Though the film oozes with swagger and plenty of color (both literally and figuratively), what it boils down to is a character study in shades of grey. Because as entertaining as it is to watch Law chew his way through scene after scene — and it is mesmerizing to listen to his vivid ramblings and watch him channel his character's narcissistic rage into vitriolic outbursts of bravado — Dom Hemingway's plot is rather flat, with a storyline that doesn't do much to gussy up the well-worn trope of an ex-con looking to make good with his estranged daughter. Writer/director Richard Shepard (most recently known for his work on HBO's Girls) succeeds in adding some dimensionality to the narrative, by punctuating it with chapter headings that range from the semi-colorful to quite matter-of-fact — like 'A Weekend in the Countryside Amongst Thieves' and '12 Years is a Long Time' — but it's ultimately the performances that make the picture. Thankfully, Law is at the top of his game — churning out a blustery portrayal, tinged with glimpses of self-loathing. And he's complemented by stellar turns from Grant, Clarke and the rest of the cast, all serving to bring to light the different aspects of Dom's personality.
3.5 out of 5. This is probably Jude Law's most animated performance, and it's entirely his show. Storywise, the film feels rather thin, but its strength lies in how Law transforms an unlikeable, one-dimensional character (at the outset) into one that we can fully sympathize with.