Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jun 2, 2011
    You don't have to believe all of it - or even any of it - to enjoy the rascally charms of Mr. Nice.
  2. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jun 30, 2011
    Rhys Ifans is an engaging protagonist, playing Marks as a passive and seemingly unflappable character whose iron nerve and ability to keep cool in a crisis get him out of more than one desperate situation.
  3. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Jun 3, 2011
    You don't have to be stoned to watch Mr. Nice, but it might help to be in the same state of mind as its real-life anti-hero, drug kingpin Howard Marks.
  4. Reviewed by: Ben Mercer
    Jun 1, 2011
    Though told here with appealing drollness, Marks's story makes an odd vessel for the filmmakers' casually advanced legalization arguments, what with its mischief making on the grandest scale possible.
  5. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Jun 2, 2011
    The result is a film that's long and choppy, with little narrative momentum. And yet at times, Mr. Nice is frustratingly close to brilliant.
  6. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jun 3, 2011
    So what we're left with is a sort of contact high, drifting gently over to our seats in the back row.
  7. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Jun 2, 2011
    An affable throwback to those guilt-free days when hippie drug dealers radiated the glamorous aura of avant-garde heroes risking prison to spread the doctrine of liberation through cannabis.
  8. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Jun 1, 2011
    A solid, often entertaining life-of-crimer which benefits from some stylistic touches and a faithful, convincing central performance.
  9. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Jul 14, 2011
    The film is built as a series of (possibly tall) tales that don't add up to a plot, a theme or a purpose.
  10. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Sep 8, 2011
    There's too much narration and too many drug-movie cliches.
  11. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Jun 1, 2011
    Mildly amusing but overly discursive.
  12. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    May 31, 2011
    Writer-director Bernard Rose effectively conjoures an atompshere of poetic stoned-1960s British rebellion, a feeling of woozy, intoxicating possibility that will not-so-eventually be squashed.
  13. Reviewed by: John P. McCarthy
    Jun 5, 2011
    Mr. Nice is hampered by tonal timidity and the inability to find a sufficiently entertaining through-line in Marks' life story.
  14. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    May 31, 2011
    This boppy biopic pushes a wealth of outrageous incidents while never making anything resembling a point.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Feb 9, 2013
    I don’t know whether it was deliberate or not, but I found the picture quality very poor. It may have been to make it look more like a period piece, but more likely it was the best the budget would allow. I thought Rhys Ifans did an excellent job, although he never seems to age all through the film! I loved the small part David Thewlis played; the mad-cap Irishman was just brilliant. As to the plot; well I found it far too sympathetic to Marks; not surprising since it was based on his book I hear you say. But I would have thought the filmmakers would have put a little balance in there; what effect did all the drugs he sold all over the world have? How many innocent lives were affected? All this seemed inconsequential and probably explains why, despite some excellent performances, the film didn’t perform very well both at the box office and also critically. For me, whilst I enjoyed the performances, I found it a little too self-indulgent.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED (…Just)

    My score: 5.8/10.
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 15, 2011
    Mr. Nice starts out with a bang. Howard's (Rhys Ifans) journey from scrappy student, to Cambridge outsider, to the drug trade is touching, hilarious, and exciting. Elsa Pataky (the local cop in "Fast Five"), by the way, is terrific - she needs to be in more starring roles. But the downward spiral from about halfway through to the end of the film is FAR too strung out. It needed to be edited way down. So yes, it's worth seeing, but it's a little too bloated for my taste. Full Review »