Out of the numerous film genres that grace our big screens, the urban British genre is often one that we disregard when it comes to film.
Whilst we are used to seeing this genre in soap or series form, with a repertoire of film titles, such as the ones listed below, there really is no excuse not to venture into this gritty, fascinating and striking world of British cinema.
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Here is a list of the Top 10 Urban Films of all time
As the sequel to Kidulthood, Adulthood begins with Sam Peel being released from prison for killing Trife. Now a changed man who has had time to reflect on his actions, Sam must now deal with his guilt, sorrow and ghosts who still want to avenge Trife. As he is hounded by the next generation of boys, Sam realises that he needs to get the message across that violence is an infectious cycle that must end now.
This classic British drama film follows the lives of a group of teenagers who live in Ladbroke Grove and Latimer Road. Directed by Menhaj Huda and starring Noel Clarke, Aml Ameen, Adam Deacon, Femi Oyeniran and Jaime Winstone, Kidulthood is a brilliantly volatile and youthful rollercoaster, which centres around the violence and illegal behaviours the group engage in.
Anuvahood is the comedy spin off of Kidulthood and Adulthood. As Kenneth realises that he’s just another wannabe MC and loser, he quits his job at Laimsbury’s and swears to become a respected gangster. Anuvahood is a tongue in cheek, coming of age story that follows one directionless guy as he stumbles upon a new world of illegal activity and urban hardship.
It’s A Lot (2014)
It’s A Lot centres on Shaun, a privileged boy who has grown up with a good education, caring parents and a stable upbringing – butas he gets older he finds that he doesn’t fit into this world, especially with the self-righteous kids at his posh school. Deliberately deceiving his family, he enrolls at his cousin’s college where he discovers an untouched world of girls, parties and excitement.
Desperate to make a name for himself, he tries to impress the top girl, Chrissy (Sternberg) by holding a party for her at his mansion. But all he manages to do is trash the place and even destroy his Dad’s prized Lotus! He’s left with two weeks to find £20,000 before his parents get back from holiday and his dad goes tribal.
4, 3, 2, 1 (2010)
This crime thriller shows how four people’s stories merge together to form a whirlwind action adventure. While Jo works in a dead end supermarket job, Cassandra is jetting off to New York to meet her cyber boyfriend, Kerry is on a one woman mission fighting for female freedom and Shannon is on her way to meet her maker. However by chance, some diamond thieves send their separate worlds to collide. The four girls spend three days, in two cities fighting for their lives.
Fast Girls (2012)
This sports drama shows the story of athlete Shania Andrews as she competes against her rival Lisa Temple at a regional level. The duo work their way into the British 4×100 metres relay team and compete in the World Championships. Staying true to the essence of the film, casting for the athletic extras was held at athletic clubs in London, Edinburgh and Loughborough. Showing the difficulties of teamwork and growing up, this film is a charming but competitive piece of British cinema.
Screwed is a semi-biographical film that tells the story of Ronnie Thompson, an ex prison guard who spent seven years working in some of the UK’s most dangerous prisons. Ronnie’s story starts when he returns to work in the UK after fighting in Iraq. Starring James D’Arcy, Frank Harper, Jamie Foreman, Andrew Shim and Kate Magowan, Screwed shows the underworld of prison culture, including corrupt guards and drug trafficking.
Taking a more comedic stance on the genre, Huge shows the story of feuding comedians that band together to try and make it big in the tough world of comedy. Starring Noel Clarke, Johnny Harris, Johnny Harris and Thandie Newton, Huge follows this pair of dreamers into the dark and demoralising side of comedy.
West 10 LDN (2008)
Starring Noel Clarke, Ashley Walters, Ashley Madekwe, Duane Henry and Adam Deacon, West 10 LDN is set within a group of tower blocks that has its own set of rules, language, culture and etiquette. Portraying this tightly knit community, West 10 LDN shows a whole new meaning of family and protection as this witty and engaging film portrays the vibrancy of growing up within this powerful and tumultuous world.
Fedz is a thriller film set in a future Britain where the government has enforced national curfews, where no civilians are allowed out after dark. Starring Katia Winter, Dexter Fletcher and Ashley Walters, we see the terror, panic and chaos that ensue when a terrorist group threatens to unleash a killer virus. With the Fedz frantically working to solve this nightmare, time is slowly running out.