Short, sharp and tough as nails. Bill (Jeremy Theobald) is a scruffy, unemployed writer and self-described "follower": He likes to pick strangers out of a crowd and follow them around the streets of London, learning what he can about the details of their lives. It's not quite stalking, but it's also not the healthiest way to pass the time. Bill's voyeurism becomes downright dangerous when he starts tailing a handsome, smart-dressed fellow carrying a large satchel. The game, it turns out, is one Mr. Cobb (Alex Haw), a smooth-talking cat-burglar who also likes to peek inside people's lives, though his m.o. leans to breaking and entering. Cobb confronts his stalker, and the tables are suddenly turned: Bill is plunged into a life of petty crime while at the same time entangling himself in the sticky web of a cool, hard-boiled blonde (Lucy Russell) who, like everyone and everything else in the picture, is not exactly what she seems. Writer-director Christopher Nolan may be British, but his feet are firmly grounded in American movies, specifically the poverty-row noirs of the 1940s. Shot for next to nothing in grainy black-and-white and running just a little over an hour, this taut, 100% fat-free flick recalls such compact, hard-hitting crime thrillers as DETOUR, IMPACT and THE HOLLOW TRIUMPH. Like the best of them, Nolan's film twists and turns under a heavy cloud of fatalism, thanks to a tricky, triple-tiered flashback structure that lets you know right off the bat that none of this is going to end happily. After the recent plague of FULL MONTY wannabes, this edgy little bit of nastiness is a good reason to start getting excited about British movies all over again.