Life & Lyrics review

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

It’s an urban tale, with troubled kids rhyming their way out of dead-end jobs, midnight scraps and futureless lives spent hanging on swing-sets in the lifeless neon glow of another estate. Sure, it’s old news – Hustle & Flow and 8 Mile, thrown into the mire of Kidulthood hopelessness – but it remains refreshing to see London films where folk don’t walk around going “La di da” while drinking pints of warm ale and saluting Queen Liz.

Instead, this is a punchy street drama packing grit and passion, set in and around a capital where warring north and south gangs threaten the efforts of Asher D’s MC to rise above it all with his better-than-average beats. A little bit like his So Solid Crew, then. Yes, it’s predictable, but any film with the timeless line “Let’s go to Nandos to celebrate” at least knows how to keep it real.

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, News Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Emily Murray. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.