Classic, Reviews

THIS IS ENGLAND (2006)

What can I say about This Is England after all these years … if you have not seen this, then you really are slacking! Set in 1983, this movie is full of tragedy, redemption and coming-of-age. 12-year-old Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) is a bored and aimless kid, who hasn’t had much happiness in his life. His dad died […]

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Reviews

Jawbone (2017): An Authentic British Boxing Story

This is another movie that combines personal conflict with tough fighting in the ring. Actor and screenwriter, Johnny Harris plays Jawbone’s main character Jimmy McCabe, and he based this boxing-drama on his own experiences as a homeless ex-boxer in London. As much as I think boxing films are overdone, I keep being drawn back to this genre. […]

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Reviews

City of Tiny Lights (2017): Downbeat London Crime Caper

There’s not too many private eye, detective movies coming out these days, so London-set thriller, City of Tiny Lights, is a cool prospect. What caught my eye and made me give this a go, is the fact that the main character is played by a British Pakistani. I thought this was a nice, fresh change that […]

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Reviews

Free Fire (2017)

Guns, gangs and free-for-all action in a Reservoir Dogs style setting: this is a bloodthirsty action-comedy. Just the way I like it. Set in 1970s Boston, Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire is about a gun deal gone horribly wrong. Irish mobsters, Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) lead their pack of goons to an abandoned warehouse, to […]

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Reviews

Hector (2015), directed by Jake Gavin

This festive-themed road movie, Hector has the spirit of Ken Loach hanging over it. It’s a social realist drama with Peter Mullan at the centre. He plays the titular Hector, a homeless man from Glasgow, seeking to reconnect with his family. I stumbled across this low budget British film on Netflix and I thoroughly enjoyed the warmth […]

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Reviews

T2 Trainspotting (2017)

In T2 Trainspotting, Renton (McGregor) and the gang are back wreaking havoc in Edinburgh once again, twenty years on from their 1996 drug-fuelled adventure. This sequel is everything I could have hoped for – it’s funny, entertaining, visually sharp and it’s a joy finding out what these characters, now middle-aged, have been up to… Renton: Heading […]

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Reviews

I, Daniel Blake (2016)

One of the many things I have great respect for is people who tell it like it is. This is precisely what Ken Loach does with I, Daniel Blake. It’s a film that left me with a knot in my stomach, as it dawned on me that Loach’s portrayal of a poverty-stricken Britain couldn’t be closer […]

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Lists

The 10 Best British Urban Films

To say that the British urban genre is the most disregarded film genre would be an understatement. I’ve seen a lot of these films over the years, the good ones and the bad ones, but they always take a no-nonsense approach to serious themes concerning race, poverty, drugs and other societal problems. These films are […]

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Reviews

Boy A (2008)

Can you blame a man for a crime he committed as a child? This is one of the questions melodrama, Boy A – adapted from Johnathan Tigwell’s novel – explores in abundance. The film tells the story of a rehabilitated juvenile killer (Garfield), the newspapers once called “Boy A”. After spending fourteen years in prison, he attempts […]

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Reviews

Filth (2013)

It’s a filthy job getting to the top, especially for corrupt Edinburgh cop, Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy), who’s determined to secure a promotion to detective inspector. Drug-abusing and hard-drinking, he’s willing to do whatever means necessary to get what he wants. I’m always a sucker for any film starring James McAvoy. In comedy-drama Filth, adapted from […]

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Reviews

Sightseers (2012): Killer Road Trip Movie 

Why are British directors so good at making gritty and brutally comical films? That’s what we get in Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers. It’s a horror-comedy about a couple, Chris (Steve Oram) and Tina (Alice Lowe), who go on a cross-country road trip, and unleash their homicidal rage on anyone who rubs them up the wrong way. […]

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Classic, Reviews

Trainspotting (1996)

Over twenty years on and Trainspotting is still a timeless classic. Seriously, how can anyone not like it? Little compares to the glorious adventures of heroin addict Renton (Ewen McGregor), and his five friends: Spud (Ewen Bremmer), Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller), Begbie (Robert Carlyle) and Tommy (Kevin McKidd). They are Scottish youths living in Edinburgh, deeply immersed […]

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