety (USA)


Emma Thompson is the true legend in Robert Carlyle's amusing but uneven directorial debut.

Guardian (UK)


Carlyle keeps on top of the story’s increasingly deranged twists and turns, even if the Tarantino-esque mix of gore and comedy clashes oddly with more studied moments of localism.

Empire (UK)


Merrily gruesome black comedy.