In Review

Film review: The Outfit 

Mark Rylance thriller set in a tailor’s shop in Chicago

“If, like me, you’re a fan of old-timey gangster flicks, this twisty, enjoyable new film starring Mark Rylance is probably going to scratch that itch,” said Christina Newland in The i Paper. The film is set in 1950s Chicago and features “warring mobs, shoot-outs, rats and double-crosses galore”. The action itself is limited to one location: a tailor’s shop in which Rylance, known to customers as “English”, plies his trade. A former Savile Row cutter, he now makes suits for local gangsters. 

When Richie (Dylan O’Brien), the son of mob boss Roy (Simon Russell Beale), appears in the shop one night, bleeding from a gunshot wound, English is caught in the middle of a gang war that turns his shop into a temporary mob HQ. The script is superb, and while the visuals are bland and some of the cast a little uneven, the story is “sure to keep viewers enthralled”. 

“You can wait for a great Mark Rylance performance all year long and then – like double-decker buses – two come along,” said Tom Shone in The Sunday Times. The actor was “sublime” as an amateur golfer in last month’s The Phantom of the Open, and he’s “mesmerising” in this crime thriller, too. From the first few frames, as we watch him “brew a pot of tea, oil his shears and begin cutting fabric”, you can tell the role was “tailor-made” for him. 

Yes, Rylance is on “quietly compelling” form, said Matthew Bond in The Mail on Sunday, but his performance doesn’t save this play-like film from its many flaws. For one thing, the plot twists “struggle to convince”; for another, there are simply “too many British actors playing American”. Debut director Graham Moore’s “single-set thriller” is a “brave experiment”, but sadly it’s one that “doesn’t altogether work”.

Recommended

A weekend in Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne Bridge and the River Tyne in Newcastle
The big trip

A weekend in Newcastle upon Tyne

Properties of the week: dreamy Italian homes for under €1m
Six gorgeous homes
The wish list

Properties of the week: dreamy Italian homes for under €1m

Nato’s renaissance: how the world’s most powerful military alliance has taken centre stage
Long table of men at Nato summit
In Depth

Nato’s renaissance: how the world’s most powerful military alliance has taken centre stage

Curtailing abortion rights: will Republicans rue their victory?
Students protest anti-abortion measures
Talking point

Curtailing abortion rights: will Republicans rue their victory?

Popular articles

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

Inside Adelaide Cottage: the guesthouse tipped to be Prince William and Kate’s new home
William and Kate
In Depth

Inside Adelaide Cottage: the guesthouse tipped to be Prince William and Kate’s new home

Caroline Watt: where is Rebekah Vardy’s missing agent?
Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice
Profile

Caroline Watt: where is Rebekah Vardy’s missing agent?

The Week Footer Banner