5LBS OF PRESSURE is a new thriller that is extremely character-driven in all the right ways. There’s a tense and intense vibe throughout, letting you know that this will surely end in disaster. Read our full 5lbs of Pressure movie review here!

5LBS OF PRESSURE is a new thriller out in theaters and on demand in the US and Canada. I was caught up in all the drama from the beginning. The very character-driven thriller is made in a way that there will undoubtedly be some characters you relate to more than others. Or, at the very least, is more interested in!

From very early on, there’s the sense that this world of crime will end in violence and absolute disaster. The question isn’t if someone will die, but rather it’s a question of how many. The runtime is 1 hour and 49 minutes, which I thought would be too long, but it worked well for the story told.

Continue reading our 5lbs of Pressure movie review below. Find it in theaters and on digital/demand from March 8, 2024.

Forgiveness versus grief

In 5lbs of Pressure, we meet Adam (Luke Evans) as he tries to get back to his old life. He’s an ex-con returning to his old neighborhood. Unfortunately, this is also the scene of his crime. He served 16 years for a murder he committed on the streets he now walks freely on.

And he’s allowed to, but he also comes directly into contact with all the mess he left behind. From the son, Jimmy (Rudy Pankow), who grew up without him to his former girlfriend (Stephanie Leonidas), and the volatile brother of the man killed. Adam may be desperate to leave behind his mistakes, but the world around him doesn’t forget quite that easily.

We also meet Mike (Rory Culkin) who is tired of working for his drug-dealing uncle (Alex Pettyfer). Mike thinks he could do better on his own, and when Adam and Mike’s paths cross unexpectedly, violence comes next.

Is there still a chance of redemption for any of the people we meet?

Side note: I have to mention that the math of this movie doesn’t quite hold up with the age of Luke Evans. As someone who truly adores Luke Evans as an actor, the years mentioned in 5lbs of Pressure would mean his character is in his early 30s.

Luke Evans is a gorgeous man, but he is ten years older – and wiser, I’m sure – and he both looks and embraces his age.

5lbs of Pressure (2024) – Review | Action-Thriller

What does the title refer to?

You know that moment when the title is mentioned in a movie? Or when it suddenly makes sense somehow?! Well, for 5lbs of Pressure that moment comes fairly early on. A character is looking at guns and while having a weapon pointed at him, the man holding the gun mentions that it requires just five pounds of pressure to pull the trigger.

It’s a quick moment, but it’s also foreshadowing if I’ve ever witnessed it.

You just know that if the title of this action-thriller refers to what it takes to pull a trigger, then said trigger will most certainly come into play later. And it does. Of course, it does!

Also, the title refers to something writer-director Phil Allocco came across. A selling point for a Glock was that the 5lbs of pressure wouldn’t “throw off your aim”.

The actual story of the movie was also inspired by an experience from his childhood. Someone held him at gunpoint for hours before letting him go. That very same young man shot and killed a man a week later. I can certainly understand why this moment made it into 5lbs of Pressure as it must have been a life-changing experience.

Watch 5lbs of Pressure in theaters or on digital

Filmmaker Phil Allocco (The Truth About Lies) is the writer and director of 5lbs of Pressure and delivers powerful storytelling. While you could just watch this as a simple action-thriller that entertains, the story does go quite a lot deeper.

Dealing with topics such as pride, ignorance, toxic masculinity, and guns in neighborhoods, where no one is surprised when yet another life is taken is brutal. The repeating cycle must be broken, and at the end of this movie, I feel like it does happen for at least one or two characters. At the very least, it’s very possible!

It also deals with grief, regret, forgiveness, and even hope. The topics covered require the audience to relate to both the victims and the perpetrators. Even asking yourself: What would I do in their situation? Of course, this in itself is far from uncommon.

However, getting under the skin of someone who did a terrible thing – yet clearly isn’t a terrible person – does make a difference. Does this mean he should be forgiven? I’m not the judge of that, but it did make me consider the options. And I’m usually more of a revenge-driven person, so it certainly struck a nerve for me.

5lbs of Pressure is out In Theaters, On Digital, and On Demand in the US & Canada on March 8, 2024.


Director: Phil Allocco
Writer: Phil Allocco
Stars: Luke Evans, Rory Culkin, Alex Pettyfer, Rudy Pankow, Stephanie Leonidas, Savannah Steyn, Lorraine Burroughs


In this action-thriller, an ex-con back in his old neighborhood walking the path of forgiveness crosses destinies with an unhappy drug dealer, resulting in violence…and redemption.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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