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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant depiction of London's streetlife in crisis
If you're a fan of Plan B and his music then you'll adore this in-your-face, intense blast of aggressive urban realism. The big surprise for me - movie enthusiast - was that it's also a cinematic knockout. Stylish and compelling; great characterisation, vibrant but not overwhelming soundtrack, and some very deft plotting of multiple narratives involving the ensemble...
Published 23 months ago by Rowena Hoseason

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars You're a bad man now........
I wasn't looking forward to this at all. It looked like it was some pop star who had just fallen in the right place, and wanted to cash in on his fame.

But, I never really knew who 'Plan B' was really, apart from some dodgy pop songs.

How wrong I am though, and it takes a lot for me to admit i'm wrong. Ill Manors is easily one of the most disturbing...
Published 5 months ago by Mr. Corey S. Newcombe


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant depiction of London's streetlife in crisis, 11 Aug 2012
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ill Manors [DVD] (DVD)
If you're a fan of Plan B and his music then you'll adore this in-your-face, intense blast of aggressive urban realism. The big surprise for me - movie enthusiast - was that it's also a cinematic knockout. Stylish and compelling; great characterisation, vibrant but not overwhelming soundtrack, and some very deft plotting of multiple narratives involving the ensemble cast. If this had been produced in LA it would be a worldwide winner.

The themes, situation and even the overall style of Ill Manors aren't anything new, however. Imagine a mash-up between the first season of The Wire: Complete HBO Season 1-5 [DVD] and Clockers [DVD] [1996], set in the skanky London backstreets of Misfits (Series 1), and you've nailed the mood. Spike Lee melded street music, brutal drug-culture street life and the corrosive effects of gang culture at least 15 years ago, and Ill Manors interprets those same themes on the streets of contemporary London.
But that doesn't diminish Ill Manors in any way - it tells a gripping storyline, packed with punchy 'didn't see that coming' moments of startling drama. It veers from blunt street violence to examining the nature of friendship and loyalty in a snapshot. If you ever wondered how 'nice kids' get dragged into gang, drugs and gun culture then this film sheds light on the power of peer pressure, on the need to conform, to gain respect... even at the expense of another human life.
At time the action and language should make you flinch: there's no avoiding the brutal treatment of kidnapped young women forced to work as prostitutes or the dehumanising demands of a drug addiction. However, this isn't a depressing film, nor a pessimistic one. It strips away the bravado of the young bulls with all their swagger, and highlights the appalling unforeseen consequences of their actions. Violence inevitably breeds more violence... but there is hope. Some can and do choose not to fire the gun, or not to turn away from another person who needs help.

The first half-hour is a bit overwhelming, perhaps too impressed with tricksy filming techniques and a barrage of abuse from all quarters. But thereafter it rips along at a compelling pace, chopping between seemingly unrelated events to weave them into one extremely satisfying conclusion. And look out for the tribute scene to Taxi Driver [DVD] [1976] [1999], and a cameo from John Cooper Clarke.
Easily offended folks definitely should not watch: the script reminded me somewhat of Casino [DVD] [1996] for its creative use of invective. As the action highlights the unvarnished, sordid side of life, so crude and explicit drug use, sexual activity and language are front and central in most scenes.

It's rough around the edges, but all the better for that.
9/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best British film since 'This is England', 31 Aug 2013
This review is from: Ill Manors [DVD] (DVD)
This is truly a fantastic film by Ben Drew - AKA Plan B. It depicts several crime-based stories all set in Forest Gate, London. The stories connect like Pulp Fiction, only far more brutal and harrowing, giving the viewer an accurate image of just how hard times are in places. Watching this film also makes the soundtrack album much more enjoyable than it already is. Forget 'The Avengers' or any other 2012 film - Ill Manors is the one to watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for your collection, 22 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Ill Manors (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
Worthy of the hype, 'Ill Manors' is a gritty, powerful anti-LockStock, making Kidulthood look like an amateur production. The multi-talented Ben Drew is a genius, and if he branches out into other genres in future films, he could prove to be one of the greatest writer-directors this country has produced. Nice touches include raps that link and explain scenes (something I don't think has been done before in film), and the inclusion of punk poet John Cooper Clarke (btw, where's the punk album you promised us, Plan B?). Riz Ahmed's acting is as fantastic as always, and he's supported by a fantastic cast.

This film is, simply, a vital addition to your home movie collection.

