Complete A-Z list

Ill Manors


Stars: Riz Ahmed, Ed Skrein, Natalie Press, Lee Allen, Anouska Mond, Dannielle Brent, Martin Serene, Nick Sagar, Mem Ferda

Director: Ben Drew

Seemingly overwrought to begin with, this debut feature by Drew, alias the performer Plan B, impresses as you get further into its multi-thread story. If you're prepared for a battery of 18-certificate elements, including multiple uses of the c-word, this story of two-bit East End gangsters will probably draw you in as it progresses.

Its denizens are drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes, as well as kids flirting with the criminal element and, in one case, even killing to keep in with their new mentors. Violence is everywhere and the fist is faster than the tongue.

The film does go on a tad too long, seguing into the story that will tie its characters together at a late stage, when the narrative seems practically to have climaxed. When the main protagonist, Aaron (Ahmed) is left with a baby on a train by a distraught mother, a hooker on the lam from Russian hoods, the story almost takes a different tack altogether, and some villains become reluctant heroes before the end.

Naturalistic performances go with the flow of dialogue that contains 'innits' and cusswords galore, but the feeling that these really are dangerous characters is realistically conveyed by the first-time director. One just hopes he'll try something a little different next time.

David Quinlan

UK 2012. UK Distributor: Revolver. Colour (unspecified).
115 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 3, Swearing 3.

Review date: 03 Jun 2012