Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 24
  2. Negative: 3 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    May 30, 2014
    This one starts at the level of lunacy and keeps on escalating. Next to Filth, "Trainspotting" looks as sedate as "The Polar Express."
  2. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Oct 4, 2013
    I loved every minute of Filth, and couldn’t have stomached another second of it.
  3. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    Oct 1, 2013
    This punky adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel Filth is a glossary of grimness, a dictionary of darkness. But it also dishes up humour that’s blacker than a winter’s night in the Highlands and unpolished anarchy that’s true to Welsh’s out-there, frighteningly frank prose.
  4. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    Sep 30, 2013
    A bulked-up James McAvoy dominates the screen in this razor-sharp Glasgow smile of a black comedy, packed with aberrant sex, hard drugs and maximum David Soul.
  5. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    Sep 26, 2013
    With McAvoy acting as if his life depends on it, Filth is the Irvine Welsh film we’ve been waiting years for. Tastier than a deep-fried Mars Bar.
  6. Reviewed by: Stephen Dalton
    Sep 24, 2013
    Baird can be forgiven for a handful of careless and ham-fisted touches. Filth is still a hugely entertaining breath of foul air fueled by McAvoy’s impressively ugly star performance.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    May 29, 2014
    Even when the film falls to pieces, McAvoy's bonkers brilliance will blow you away.
  8. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    May 28, 2014
    Writer-director Jon S. Baird has devilish fun with the hilarious black-comic elements of Irvine Welsh’s novel, but the incessant bad behavior does get a wee bit monotonous, and the twist ending is disappointingly pat.
  9. 75
    James McAvoy wallows in it in his new film, Filth. He embraces the sexual depravity, the drug and alcohol abuse, the bullying, vile language, racism and rank sexism of being a Scottish cop on the loose.
  10. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    Nov 2, 2013
    Powered by a vigorous, image-shedding lead turn from James McAvoy as a coked-up Edinburgh detective on the fast track to either promotion or self-implosion, this descent into Scotch-marinated madness begins as ugly comedy, segues almost imperceptibly into farcical tragedy, and inevitably — perhaps intentionally — loses control in the process.
  11. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    Oct 21, 2013
    When it comes to capturing some of the gonzo, amoral, substance-fueled verve that Welsh’s novels can display, Filth can take the silver medal with its head held relatively high.
  12. Reviewed by: Nick Prigge
    May 26, 2014
    Ultimately, the film is too nihilistic to believe its protagonist can be saved, declaring him a lost soul and satisfied to let him suffer.
  13. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jun 5, 2014
    Taking the bad-cop genre to the extreme, Filth lives up to its title and then some, but a no-holds performance by James McAvoy is reason enough to watch.
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    May 29, 2014
    Director Jon S. Baird lets Welsh’s language fill up the room, even when it’s a wee bit hard to fathom.
  15. Reviewed by: Andrew Lapin
    Apr 28, 2014
    Filth is bolstered by a gonzo performance from McAvoy, who seems determined to out-Bad Lieutenant the American Bad Lieutenants.
  16. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    May 31, 2014
    Watching the movie is at once electrifying and maddening.
  17. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    May 29, 2014
    The best you can say about the over-the-top Filth is that it's a brisk wallow, with enough elbow room to marvel at McAvoy's sinkhole aria of a performance.
  18. Reviewed by: Josh Kupecki
    Jun 4, 2014
    Filth seeks to eventually gain your sympathies, tricking you to care about a character who’s just dragged you through the gutter of human depravity for the last 90 minutes, only to offer up an absolution that, while attempting to be dark and edgy, is just flat and unconvincing.
  19. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    May 29, 2014
    After a certain point, watching it is like listening to the ravings of an increasingly incoherent and abusive drunk.
  20. Reviewed by: Abby Garnett
    May 27, 2014
    A self-aware psychopath is a tough character to humanize, especially when he's mired in a stylized jumble of comedy and tragedy.
  21. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Oct 5, 2013
    For the first half-hour it's got a full-on horrible energy, but there isn't enough humour for it to qualify as comedy, and not enough reality or plausible characterisation to justify calling it any sort of procedural noir.
  22. Reviewed by: John Semley
    May 29, 2014
    Stylistically, Baird seems keen to position Filth as a spiritual sequel to "Trainspotting."
  23. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    May 30, 2014
    Rather than a how-sweet-to-be-a-lout story that turns semi-cautionary, Filth attempts to depict genuine madness.
  24. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    May 28, 2014
    Like all of the very worst dark comedies, Jon S. Baird’s insipid and self-satisfied Filth isn’t content to merely tap into viewers’ most odious desires. It also insist that it’s revealing them.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 52 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Oct 22, 2014
    This was exactly as i hoped another adaption of an Irvine Welsh novel would be after thoroughly enjoying both Trainspotting (film) and EcstasyThis was exactly as i hoped another adaption of an Irvine Welsh novel would be after thoroughly enjoying both Trainspotting (film) and Ecstasy (book). Although it began quite averagely with some obvious humour and contained a bit too much sexual content for my partner, the film gets better and better as it goes on as does the portrayal by McAvoy. By the end it is clear that this was yet another excellent adaption. Full Review »
  2. Oct 4, 2014
    Fantastic movie.Just watch it...........................Fantastic movie.Just watch it........................... ................................................................................................ Full Review »
  3. Aug 17, 2014
    James McAvoy is outstanding here..Its a coarse vulgar and difficult to comprehend. An odd plot in the trainspotting mode. Its adapted from anJames McAvoy is outstanding here..Its a coarse vulgar and difficult to comprehend. An odd plot in the trainspotting mode. Its adapted from an Irvine Welsh book. Hes a bit of an odd fish to be sure. Not for the faint hearted but definitely worth a go. Full Review »