The 51st State (18)

IT IS easily one of the best movies of the year.

If you can imagine blending Trainspotting, True Romance, Die Hard and Goodfellas together and then adding three heaped tablespoons of humour, you have got the gist.

Director Ronnie Yu has gone full steam ahead, doubling his $25 million budget by creating a movie that shines on every level.

There is an unbeatable car chase, some incredibly violent scenes that are disturbingly hilarious, a number of breathtaking stunts, a cool chick on a bike and an underlying football theme that actually works.

And then there's the acting, ahh, the acting.

Samuel L Jackson and Robert Carlyle may be an unlikely pair but make possibly the best comedy duo of our time.

Jackson is Elmo McElroy, a master chemist on the run from a LA drug tsar played by Meat Loaf.

Elmo has concocted a hallucinogenic drug made from products that can be bought over the counter and he heads off to Liverpool in a kilt to sell it to the highest bidder.

But Meat Loaf isn't going to let him get away that easy and hires top hit woman Dakota (Emily Mortimer) to get on his case.

Things get slightly messy following a comic misunderstanding, and anti-American Felix DeSouza (Robert Carlyle) and the giant Elmo are forced to team up in true See No Evil Hear No Evil style.

Then we head off to a rave scene to enhance the love aspect, develop the drug scene a la Trainspotting and witness some fantastic acting by drug baron Iki (Rhys Ifans), before ending in an almost Reservoir Dogs-style conclusion in an executive suite at a footie match.

There are as many twists, turns, highs and lows as the streets of San Francisco.

You will be battling with your morals as you laugh at some incredibly gruesome scenes, but leave the cinema feeling like you have finally seen something worth raving about.