Karl Steiger
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grim, exciting, unique movie, 21 Sep 2012
This review is from: Ill Manors [DVD] (DVD)
This is a truly unique movie, both in terms of style and content. I won't spoil it for others by going into detail, but suffice it to say that the violence is brutal, the acting superb, and the storyline very believable. The occasional contrast between the grim backstreets and run down estates of the East End of London with the shiny new Olympic Park just round the corner is inspired, as is the inclusion of a bit of poetry from John Cooper Clark. It's a great film, one of the best I've seen for some time, overly violent in places, but nonetheless, totally compelling.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare is dead; Long live Ben Drew, 1 July 2012
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This review is from: Ill Manors [DVD] (DVD)
I really didn't know what this film would be like: There was very little publicity when this was released - 'The Avengers' took the hype before 'Prometheus' turned up. I didn't even know Ben 'Plan B' Drew was making a film.

Now let's face it, Musicians making films whilst usually financially successful can be hit (Aretha et al turning up in 'The Blues Brothers', Eminem in '8 Mile') or very, very miss ('Spiceworld', the Beatles films are fun but ultimately meh, ditto Elvis, Whitney Houston in 'The Bodyguard' and ...shudders...Vanilla Ice in anything he's been in and Madonna post 'Desperately Seeking Susan').

I heard of Ill Manors (a pun Shakespeare would have written then, pleased with himself, gone home for the day to watch Countdown) through the EP release. A typical thought provoking rap about dysfunctional London - notably the squalor of the East End in the shadow of the Olympics - which underlies the film beautifully.

The film itself, like a Shakespearean tragedy, follows the fortunes of several characters at various places along the scum spectrum. For the most part focussing on two men making their way through London and life selling small amounts of dope and their relationship with familiy, friends and rivals (bitter and respected), it tells of brutality, love and it's replacements, hope and fear and death and violence -as well as self-sacrifice and honour. It has everything a tragedy play should have and truthfully a stage version of this would not be out of place at The Globe.

In many ways a video for a concept album, this is truly superb. Gritty , realistic and yet like life, puntuated with emotion and characters that you can enjoy on many levels, this could well be a gem that many people pass by because of the blockbusters this year.

If you love Plan B you will already be seeking this out. If you don't - or don't like rap/urban music in general - don't let that put you off. It is a small part of a near masterpiece and the rhythym and cadence of the lyrics, sweep you along. As a whole they are infrequent and never obtrusive, serving a role much like a narrator.

A wonderful debut film. My only worry is can he keep such a high quality output going? I really, truly hope so.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing film!, 25 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Ill Manors [DVD] (DVD)
Pleased with every outcome that come from this dvd, P&P was bang on what it said
If you're not a fan of strong language and strong violence then this film may not be for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Such an intreresitng film, 28 May 2014
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This review is from: Ill Manors [DVD] (DVD)
Loved this film was 100 times better than adulthood or kidulthood and I loved it such a great film! Wow very entertaining!
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 1 Mar 2014
This review is from: Ill Manors (DVD)
film,of london street life plan b is excellent in it.. great plot,well worth seeing or buying.-gritty /trueto life drama-great entertainment
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, 7 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Ill Manors [DVD] (DVD)
One of the best underground movies I have seen, Ben Drew is a fantastic director and gives hope to others who want to break into the industry.
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3.0 out of 5 stars You're a bad man now........, 1 Feb 2014
This review is from: Ill Manors (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
I wasn't looking forward to this at all. It looked like it was some pop star who had just fallen in the right place, and wanted to cash in on his fame.

But, I never really knew who 'Plan B' was really, apart from some dodgy pop songs.

How wrong I am though, and it takes a lot for me to admit i'm wrong. Ill Manors is easily one of the most disturbing 'urban' movies I have seen in a while. heavily influenced by the two Clarkes Noel and Alan, Drew has given us a film that oozes propaganda and pleas.

The film interlinks three stories, just Like Pulp Fiction, and the narrative is the fantastic haunting soundtrack.

Ahmed is as good as he always is, but is let down by some of the cast, who are just poor in their roles. These people stay in character all through the film, whereas in real life, is just a facade for the street.

The imagery is stark, especially in the baby rescue scene, and it really does deliver it's message, very bluntly.

On a 100k budget, Drew has made a very professional looking movie, and I look forward to seeing what he has to give us next.
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Ill Manors [DVD]
Ill Manors [DVD] by Ben Drew (DVD - 2012)
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