Retired bank robber Gary Dove (Winstone) and his wife, Deedee (Redman), a former porn star, live a modest but happy life on the sun-dappled Mediterranean, far from their erstwhile criminal callings. But Gary's idyllic existence is shattered when he's paid an unwelcome visit by Don Logan (Kingsley), a cold, iron-willed former associate who wants Gary for the new team he's assembled to pull off a tricky, extremely lucrative heist — and who won't take no for an answer.
Glazer's witty, excoriating debut thriller is more a tense portrait of psychological warfare than a straight-up heist film, though he delivers that aspect with stylish flair, too. The battle of wills, of course, centers on Gary's refusal to bend to the wishes of Don, a compact but intimidating villain who badgers, browbeats, and sadistically mocks Gary, unleashing every ounce of bile and fury he can muster, like a psychotic bull dog from hell. You've never seen the "Gandhi" star so satanically explosive! Also aces are the bearish Winstone and "Deadwood"'s Ian McShane, as a mob boss planning the London robbery. Raucous, kinetic, and visually inventive to boot, "Sexy Beast" is everything you could want in a modern-day gangster film.