3 Steps to Heaven (1995) from Tuna

3 Steps to Heaven is a 1995 TV movie from the UK which has finally come to DVD in 2005, after having virtually disappeared in the interim.

Katrin Cartlidge plays a middle-aged Londoner having an affair with a young man, who turns up dead in the river. She decides to revenge his death, and starts investigating his last night starting with a nightclub. She determines the identity of the last three people to see him alive, and surmises that they killed him. Her three targets include a wealthy drug addict who's into the mob for a lot of money, an aging TV actress, and a bisexual MP in big trouble over a sex scandal. As a killer, Cartlidge is totally inept. That turns out to be a good thing, because she's equally inept as a detective.

This film was either intended as a dark comedy, or a thriller. Whether it was intended as a comedy or not, the laughs seemed unintentional, and I found myself laughing at the filmmakers, rather than at the material. It also was not especially thrilling. As one reviewer put it:

"At times, the film follows a fairly realistic path. However, other times is swerves into the ludicrous with a hit man that dances ballet before throwing his victim off a building and a local politician who acts simultaneously brazen and ashamed at his public outing."

Cartlidge shows full frontal and rear nudity, which I applaud, but there's nothing else of interest here and overall it seems amateurish.



  • widescreen


Katrin Cartlidge shows full frontal and rear nudity

There is also male full-frontal nudity

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online


The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 6.1/10, but based on only 46 votes.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a D+. There's no good reason to watch it except for Katrin Cartlidge's nudity.

Return to the Movie House home page