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Dirty Pretty Things (2002)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  5 September 2003 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 32,686 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 200 user | 134 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

An illegal Nigerian immigrant discovers the unpalatable side of London life.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Sneaky / Juan
...
...
Guo Yi
...
Ivan
Kriss Dosanjh ...
Asian Businessman
Israel Oyelumade ...
Mini Cab Driver (as Israel Aduramo)
Yemi Ajibade ...
Mini Cab Driver (as Ade-Yemi Ajibade)
Nizwar Karanj ...
Mini Cab Driver
...
Mini Cab Driver
...
Cab Controller
Kenan Hudaverdi ...
Cafe Owner
Damon Younger ...
Punter
...
Mohammed
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Storyline

Okwe is an illegal Nigerian immigrant leading a hard life and struggling to survive in London's underground. He works as a hotel receptionist in the night time and as he has a doctor degree he practices some medicine, during the day, in a very odd way . Besides that he must constantly escape from Immigration officers. One day Okwe discovers by chance an illegal scheme of surgeries is being lead by Juan, his boss in the hotel. Juan quickly comes up with a tempting proposal: if Okwe accepts to perform the illegal surgeries he makes a lot of money and gets legalized situation in the U.K. Can Okwe keep his moral values intact? Written by Weslley Gonçalves

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every dream has its price. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

5 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Loin de chez eux  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£141,865 (UK) (13 December 2002)

Gross:

$161,735 (Australia) (18 June 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Damien O'Donnell was originally attached to direct, but he decided to pass after problems with Harvey Weinstein. He directed Heartlands (2002) instead. See more »

Goofs

When Okwe and Senay are drinking wine, Senay lifts a full glass. In the next shot, the glass is 3/4 full. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Okwe: Do you want a car? Ten pounds, Theatreland. Car? London? You want a taxi? Buckingham Palace.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spot: Zlatko Buric (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

This Man Is A Doctor
Written and Produced by Nathan Larsen
Published by Miramax Film Music (BMI), Hot One Inc
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User Reviews

 
Flawed but impressive
9 August 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Dirty Pretty Things was at once a pleasant surprise and a slight disappointment. It stands head and shoulders above the wreckage of most recent Britflicks, but it still never quite reaches the heights. Part of the problem is that the background is the story, leaving us with an at times slight narrative and a very predictable final twist that seems very much like one of Roald Dahl's Tales of the Very Much as We Expected (the moment Chiwetel Ejiofor stops Sergi Lopez's hands from shaking you know exactly what's coming).

That said, it's still a worthwhile trip. Unlike most British films, and London ones in particular, it actually uses the city as a character - in this case the hidden city. We see virtually no ordinary British citizens. Instead the film is inhabited by the illegal immigrants who do the dirty jobs that no-one else wants, the lead character a Nigerian doctor who works double-shifts as taxi driver and hotel porter and rents a couch in Turkish maid Audrey Tatou's couch on a timeshare basis. This milieu is superbly captured, and you get a sense of a world not so much hidden as ignored. Frears direction too is back to the power and drive of his early work after his recent flabby American entries, although he still can't resist caricaturing the Immigration officials - rather than the bored, disinterested and impersonal reality he's opted for cheap comic book villains that diminishes every scene they appear in. Similarly, he doesn't always keep a tight enough rein on some of the supporting performances, Sophie Okenedo in particular: she can be a much better actress, but here she's allowed to veer too much to stereotype and has a couple of awkward moments. Lopez too falls back on some of his overfamiliar mannerisms, although Ejiofor is quite superb in the lead, and his easygoing scenes with Benedict Wong's mortuary waste disposal technician are minor highlights.

Nonetheless, with most British cinema so awful these days, this is definitely worth catching: a very good film even if it could have been even better.


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