Up 987 this week

Bigga Than Ben (2008)

 -  Drama  -  10 October 2008 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,023 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 17 critic

Spiker & Cobakka are two self-confessed 'pieces of Moscow scum' who come to London to rip it off. This is their guide.


(as Suzie Halewood)


(as Suzie Halewood)
0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 119 titles
created 28 Nov 2011
a list of 43 titles
created 15 Feb 2013
a list of 2558 titles
created 23 Feb 2013
a list of 26 titles
created 02 Jun 2013
a list of 206 titles
created 6 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Bigga Than Ben" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Bigga Than Ben (2008)

Bigga Than Ben (2008) on IMDb 6.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Bigga Than Ben.
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Jackie & Ryan (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A modern day train hopper fighting to be a successful musician and a single mom battling to maintain custody of her daughter defy their circumstances by coming together in a relationship that may change each others lives forever.

Director: Ami Canaan Mann
Stars: Katherine Heigl, Ben Barnes, Clea DuVall
Dorian Gray (2009)
Drama | Fantasy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty eternally, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.

Director: Oliver Parker
Stars: Ben Barnes, Colin Firth, Rebecca Hall
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A long-divorced couple fakes being married as their family unites for a wedding.

Director: Justin Zackham
Stars: Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigl
Killing Bono (2011)
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two brothers attempt to become global rock stars but can only look on as old school friends U2 become the biggest band in the world.

Director: Nick Hamm
Stars: Ben Barnes, Robert Sheehan, Krysten Ritter
The Words (2012)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A writer at the peak of his literary success discovers the steep price he must pay for stealing another man's work.

Directors: Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde
By the Gun (2014)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Nick, a young Boston Italian, trying to find purpose in the ideology of the mafia and finding his world turned upside down.

Director: James Mottern
Stars: Tully Banta-Cain, Ben Barnes, Paul Ben-Victor
Locked In I (2010)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Josh leaves his advertising career at its peak, everyone wants either to be him or to have him. A car accident will leave his daughter in a strange coma and when everyone has given up she starts communicating with him, or is he going mad?

Director: Suri Krishnamma
Stars: Ben Barnes, Sarah Roemer, Eliza Dushku
Sons of Liberty (TV Mini-Series 2015)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The story of a group of very different men fighting in the American Colonies for freedom, and how they will shape the future for the United States of America. Based on true stories.

Stars: Ben Barnes, Marton Csokas, Ryan Eggold
Easy Virtue (2008)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young Englishman marries a glamorous American. When he brings her home to meet the parents, she arrives like a blast from the future - blowing their entrenched British stuffiness out the window.

Director: Stephan Elliott
Stars: Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Kristin Scott Thomas
Exposed (TV Movie 2015)

An investigative journalist relies on questionable methods in order to expose the truth.

Director: Patty Jenkins
Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ben Barnes, Pedro Pascal
Zendog (2016)
Comedy | Thriller

Chad Curtis is an Afghanistan war veteran and pacifist. He's traveling the American West trying to forget the horrors of war with his longtime companion; a telepathic, Buddhist stuffed ... See full summary »

Director: James Mottern
Stars: Ben Barnes, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman

With some reluctance, a teenage boy's family take into hiding a Jewish doctor who saved the boy's life before the war. Thoroughly Nazified by his education in the tiny Austrian mountain ... See full summary »

Director: Arsen A. Ostojic
Stars: Thomas Kretschmann, John Bell, Martina Gedeck


Credited cast:
Andrey Chadov ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Terence Anderson ...
Sad Jamaican
Mary-Ann Cafferkey ...
Cashback Tesco Girl
Cecilia Colby ...
Beautiful Aussie Girl
Aussie Girl
Bookshop Girl (credit only)
Mervyn Etienne ...
Tube worker
Oliver Houston ...
Russian Gangster
Dado Jehan ...
Alex Lawler ...
Phone salesman
Rad Lazar ...
Raoul the bookseller


Bigga Than Ben is a crime-fuelled tale of two likeable but wayward Russian "pieces of Moscow scum" who arrive in London intent on bettering themselves and amassing an easy fortune. But it's not long before Spiker (Andrei Chadov) and Cobakka (Ben Barnes) realise that, legally, they aren't going to get very far. So, aided by the dodgy Artash (Ovidiu Matesan) and sidekick Spartak (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin), they learn to shoplift from supermarkets, rip off banks, joyride on the tube and turn mobile phones into crack. . Finding themselves drawn into a shadowy underworld of backstreet drug deals, chav nightclubs, refugees and nymphomaniacs, life begins to turn sour. The highs begin to fade. Spiker badly misses his girlfriend back in Moscow, and seeks consolation in drugs. When he slips into serious addiction and Artash double-crosses them, Cobakka finds himself forced into making some life-changing decisions Written by sh/gd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Beat the system, before it beats you



Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

10 October 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Больше Бена  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Written and performed by Ilya Lagutenko
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A comedy about two 'pieces of Russian scum' shows that scrounging off the system in the UK is neither easy nor lucrative
15 October 2008 | by (London, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Best friends Cobakka and Spiker are two self-confessed 'pieces of Russian scum', who decide to dodge the draft at home and instead head to London to rip off England – or 'foggy Albion', as Russians apparently like to call it.

