ill Manors

ill Manors

A unique crime thriller set on the unforgiving streets of London, ill Manors follows six disparate lives, all struggling to survive the circles of violence that engulf them. 2.6 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
ill Manors

Omniscore:

Certificate 18
Genre Drama
Director Ben Drew
Cast Ed Skrein, Natalie Press, Riz Ahmed
Studio Revolver
Release Date June 2012
Running Time 121 mins
 

A unique crime thriller set on the unforgiving streets of London, ill Manors follows six disparate lives, all struggling to survive the circles of violence that engulf them.

Reviews

The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

There is so much music it’s like a Brecht opera gone rap. But Drew no sooner lures you into thinking you are being lectured, even harangued – sold into didacticism with a song – than he opens up more levels of humanity ... In this film, when you fear the worst, you often get it. Alternatively, when you fear you are being express-railed into melodrama, Drew switches points and diverts you into dark farce.

08/06/2012

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Time Out

Cath Clarke

There are plenty of flaws here, but instinctively ‘Ill Manors’ feels important – like some British films of the 1980s that spoke of a generation out of work and out of hope. Today’s problems feel more serious (or do we always think that in hard times?). Everyone’s talking about Plan Bs at the moment. I’m not sure this Plan B has all the answers, but he sure as hell knows the problem.

06/06/2012

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The Times

Kate Muir

Drew’s description of his movie as “my kind of British Godfather” is a little over the top. The story covers much well-worn territory, and the dialogue can be clunky. One scene, involving a flying baby, had viewers in fits of (inappropriate) laughter.

08/06/2012

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Total Film

Josh Winning

There are a few ‘first film’ slips; coincidences pile up, some of the grimness tests plausibility and the flaming finale really belongs in an EastEnders Christmas special.

04/05/2012

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Empire Magazine

Anna Smith

Characters are jostling for space, so this mainly emotes through dramatic events. You can take a guess at motivations, but a bit more background wouldn’t hurt. It’s also hard to get a grip on the film’s direction, especially if you come to it blind. Just as things appear to be wrapping up, another soul’s plight is introduced and the air of impending doom is renewed afresh. This doesn’t have the confident signalling of other episodic films, where you’re in no doubt that there are still stories be told — and you’re eager to hear them, rather than faintly nervous about what horrors await.

05/06/2012

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The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

If Ill Manors is heightened real life, it is not full of the usual clichés and has a visual and aural flair you have to admire. Clearly there’s much promise here; better may follow.

08/06/2012

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The New Statesman

Ryan Gilbey

A special relish reserved for violence and sexual humiliation, cut together in excitable montages, betrays the immaturity of the storytelling style. The pop-video interludes are stubbornly uncinematic; you don’t need to be Robert McKee to see that these backstories crassly packaged as lyrics (“She was once a princess/Now she’s a mess/Sexually abused as a child . . .”) don’t do the job of screenwriting. As for a film that begins by warning viewers that they are in for a harrowing ride – well, can’t we be the judge of that? There are uncomfortable scenes, to be sure, but by the time a junkie dozes off in front of a three-bar fire with a child locked in the next room, the film has strayed into parody.

31/05/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

A film that takes the “com” out of “uncompromising”. iLL Manors is hard-hitting in all the worst ways, like being repeatedly thumped by a randomly furious street hawker. What Drew is mainly selling is his own reputation as a poet of the disaffected, but we needn’t buy it. Not on this evidence.

07/06/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

With Britain currently euphoric about the Jubilee and the Olympics, and indulging in an orgy of red-white-and-blue, this would certainly be the moment for Drew to puncture the complacency, and talk again about something that the officialdom is so strenuously trying to forget: the riots. His original track was praised for saying something powerful and committed about the disorder. Frankly the film doesn't; or at least only very cautiously and indirectly, in the sense that it shows the poverty, alienation and despair that arguably created the conditions for violence. Some TV footage at the very beginning alludes to the riots, and a melodramatic moment at the end may be a fictional transformation of one famous news photo.

08/06/2012

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The Independent

Geoffrey MacNab

Effective in showing the deprivation and violence that face the urban underclass in Britain. Individual scenes are shocking and powerful. Nonetheless, by the final reel, as a baby is caught in a blazing fire, an already overwrought film strays fatally into the realm of Victorian melodrama.

08/06/2012

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

In its own way, the directorial debut of multi-tasking musician/actor/cider shill Ben Drew is as bad as Madonna’s W.E. Ludicrously overblown, stylised to within an inch of its life and loaded with every visual cliché in the book, it would be laugh-out-loud funny were it not so relentlessly and unpleasantly grim. A sort of London gangster-flavoured hip-hop soap opera, it cuts together multiple intersecting tales from “Cameron’s broken Britain” with the kind of nuance you’d expect to find on The Jeremy Kyle Show (something the characters smugly reference).

07/06/2012

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

Dexter Fletcher’s Wild Bill earlier this year was a reminder that the British gangster genre still has life in it; that film was fresh, funny and ingenious. Ill Manors is poorly made and self-indulgently long at nearly two hours. Its sense of hectoring self-importance is deeply alienating and, frankly, ill-mannered. Plan B’s film is so awful he should now be contemplating Plan C.

08/06/2012

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