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Showing 1-10 of 58 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 211 reviews
on December 13, 2015
There was nothing pretty in the entire movie save the pretty red uniforms of the bellboys in the Baltic hotel. No, the entire movie was dark, but still peppered with enough suspense to sustain interest. Even Audrey Tautou dressed down and acted out the ill-dressed and poorly mannered immigrant to an annoying extreme. Her Nigerian exile friend Okwe is by far the main character but his muddled past serves to muddle his present course of action as well. The plot is more an expose of the horrors endured by the immigrant community even in a city otherwise posh as London. All the main characters are immigrants and there is the suggestion of the same in the two main villains. The movie is sure to make you ponder the value of your own citizenship in a world of greed and lost souls.
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on June 19, 2017
This is a fantastic screenplay. It's a freshman effort by Steven Knight (Locke, Taboo, Peaky Blinders). It has so much emotional nuance and detail. And, this merits saying, it is such an unusual story. Fears does an excellent job directing and there are are a couple of standout performances, mainly Chiwetel Ejiofor (who we now know to be a first class actor in America) and Audrey Tautou (who, in France, is a pretty badass leading lady). Highly recommend.
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on September 26, 2015
Overall I consider this a must-buy as it is an awesome movie with a really amazing cast - we have watched this movie many, many times. Love the dark story about the people you don't see, living in the margins of London. "I'm not here to meet you in particular, but I am here to rescue those who have been let down by the system." Great line that really captures what this movie is about. Obviously the subject matter throughout is not for kids, but if you don't have too delicate of sensibilities you should find this intriguing.

The quality of the audio and especially the detailed picture is wonderful on Blu-ray (I have the DVD as well, and I definitely see an improvement to the crispness, the vivid color, and especially any parts that are somewhat dark which is a lot of this movie). The disc also comes with four audio tracks (one of which is the director's excellent commentary; the main English track is in 5.1) and a bonus featurette.

I take away one star for a GLARING omission on this release - NO CAPTIONS!! Even as someone with a great sound system and perfectly working ears, I feel there is simply no excuse for not including the subtitles, particularly when they work fine on the DVD! There are plenty of reasons beyond accessibility for adding them, not the least of which is for movie fans who are into the script and want to catch every word (and yes I already know this movie so well that I practically could recite the script by heart, but that's not the point). I love the fact that this disc goes right to the menu with nothing to skip through, but A DVD or BD should NEVER be released with no CC!!

Final recommendation would be to get it used if you can - I did, and knowing now that it has no captions means I'd be pretty annoyed if I had paid more than $15 or so for this.
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on July 15, 2013
I love Audrey Tautou and this sounded like an intriguing and suspenseful movie. It was all that, but so much more. It's the story of immigrants and how people take advantage of them. Audrey Tautou and Chiwetel Ejiofor play the main characters, doing whatever they have to to get by. In their world you have to sell some of your own soul to exist. The hotel where both of them have jobs (one of several) there is an illegal human organ trade going on. Human trafficking in several forms goes on and you wonder what you would do if you were in those same circumstances. The main male character, who is so upstanding, yet even he succumbs at times in order to survive, doing things like borrowing customers shoes at the hotel, etc. Other immigrants sell their organs to obtain money and a new passport and new identity. Everything is for sale. But it also shows a tight community where the immigrants look out for each other while they hope for something more. The main male character played by Chiwetel Ejiofor is a man of honor, constantly torn between what he must do to survive. But in his little illegal world people know they can count of him as he is a doctor from Nigeria, and works hard and grapples with his scruples.

In the midst of all of it is a sweet love story. Audrey Tautou is wonderful in this role and the story between the two main characters is love in a hard world.

Very good movie.
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on January 14, 2016
This Film shows what illegal Immigrants sometimes must do to stay in a country and how people of low character hang a sword over their heads. In this film we have a man played by Chiwetel Ejiofor who is a doctor{surgeon] having yo hide that he is one. He has a daughter who he hasn't seen ina long time .Ina room used by a prostitute he finds a heart in the toilet. He also has a friend played by the wonderful Audrey Tautou and they. have a bond that is special.Immigration officers make the story more tense.It is a Real good film that holds you to the end. I found the film worthy of view.Stephen Frears directs keeping the tension building until the end.
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on May 23, 2012
This is an example of a very good movie that was not promoted properly. This look at the underbelly of modern London is fascinating. In "Dirty Pretty Things" the viewer is taken beneath the usual staid and proper face of the city to its dirty tenements and nasty underworld. And we're not invited into a lower-class colorful Cockney world.

Instead, we are shown into a world teeming with immigrants, legal and illegal, from all over the world, trying to survive in a brutal world without mercy for the defenseless. It is a world filled with sweatshops you would expect to see in a third world country, prostitutes, and predators of every stripe.The legal immigrant is Senay, a Turkish Muslim played by the lovely Audrey Tautou. She displays the wide range of her acting talent in a role quite different fron the whimsical pixie she portayed in "Amelie". She is a housekeeper in the aptly named Baltic Hotel.

