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United Kingdom, Italy · 1980
1h 35m
Director Franco Rosso
Starring Brinsley Forde, Trevor Laird, Karl Howman, Brian Bovell
Genre Drama

Reggae rapper Blue and his crew are looking forward to an upcoming sound clash competition with a rival sound system. As the competition nears, Blue must source tunes and equipment for the show, while simultaneously navigating unemployment, xenophobia, and police brutality in 1980s London.

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Austin Chronicle by

Babylon's cultural specificity is what gives it power, putting it as much in a tradition of British alienated youth movies like Brighton Rock and Quadrophenia (not coincidentally written by Babylon scriptwriter Martin Stellman).


TheWrap by Candice Frederick

The lead performances are so genuine and the dialogue, with tones ranging from unbridled glee to utter hatred, is so pure that you think at times that you’re watching a documentary. Babylon is a vivid, though flawed, story that offers no clear villains or angels. Instead, it gives you the truth.


The Hollywood Reporter by John DeFore

An English cousin to the earlier Jamaica-set films "The Harder They Come" and "Rockers" that is vastly superior in cinematic terms and just as valuable as a cultural document.


Los Angeles Times by Robert Abele

The cast’s rumble and spark are draw enough, but there’s also Chris Menges’ textured urban cinematography and Rosso’s empathetic direction, like neorealism rewired and amplified.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

Babylon brims over with life in ways that few films of recent vintage could manage, a movie-moment that remembers when “One Love” was enough to end any argument and calm any troubled waters.


The New York Times by Wesley Morris

All of that observation in Babylon amounts to something that still feels new. You’re looking at people who, in 1980 England, were, at last, being properly, seriously seen.

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