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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 32,825 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 200 user | 135 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
See  »
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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

Guo Yi says the mythological figure who ferries the dead to Hades is Pylades; in fact the ferryman's name is Charon. Pylades is the companion of Orestes. 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 Fantasmes! Sexe, fiction et tentations (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Glass, Concrete & Stone
Written by David Byrne
Performed by David Byrne
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Flawless--deep, exciting, sad, funny, and elegantly photographed
29 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Dirty Pretty Things (2002)

I saw this years ago, maybe when it first came out, and know I liked it. And I think I liked it even more this time. Always a good sign when a movie lasts.

What works most is the beautiful filming and pace, and the steady, thoughtful, rather masterful performance by the lead man, Chiwetel Ejiofor. The plot grows in strangeness, but never leaving the edgy reality of immigrant rich London, all modern and contradictory in the best cinematic ways.

Director Stephen Frears has a "checkered" career…some real duds, and some stellar movies. This is one of the stellar ones. The way he lets a series of plots and a variety of locations interweave through the central point of both—the Baltic Hotel— makes for a rich and integrated experience. It's smart but also artful. This is, despite all the police harassment, struggle to make ends meet, and macabre organ marketeering, a really beautiful movie. So in every way it engages.

For contractual reasons, Audrey Tautou is the leading name on the credits, and her role is not only slightly smaller but somewhat less compelling. She plays an immigrant woman, a Muslim, who is also trying to work out an existence as an illegal in a rough and tumble England. She's rather good, but in a way she is a footnote to Eijofor's great presence. I also can't help thinking that this movie, and the one right before it ("He Loves Me…") were attempts to eradicate the typecasting of the movie right before that, "Amelie," where she is impeccable. Here she is quirky and almost strange, but in a likable way, and by the end she is partly why you feel so strongly for Eijofor.

The social point of this movie is a good underlying one—to show what life is really like for a large number of decent, hardworking people, many hiding from bureaucracy and immigration rules. The more sensational plot drives it forward, for sure, but in the big picture it's about surviving with dignity intact—and how that is sometimes impossible. See this, for sure.


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