(director: Babak Anvari; screenwriters: Namsi Khan/based on the story by Anvari; cinematographer: Kit Fraser; editor: Matyas Fekete; music: Isobel Waller-Bridge; cast:  George MacKay (Toby Neally), Percelle Ascott (“Jameel” Jay), Kelly MacDonald (Toby’s mom, Lizzie), Hugh Bonneville (Hector Blake), Marilyn Nnadebe (PC Hunter), Varada Sethu (Naz), Franc Ashman (Detective Sergeant Lloyd), Anthony Colf (Superintendent William Roy), Yazdan Qafouri (Omid), Alicia Ambrose-Bailey (PC Vanessa Ceesay), Antonio Aakeel (Faisal); Runtime: 110; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Lucan Toh; Netflix; 2022-UK-in English)


Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Iranian-British filmmaker Babak Anvari (“Under the Shadow”/”Wounds”) directs this heavy-handed English language home invasion thriller, that’s stunted too much by looking like a TV movie. It’s based on Anvari’s story and is written by Namsi Khan.

Two young graffiti artists, Toby (George MacKay) and Jay (Percelle Ascott), break into the homes of the rich London elites and scribble on their walls “I Came By.”

When Jay’s girlfriend (Varada Sethu) is pregnant, he no longer joins his partner in crime, as Toby continues alone.

Everything takes a dark turn after Toby breaks into the house of a popular liberal judge, Hector Blake (Hugh Bonneville), who keeps a dark secret in his basement that could endanger him and his friends. The movie then turns into a tense procedural but never delivers all it promised in its premise, of dealing with topical issues of immigration and racial integration.

Toby’s troubled mother (Kelly MacDonald) investigates what her son is up to.

But the film lost its flow after the exciting ‘break in’ scenes, and seemed to be strained and going nowhere after all its twists and turns.

REVIEWED ON 12/22/2022  GRADE: B-