Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 26


Audience Score

User Ratings: 994
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Movie Info

Inspired by writer/director Eran Creevy's own teenage experiences, Shifty tells the tale of a man who returns to his old neighborhood on the outskirts of London, ostensibly to attend a party but more specifically to check up on an old friend. It's been a long time since Chris (Daniel Mays) left town, and now that he's finally returned, he's eager to check up on Shifty (Riz Ahmed), the lifelong friend he left behind. As it turns out, things aren't going to well for Shifty; not only has he taken to dealing drugs supplied by local heavy Glen (Jason Flemyng), but the constant struggle to keep his activates secret from his self-righteous brother Rez (Nitin Ganatra) has resulted in some serious family tensions. Over the course of the next twenty-four hours, former best friends Chris and Shifty will not only confront the dark secrets that once drove Chris from town, but also work to free the desperate Shifty from a volatile situation that could spell danger for both of them. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Shifty

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (1)

  • Creevy's fine ear for dialogue, sensitive and productive direction of actors and confident control of tone is all the more impressive for being delivered under the short schedule and tight budgetary exigencies.

    Apr 24, 2009 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…

    Wally Hammond

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The production values are lo-fi but spirited performances, matey humour and an edgy authenticity carry the story.

    Apr 24, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • First-time director Eran Creevy kicks things up a notch with this shrewd and engaging drama, achieved on the smallest of budgets.

    Apr 24, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Shifty boasts convincing performances, even-handed characterisation, creeping suspense and energy to burn.

    Apr 24, 2009 | Rating: 4/5
  • Couched in a kind of Pinteresque slum language that needs a glossary to be totally intelligible, the film boasts an authenticity and wholly natural performances, particularly from Mays, and is devoid of the usual clichés of its genre.

    Apr 24, 2009 | Rating: 3/5
  • Shifty is low-key, low budget, but high grade. It's a film about sitting and talking. And drug dealing. It builds slowly - some may want more action, but it has a surprisingly satisfying conclusion.

    Oct 18, 2012 | Rating: 3.0/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Shifty

  • Oct 03, 2012
    A well written, day in the life of, which is different to other drug films. It involves you from the start and there's a lot of guessing going on right until the end. Highly recommended to fans of British film.
    Sophie B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 21, 2012
    Firstly, the film looks fantastic for the budget it was made on. But innovative and quality film production does not make a great film in itself. Shifty has some fascinating aspects but it in the end is another average London drug street film. However Riz Ahmed's performance is top; he is charismatic and likeable even though his character is a bit of a selfish so and so. This performance and its macro budget ingenuity just edges it past being bog standard average
    Hassan V Super Reviewer
  • Mar 25, 2010
    A day in the life of a Muslim drug dealer in an unnamed London suburb, as Shifty bickers with his mate and brother, crosses swords with his supplier and services his customers. Pretty lively, and there's an air of authenticity to some of the set pieces, but not great...but then again not bad either for a film made in 18 days for £100K and under 90 minutes..
    Lesley N Super Reviewer
  • Oct 11, 2009
    Effective calling card for a new talent in director Creevy, his personal experiences lend authenticity to the script, and a smart sense of humour stops this descending into grim geezerdom.
    Gordon A Super Reviewer

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