Based on Bol'she Ben, the best-selling diaries of Pavel Tetersky and Sergei Sakin, Bigga Than Ben is a low-budget, un-PC black comedy about two young Muscovites who couldn't care less either about confirming or challenging stereotypes about immigrants – but who end up doing both.

'Shameless? Yes. Greedy? Yes. Fraudsters? Yes!' gloats Cobakka. He and his partner in crime have a simple plan when they come to England: set up a bank account, get a chequebook, start raking in money by cashing dodgy cheques, then go back to Moscow – Cobakka to start a band, Spiker to marry his girlfriend.

While they don't mind being seen as petty criminals and fraudsters, the two friends don't take well to being mistaken for 'asylum seekers' or 'refugees'. The streetwise twentysomethings may be mixing with lowlifes, but they don't want anything to do with the huddled masses. They want to live it up, cash in and make it big.

But what would a comedy about two young, freeloading Muscovites in London be without an adventure that doesn't quite go according to plan? The two Russian luck-seekers seem like a tabloid sub's wet dream. 'Russian welfare tourists come to London to rip off the system and sleep with our women' might be the headline for their adventures.

But despite their optimistic belief that the presumption of innocence in the English legal system will work in their favour, 'the system' turns out to be a bureaucratic quagmire and everything from getting a meal at a homeless shelter to opening a bank account and flirting with English girls is a trial. To get a chequebook you need a bank account. To set up a bank account you need a proof of income and a utility bill. For that you need accommodation. But to rent a flat you need a job so you can afford the deposit. To get a job, you need a work permit… And so on.

Until Cobakka and Spiker manage to lay their hands on the magic money tickets – chequebooks and cashback – the two illegal immigrants busy themselves with fine-tuning their skills in shoplifting, sofa surfing, turnstile hopping and heroin cooking.

They hook up with Artash, the son of a Russian oligarch who, in Cobakka's and Spiker's minds at least, speaks English in an 'Oxford accent'. Artash teaches the scamming rookies some basic lessons in small-time crookery and introduces them to every drug known to London.

Apart from intermittent moments of happiness wandering around London's grand tourist sites and sunbathing on Primrose Hill in the affluent suburb of Hampstead, the two friends find themselves scraping at the bottom of London's multicultural melting pot. After sleeping rough in a garden shed, they move into a stinking flat in a high-rise council estate. No amount of scrubbing of the carpets and wallpaper, which appear not to have been changed since the 1970s, can remove the stench, which the guys conclude must come from the Asian curry houses and market stalls outside.

At the start, they are unapologetically racist, but after cleaning toilets, cooking and getting stoned with people of all nationalities, their minds seem to broaden. 'How could I ever have imagined that I, a Moscow hooligan and Nazi, would become a Negro lover?', Cobakka asks in wonderment.

Some people argue that the most ferocious opponents to immigration are immigrants and descendents of immigrants, and that most racist tension is found among ethnic minorities. A couple of years ago, the then chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips, complained that East Europeans are bringing with them '1950s attitudes' towards black people.

On the surface, Bigga Than Ben appears to confirm Phillips' stereotype, but in the end it shows that the tensions that exist between those who inhabit the crowded and unglamorous side of London stem from people living cheek-by-jowl in poor conditions rather than being a consequence of immigrants' unreconstructed, racist worldviews.

The DIY, MTV feel of this fast-paced and gag-filled film is entirely appropriate for a rough guide to how to not make it in London. At times the film's knowing style is grating – as when the plot is interrupted by characters explaining the various goings-on to the camera. But a highlight is Cobakka's and Spiker's bamboozlement in a meeting with a thickly accented Irish employment officer. They can't understand a word of what the man is saying ('Do you two speak English?', the employment officer demands impatiently. 'Yes. Do you?' reply the Russians.) Eventually Cobakka and Spiker ask for subtitles, and it becomes clear both to them and to the audience what the man is on about.

Bigga Than Ben bears little resemblance to the celebrations of multiculturalism we have gotten used to, but despite being an irreverent satire it is perhaps a more honest look at interracial London and how many immigrants fare in Britain. It also gives the lie to myths about Britain being a 'welfare magnet' where illegal immigrants can get rich by ripping off the system.

by Nathalie Rothschild -- Nathalie Rothschild is commissioning editor of spiked.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
has anyone seen this film? status_quo
Bigga than Ben O.S.T out in July!!! BarnedToBeQueen
Does Ben...? littledarkangel314
06/10/2008 'Bigga Than Ben' Charity London Movie Premiere BarnedToBeQueen
Is this going to be release on DVD in the US? cecem390
June 22nd ...DVD release in UK BarnedToBeQueen
Discuss Bigga Than Ben (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: