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Fantastic Fest 23’ “Jackdaw” - movie review

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

Action films from the UK are experiencing a resurgence, and at HMU, we are thrilled to witness this revival. Fantastic Fest has become the stage for showcasing the talents of filmmakers like Jamie Childs, who are representing their homeland with outstanding works such as "JACKDAW." This film, reminiscent of "Road Warrior" but with a motocross bike twist, takes us through the gritty streets of the UK, from Leeds to Teeside, where the stakes are high, and every wrong move could prove costly. In "JACKDAW," we follow a man who is willing to risk it all to save his brother, and it concludes with an unexpected twist that will leave you in awe.

Oliver Jackson-Cohen shines in the role of a man on a mission, determined to change his life and support his brother, who has Down syndrome. However, when he takes a job for quick cash, he is thrust back into the very world he has been desperately trying to leave behind. Bikes dominate the film's transportation landscape, but the inclusion of an 80's Nissan 300zx adds a unique flavor. Speed is a central theme in "JACKDAW," and the pulsating score accompanies each scene with precision.

"JACKDAW" evokes a sense of nostalgia, blending the relentless, over-the-top action of a Cannon film with the endurance of an Australian outback thriller. It's important to remember that this film hails from the UK, where things are done differently, and loyalty is paramount. You'll find it impossible to look away from the visceral and thrilling journey of our main character. If "JACKDAW" had been released alongside the American crime classic "ROBOCOP," it would have felt right at home. "JACKDAW" isn't just a movie; it's an experience. Oliver delivers a fantastic performance, and Jenna Coleman's contribution is noteworthy. However, the true standout is Joe Blakemore, who consistently nails every moment in the film.

One thing is clear: the UK is in good hands with Jamie Childs at the helm. Hopefully, "JACKDAW," a film close to the heart of another aspiring filmmaker from across the pond, will serve as inspiration. The UK has produced many fantastic crime thriller action films, and "JACKDAW" is a welcome addition. Pulsating and engaging from start to finish, "JACKDAW" is a high-octane action thriller guaranteed to leave a smile on your face.


JACKDAW is directed by Jamie Childs and stars Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Jenna Coleman Thomas Turgoose and Joe Blakemore.

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