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Ill Manors (18)

Ill Manors (18)


We are all products of our environment. Some environments are just harder to survive in.

Welcome to London, 2012. Home of the Olympic Games. Behind the veil of newly injected prosperity lies a community that's impossible to enter and even harder to escape.

More information on this production is available at

The critical consensus

Wringing tortured turns from a cast of unknowns, Drew has things to say – and he mostly says them well.

***(*)(*)Josh Winning, Total Film, 04/05/2012

Jarring, grimy and a searing indictment of Broken Britain.

****(*)James Mottram, The List, 11/05/2012

It’s ambitious and impassioned but so didactic that it feels like a Ken Loach snack.

**(*)(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 03/06/2012

As gritty, urban British crime dramas go, this is a good ’un. It may be slow in parts and its heart-sinking scenarios won’t fill you with cheer, but it has bags of style and a terrific soundtrack from promising debut director Drew. It might just kickstart a few acting careers, too.

***(*)(*)Anna Smith, Empire Online, 05/06/2012

It's as if someone has set the sat nav to Parody Street and gone several miles beyond. Depressing.

**(*)(*)(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 07/06/2012

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.

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 07/06/2012

Ill Manors looks like many other British urban crime films; it could have been made at almost any time, and there's not much substance under the urban style.

**(*)(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 07/06/2012

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.

**(*)(*)(*)Tim Robey, The Telegraph, 07/06/2012

Worst-ever British gangster film?

Chris Tookey, Daily Mail, 08/06/2012

Ill Manors is not perfect and can only leave you feeling appalled and depressed about the state of the nation but there are still enough powerful moments, strong performances and film flourishes to make it well worth seeing.

****(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 08/06/2012

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.

**(*)(*)(*)Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent, 08/06/2012

Despite having too many characters – and too many rap numbers introducing them – you’re still left relishing Drew’s next project.

***(*)(*)David Edwards, Daily Record, 08/06/2012

It is the film's socio-political awareness, rather than its flashy visual tics or its soundtrack, that sets it apart from similar urban youth dramas.

****(*)Laurence Phelan, The Independent, 09/06/2012

The fractured chronology would have been more commendable if he'd mastered basic pacing, plotting, lighting and editing first.

Nicholas Barber, The Independent, 10/06/2012

Ill Manors is pretty well made, with a well-orchestrated narrative and a strong sense of place. But despite the solemn self-importance conveyed by rapper-turned-director Ben Drew (aka Plan B), it feels like the latest example of what I've come to regard as "sink estate porn".

Demetrios Matheou, Sunday Herald, 10/06/2012

It's a harsh, forceful film, directed with considerable confidence, but I'm not persuaded by these encomia that it really ploughs new ground.

Philip French, The Observer, 10/06/2012

Drew may be the Jarvis Cocker or Damon Albarn of today’s austerity youth.

Tom Seymour, Little White Lies, 06/06/2012

Features about Ill Manors (18)

They'll risk their future by stealing a pair of trainers, so why do so many kids not care?

Will Lawrence, The Herald, 03/06/2012

Now it's all going to Plan

Alison Rowat, The Herald, 07/06/2012

Plan B: 'I love directing. But does my art change lives? I don't think it does'.

Decca Aitkenhead, The Guardian, 07/06/2012

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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