6.5/10
2,685
21 user 26 critic

Shifty (2008)

Unrated | | Thriller | 24 April 2009 (UK)
Trailer
1:49 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
Shifty, a young crack cocaine dealer in London, sees his life quickly spiral out of control when his best friend returns home. Stalked by a customer desperate to score at all costs, and ... See full summary »

Director:

Eran Creevy

Writer:

Eran Creevy
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Ill Manors (2012)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The lives of four drug dealers, one user and two prostitutes.

Director: Plan B
Stars: Riz Ahmed, Ed Skrein, Lee Allen
Bullet Boy (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In one of East London's most volatile neighborhoods, pride, rivalry and revenge are the only codes on the street. Touted as a British Boyz in the Hood, Bullet Boy is a gripping and ... See full summary »

Director: Saul Dibb
Stars: Ashley Walters, Luke Fraser, Leon Black
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Desperate to evade an angry pimp, a London prostitute and a young girl flee by train to Brighton after an appointment with a powerful client goes violently wrong.

Director: Paul Andrew Williams
Stars: Lorraine Stanley, Georgia Groome, Johnny Harris
Kidulthood (2006)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A day in the life of a group of troubled 15-year-olds growing up in west London.

Director: Menhaj Huda
Stars: Aml Ameen, Red Madrell, Noel Clarke
Adulthood (2008)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Six years after KiDULTHOOD, Sam Peel is released from jail for killing Trife, he realizes that life is no easier on the outside than it was on the inside and he's forced to confront the ... See full summary »

Director: Noel Clarke
Stars: Noel Clarke, Scarlett Alice Johnson, Adam Deacon
Brotherhood I (2016)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

First, there was Kidulthood, then Adulthood, and now comes Noel Clarke's lastest instalment: Brotherhood. Sam is facing up to the new world. He realises it also comes with new problems; new... See full summary »

Director: Noel Clarke
Stars: Noel Clarke, Arnold Oceng, Red Madrell
Four Lions (2010)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Four incompetent British terrorists set out to train for and commit an act of terror.

Director: Christopher Morris
Stars: Will Adamsdale, Riz Ahmed, Adeel Akhtar
Britz (TV Movie 2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two British-born Muslim siblings are drawn in radically different directions after 9/11.

Director: Peter Kosminsky
Stars: Manjinder Virk, Riz Ahmed, Mary Stockley
Documentary | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Part drama, part documentary, The Road to Guantánamo focuses on the Tipton Three, a trio of British Muslims who were held in Guantanamo Bay for two years until they were released without charge.

Directors: Mat Whitecross, Michael Winterbottom
Stars: Riz Ahmed, Farhad Harun, Waqar Siddiqui
Top Boy (TV Series 2011)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A thriving but underground drugs business is being run by Dushane (Ashley Walters) and his friend Sully (Kane Robinson) to become the richest men on the block. To live rich Dushane and ... See full summary »

Stars: Ashley Walters, Kane Robinson, Shone Romulus
Banglatown Banquet (TV Movie 2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Viewers can immerse themselves in the lives of a group of mature Muslim women in this thought provoking drama. Dressed in their hijabs, they leave the familiarity of their Bangladeshi community and set out on a voyage of discovery.

Director: Hettie Macdonald
Stars: Shabana Azmi, Riz Ahmed, Sam Dastor
Rage I (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A young blogger at a New York fashion house shoots behind-the-scenes interviews on his cell-phone.

Director: Sally Potter
Stars: Simon Abkarian, Patrick J. Adams, Riz Ahmed
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Riz Ahmed ... Shifty
Daniel Mays ... Chris
Jason Flemyng ... Glen
Nitin Ganatra ... Rez
Jay Simpson ... Trevor
Dannielle Brent Dannielle Brent ... Jasmine
Francesca Annis ... Valerie
Kate Groombridge ... Loretta
Jason Maza ... Malik
Jordan Long ... Lenny
Rory Jennings Rory Jennings ... Otis
Courtney Day Courtney Day ... Otis' Girlfriend
Gracie Fitch Gracie Fitch ... Katie Palmer
Nathaniel Gleed Nathaniel Gleed ... Freddie Palmer
Eddie Webber ... Bob Moran
Edit

Storyline

Shifty, a young crack cocaine dealer in London, sees his life quickly spiral out of control when his best friend returns home. Stalked by a customer desperate to score at all costs, and with his family about to turn their back on him for good, Shifty must out-run and out-smart a rival drug dealer intent on setting him up for a big fall. As his long time friend Chris confronts the dark past he left behind him, Shifty is forced to face up to the violent future he's hurtling towards.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

24 hours to deal yourself out

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Facebook Page | MySpace page | See more »

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 April 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Shifty - Uma História Urbana See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$90,658 (United Kingdom), 26 April 2009, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (European Film Market)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

When Trevor is discussing the holiday hire car with his wife, the boom microphone is clearly visible in the reflection of the glass cabinet above her head. See more »

Connections

References 24 Hour Party People (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Engaging and well made drama/thriller
21 February 2010 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Shifty is a young drug dealer living with his older brother and earning a couple of grand a week. When an old friend comes to stay with him and asks him to come back up to Manchester to a safer, cleaner life, it marks the start of a rough day for Shifty, as his normal drop-offs are complicated by one customer who goes off the rails, and a rumour that has made it back to Shifty's supplier that he is cutting the product and selling for himself on the side.

Made for as little as £100k (which would not even buy you a one-second Megan Fox pout) this film is to be admired for how good it looks considering the constraints of the budget. However if praise was given out to independent films made for no money then there would not be enough to go around as there are plenty of similar attempts – just many of them really do show the lack of resource in all areas. It is not the case with Shifty because the film is an effective and well made affair that engages by virtue of how it is put together. The story is reasonably straightforward but it is written with a wider story behind it – one that we perhaps don't get all of but one that impacts onto the characters and their relationships and makes for a stronger character set and a more interesting film. I was interested in both Shifty and Chris as people as well as the grubby little world they inhabit.

On top of this the day in question also has some violent risks for Shifty and these add a semi-thriller touch to the story. Again, this isn't totally fleshed out all for the viewer to see but it works as it goes. It isn't perfect as a story but it does well to juggle a couple of different characters to add to the flow of the narrative while also avoiding being judgemental about any of them – your conclusion may be "drugs are bad m'kay" but the film does not seem to have that as an agenda but is just focused on telling the story.

The cast deserve credit for working on such a low budget film; OK they are not Hollywood stars used to commanding millions but there are several faces that will be recognisable from big films. The star of the film is Riz Ahmed, who does well for once not playing someone associated with 9/11 films. He is a likable character but he also conveys that edge of toughness and threat that he needs. He does good work with his face and eyes to ensure the viewer can sort of appreciate his thoughts without them being rammed down your throat. Mays has less of a showy role but he does the same – hits the character well and makes him convincing from the start and throughout, only weakening a little bit towards the end when I expected him to convey the impact of events a little better. Flemyng is a solid presence and a good face to help the film, while Simpson's Trevor is a tragic figure and he plays it well, making him a real person rather than a simple plot device to be either pitied or hated.

Shifty is not a brilliant film to be sure, it is far to slight for that but it is a particularly good one. It isn't social realism but it has an authenticity to it that helps make it work, with the well written and performed characters providing a strong base for the narrative to be built on. If it had cost ten times as much to make I still would have liked it but that it was made for so little is an impressive thing of note.


13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 21 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed