36 user 36 critic

City of Tiny Lights (2016)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 26 July 2017 (USA)
1:59 | Trailer
In the teeming, multicultural metropolis of modern-day London, a seemingly straightforward missing-person case launches a down-at-heel private eye into a dangerous world of religious fanaticism and political intrigue.


Pete Travis


Patrick Neate
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Riz Ahmed ... Tommy Akhtar
Billie Piper ... Shelley
James Krishna Floyd ... Lovely (as James Floyd)
Cush Jumbo ... Melody
Roshan Seth ... Farzad Akhtar
Hannah Rae ... Emma
Antonio Aakeel ... Young Lovely
Reiss Kershi Reiss Kershi ... Young Tommy
Vincent Regan ... Tall Man / Schaeffer
Danny Webb ... DS Cal Donnely
Ram John Holder Ram John Holder ... Trinidad Pete
Damson Idris ... Hakim
Branko Tomovic ... Big John
George Sargeant George Sargeant ... Stuart
Alexander Siddig ... Al-Dabaran


'City Of Tiny Lights' is a witty gumshoe in contemporary (sub)urban London. When Asian Private Eye, Tommy Akhtar, is put on the trail of missing hooker, Sexy Russian, he begins to expose a series of dark secrets that reveal uncomfortable truths about Tommy's own past and London itself. Written by NDF International

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some secrets should remain buried See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The actors playing the younger versions of the main characters had almost no acting experience between them. One of them was enrolling into drama training when she was offered the part. See more »


Sound Bwoy Burial (Soundscape 4/4 Mix Edit)
Written by Danny Harrison & Julian Lee Jonah
Performed by Gant
Published by Universal Music Publishing MGB Ltd & Bucks Music Group
Courtesy of Virgin EMI Records Ltd
Under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd
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User Reviews

27 March 2018 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

A contemporary hard boiled private detective neo noir thriller set in London.

The voiceover is provided by Tommy Akhtar (Riz Ahmed) looking after his cricket mad dad (Roshan Seth.) He is a hard drinking, chain smoking rather dinghy private eye in London.

A prostitute called Melody (Cush Jumbo) hires him to find fellow prostitute Natasha who has gone missing after going off with a new client. Tommy finds the client dead in a hotel room.

As Tommy delves deeper he comes across an old friend, who is now a wealthy property developer, trying to take the drug riddled estates, upmarket. The dead client was an associate of this developer. Tommy soon finds the security services sniffing around him. The dead man was also hanging around an imam who might be radicalising the youth, he certainly has a little gang who is chasing away drug dealers.

As the film goes on, Tommy recalls his past, 20 years ago when he fancied his best mate's girl Shelley (Billie Piper.) We gather his mate died but he sees Shelley again who is now a single mother and both rekindle their affections for each other.

There is nothing too original about City of Tiny Lights, we can sort of guess who will turn out to be the culprit. It all feels a little bleak and jagged. The movie needed more humour and should had been more offbeat. Albert Finney got it right in Stephen Frears 'Gumshoe' back in 1971.

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Release Date:

26 July 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City of Tiny Lights See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK


Box Office


GBP3,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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