“Real urgency and storytelling punch... tremendously witty, inventive and exciting” ★★★★

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Out on:Download 28th Jan. 2019
VOD 4th Feb. 2019
DVD 11th Feb. 2019

Fast sell:

Throw down some rhymes in this street smart rites of passage drama set against the thrilling, confrontational world of rap battles, that Metro calls, “Authentic and punchy”.

Key talent:

Connor Swindells (Harlots, The Vanishing)
Joivan Wade (The First Purge)
Adam ‘Shotty Horroh’ Rooney
Fola Evans-Akingbola (Game of Thrones, Death in Paradise)
Nicholas Pinnock (Fortitude, Marcella)
Ruth Sheen (Another Year, Vera Drake)
Elliot Barnes-Worrell (Ready Player One)
Emily Taaffe (War & Peace)
Kola Bokinni (War Machine, Black Mirror)

Ed Lilly (debut feature film)

Finola Dwyer (An Education, Severance)
Amanda Posey (Fever Pitch, A Long Way Down)


A troubled foster teen is introduced to the “no limits” world of battle-rap, where his aggression and sharp lyricism quickly makes him a controversial fan favourite.

But when he doorsteps his biological mother after twelve years in care, he’s forced to face his toughest opponent yet: his past.

We like it because:

A scorching debut from director Ed Lilly, who co-wrote the script with Daniel Hayes, VS. is a gritty, urgent, exciting drama that takes a no holds barred look at a living large spitting bars rap youth culture.

Featuring a stand-out, emotionally-charged lead performance from Connor Swindells (soon to appear in the Netflix series Sex Education) VS. also boasts a first rate cast of up-and-coming talent including The First Purge star Joivan Wade, Fola Evans-Akingbola (from Game of Thrones), rapper and musician Shotty Horroh in his film debut and Nicholas Pinnock (Fortitude); as well as award-winning veteran actress Ruth Sheen (Another Year, Vera Drake).

With a sensational soundtrack, featuring the likes of grime superstars Stormzy, Skepta and Bugzy Malone, the film is thrillingly authentic thanks to the involvement of experienced battle rappers including Shotty Horroh, Rowan ‘Eurgh’ Faife, Tony D, Shuffle T and Gemin1.

After garnering a host of rave reviews on its cinema release, this 8 Mile for a new generation is a rap-packed, big-hearted blast of an experience.

Hot Quotes:

“Real urgency and storytelling punch... tremendously witty, inventive and exciting” ★★★★ Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“The wars of words are thrilling and often eye-wateringly offensive” ★★★★ Ed Potton, The Times

“An authentic and punchy watch” ★★★★ Metro

“The slick presentation and heartfelt lead performance lift it above a crowd of imitators” Radio Times

“An energetic rite of passage” Sight and Sound

★★★★★ SBTV



Altitude Film Entertainment
Release date
11th February, 2019
Digital release
28th January, 2019


Ed Lilly
  • Connor Swindells
  • Joivan Wade
  • Adam ‘Shotty Horroh’ Rooney
  • Fola Evans-Akingbola
  • Nicholas Pinnock
  • Ruth Sheen
  • Elliot Barnes-Worrell
  • Emily Taaffe
  • Kola Bokinni