First trailer for Ian McKellen's new thriller The Critic

ian mckellen, the critic
First trailer for Ian McKellen's The CriticTrue Brit Entertainment

The Critic, the new film starring Sir Ian McKellen, has unveiled its tense first trailer.

The thriller, adapted by Oscar nominated writer Patrick Marber from the Anthony Quinn novel Curtain Call, sees the veteran actor play Jimmy Erskine, a renowned theatre critic in 1930s London who becomes embroiled in a web of tension with actress Nina Land (Gemma Arterton).

The trailer shows the immaculate recreation of the capital in the 30s, with the story beginning as Jimmy ridicules Nina for her latest performance. After being warned about his conduct, Jimmy soon finds his personal life being scrutinised, leading him to hatch a plan of revenge.

ian mckellen, the critic
True Brit Entertainment

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In addition to McKellen and Arterton, the stacked cast also includes Mark Strong, Lesley Manville, Ramola Garai, Ben Barnes and Nikesh Patel. Anand Tucker is on directing duties.

"Jimmy Erskine (McKellen) is the most feared and famous theatre critic in 1930s London, saving his most savage takedowns for Nina Land (Arterton), an already unsure leading lady," reads the logline.

"He takes pleasure in ritually tearing her down, a practice that has further eroded her fragile sense of confidence. As a gay man forever at the mercy of laws that prohibit his very existence, Jimmy is living life on the edge while showboating his flamboyance in writing."

ian mckellen, alfred enoch, the critic
True Brit Entertainment

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However, when Jimmy gets a new boss in the form of Strong's character, he is warned to tone down his cattiness to avoid upsetting the new head of the newspaper.

In response, he comes up with a cunning plan - which leads to "terrible consequences".

The film had its world premiere last year at the Toronto International Film Festival, with the thriller opening to mixed reviews as it scored a 47% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes from its first 19 reviews.

The Critic is in cinemas on September 13.

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