Her counterpart is Okwe, an illegal immigrant from Nigeria, a former doctor who is now a taxi driver and night desk clerk at the same hotel where Senay works and is allowed to sleep on her couch when she is not there. I don't know where they found Chitwetel Ejiofor, but he has star potential. He actually steals this movie in my opinion, even with an outstanding performance by Tautou.

The two of them are thrown together by happenstance. Each is preyed upon by the type of vultures that haunt a large city's underbelly. Senay is sexually exploited by a sweatshop owner. Okwe is exploited by Sneaky Juan the kind of underworld denizen always working an angle at some vulnerable immigrant's expense. He co-opts Okwe into using his medical skill for an outrageously immoral scheme in exchange for fake passports for Okwe and Senay. After their experience in the London underworld these two immigrants want to emigrate.

The satisfying irony of how Okwe obtains the passports from Sneaky Juan, and then turns the tables on him, is worth the price of admission itself. It involves a very clever plot twist. The movie has a bittersweet ending but that is hardly a negative for this gem. Very nicely done and well worth seeing. With wider distribution this could have been a foreign film winner.
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VINE VOICEon September 20, 2004
I have read many reviews appropriately commenting on the wonderful performance of Audrey Tautou as Turkish Immigrant Senay in Stephen Frears' "Dirty Pretty Things", but I haven't seen a comparable amount of words praising the tight, believable script and the wonderfully noble performance by Chiwetel Ejiofor as Okwe, a Doctor from Lagos on the run from authorities for reasons that are not revealed until well into the final act. My favorite movies ares ones with strong leading characters who act with heroic nobleness. I get an absolute thrill watching Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, or Humphrey Bogard as Rick Blaine, forcing Ilsa to get on that plane out of Casablanca because he loves her and knows there will be hell to pay to take any other course. I love it when Indiana Jones is secretly watching the child slaves in "Temple of Doom" and he is just so outraged that without thinking he plunks a guard with a rock.

Okwe is such a character. He is a man of principles, working shoulder to shoulder with desperate people in a world without principles. His status as an illegal alien makes it impossible for him to even think about working as a Doctor. So to make ends meet he works two menial jobs. He drives a cab for a company with other drivers who routinely stop him in the back room to get treatment for their gonorrhea. At his other job he works as night porter at the kind of hotel that has an hourly rate to accommodate the prostitutes who bring their work to these rooms.

Okwe is the kind of man who plays chess and engages in deep, meaningful conversations for fun. His friend Guo Yi works at the hospital morgue, loses to Okwe in chess, and procures antibiotics for all the cases of the drip back at the cab company.

This movie also has several characters who see nothing wrong with exploiting the perpetually scared immigrants. Two different characters force desperate young women into having sex rather than being reported to Immigration, and in this movie these coerced rapes are just tips of the seedy iceburg underbelly.

The way the movie progresses was uplifting to me, though, although it would be too much of a spoiler to say why. By the end I felt that the noble characters had escaped with their self-respect intact, and the two scumbags had received comeuppances of a painful sort.

The cinematography was reminiscent of Tautou's other famous film, Amelie. If you like watching movies about characters that you can care about, I recommend Dirty Pretty Things highly.
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Dirty Pretty Things was at once a pleasant surprise and a slight disappointment. It stands head and shoulders above the wreckage of most recent Britflicks, but it still never quite reaches the heights. Part of the problem is that the background is the story, leaving us with an at times slight narrative and a very predictable final twist that seems very much like one of Roald Dahl's Tales of the Very Much as We Expected (the moment Chiwetel Ejiofor stops Sergi Lopez's hands from shaking you know exactly what's coming).

That said, it's still a worthwhile trip. Unlike most British films, and London ones in particular, it actually uses the city as a character - in this case the hidden city. We see virtually no ordinary British citizens. Instead the film is inhabited by the illegal immigrants who do the dirty jobs that no-one else wants, the lead character a Nigerian doctor who works double-shifts as taxi driver and hotel porter and rents a couch in Turkish maid Audrey Tatou's couch on a timeshare basis. This milieu is superbly captured, and you get a sense of a world not so much hidden as ignored. Frears direction too is back to the power and drive of his early work after his recent flabby American entries, although he still can't resist caricaturing the Immigration officials - rather than the bored, disinterested and impersonal reality he's opted for cheap comic book villains that diminishes every scene they appear in. Similarly, he doesn't always keep a tight enough rein on some of the supporting performances, Sophie Okenedo in particular: she can be a much better actress, but here she's allowed to veer too much to stereotype and has a couple of awkward moments. Lopez too falls back on some of his overfamiliar mannerisms, although Ejiofor is quite superb in the lead, and his easygoing scenes with Benedict Wong's mortuary waste disposal technician are minor highlights.

Nonetheless, with most British cinema so awful these days, this is definitely worth catching: a very good film even if it could have been even better.

The DVD transfer is fine but the extras are negligible - a brief featurette and a commentary with lots of dead air from Stephen Frears.
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on March 23, 2017
My favorite film!
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on August 29, 2016
we are using this in a college writing class
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