6.21 h 38 min2002X-RayR
In the tradition of Scarface and The Harder They Come, Shottas is an unapologetic raw urban drama about two young men, Wayne and Biggs, who grow up together on the tough and dangerous streets of Kingston, Jamaica. Eventually moving to the U.S., they begin a ruthless climb to the top of a criminal enterprise in a Miami as they aggressively take control of the Jamaican underworld.
Cess Silvera
Ky-Mani MarleySpragga BenzLouie Rankin
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Cess Silvera
Samuel Goldwyn Films
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagenuditysexual contentsmokingsubstance useviolence
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4.7 out of 5 stars

1523 global ratings

  1. 86% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 5% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Nicole FarrowReviewed in the United States on February 21, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
You know if or not this is your kind of movie...
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But it bears repeating, this movie is not for everyone! Just looking at the cover graphics and the name you SHOULD know that this movie isn't some Hollywood high budget project but a gritty, low budget gem that has cultural relevance. If the watcher is from the suburbs they will find no character with which to relate, if the watcher has no Jamaican/Caribbean heritage they just aren't going to get it. What should not happen is the outright bashing of a film for which you have no understanding. I'll address a statement I read in a previous review. To paraphrase there was gratuitous violence without consequence. This statement is inherently incorrect. How one doesn't see death as a consequence of previous actions is beyond my realm of understanding. Notwithstanding others' opinions if the watcher grew up with similar experiences they will find characters that remind them of family and scenes that are a glimpse of home. RIP to the great Louie Rankin!!
18 people found this helpful
ShaneReviewed in the United States on October 2, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Pointless glorification of violence and murder
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Pointless glorification of violence and murder and complete exploitation film with no redeeming qualities. What made Scarface a good film was the evolution of the Tony Montana character and how his obsession and drive utterly destroyed him, even after he had achieved the entire world. How his character become more empty the more he had was a poignant statement in the film, and ultimately serves as a warning. Shottas fancies itself a poor man's Jamaican Scarface, but it lacks all the character and depth of the movie it aspires to be. When your motivation is money and power and you aren't afraid to kill anyone who gets in your way, and you aren't particularly clever about it, the result is a rather boring bloodbath where everyone dies in the end. And all of this assumes you can even understand the film. Praised for using Jamaican Patois dialect with no subtitles, the entire film will sound like baby talk nonsense to the Western ear. Unless you are fluent in Patois, you wont really understand what is being said. I still don't know what a "bloodclot" is but it is used as every 3rd word for most of the film. Clinging to a slave culture, to violence, and to ignorance should not be celebrated as this film tries to do.
19 people found this helpful
JayReviewed in the United States on October 20, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
This is a really, really bad movie. It does not deserve such a high rating.
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I can't fathom why this movie seems to be universally praised by the average viewer. It's so objectively terrible; I actually went out of my way to write a bad review so the rating would decrease as 4.5 stars is way to high for this wannabe Scarface film. It's devoid of any meaningful plot, it's abundant in seemingly random acts of violence that does nothing to convey what the movie wants to say (I highly doubt it's trying to say anything at all), and every scene seems to have been directed by someone with no clear understanding of direction. You can tell by how most of these characters interact that they just scraped together a half-baked idea and pushed it out to the public in the laziest way possible, just for the sake of having a "Jamaican Gangster film" out there.

There was so much "flamboyant criminal" filler with the party scenes - the focus on fancy cars and provocative women - at one point I thought this was just one long, low-budget, uncut rap video. Again, there was nothing in these scenes that gave any of the characters dimension or growth nor did it help to progress the story. And don't get me started with the shoot out at Biggs house; so hilariously unbelievable! I mean what kind of hit-man drives up to his victim's driveway in broad daylight, with no mask, several minutes after his accomplices fire the first shot, and still manages to not get the job done!?

I'm convinced that anyone who thinks this is even a remotely good movie has never watched good cinema or probably can't grasp what makes a movie good in the first place. Either that or they're sociopaths who revel at the sight of sex and murder and aspire to be the next El Chapo. As a huge Bob Marley fan, seeing not just one, but two of his sons involved in this catastrophe was saddening and I wouldn't be surprised if he disowned the both of them if he were still alive.
13 people found this helpful
Anu RayReviewed in the United States on October 16, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Glorified violence with no hint of cinematic art nor acting skill.
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Bob Marley would turn over in his grave to see not only his music being used to highlight senseless and stupid violence but also being produced by his descendants. I'm sad for the whole family to know that this gratuitous violence is promoted by the very persons who are victimized most by senseless violence.
In addition, the movie made no sense. The main character was kicked out of the States but he comes back and is involved in hundred of jack moves and 'nobody' notices. The few times he is arrested, he's not sent back to Jamaica?
The main gangster, Kymani Marley, was not convincing, at all. He's all of 5'4" and looks like he grew up in American suburbs. Dreads nor size make you a tough man. Growing up in Kingston ghetto on the other hand, where I've visited, will make or break you.
Shooting women is the least of his acts of masochism. Let me see, shoot the girl in the hot tub, take the other guys 7 million, and ride off into the sunset after killing him too.???
Thanks for helping to disgrace Bob's vision, Kymani. Thanks for glorifying the violence that pervades poor communities stuck in permanent poverty and racist boundaries.
9 people found this helpful
jojoReviewed in the United States on June 2, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Trip down memory lane
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Just what I wanted--Remember that these movies were shot with low equipment which sometimes appears in these copies
9 people found this helpful
380 megaXtremeReviewed in the United States on June 27, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
cool movie
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overall this was a nice piece of work as far as the cinematography acting scoring everything but the story was lacking, i mean as one reviewer said that it glorified murder and violence....well I mean they're right cause most the time I had no clue why someone was getting shot and killed, It was kind of like " yo mon i'm really coo mon..Imo jamacian gangsta mon..i shootz guys so so cooo mon"...... but it still was a pretty cool movie, everyone seemed real (probably were that way they didn't have to act just be themselves like john wayne) it had cool cars and cool soundtrack and nice camera work and lighting.
Dee Smalls!Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent! Straight up Gangsta and straight up Thuggish!
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Now this movie is a classic! I even love the scenes and the real action! Now this is the movie you got to see! Ain't no doubt about it! No question about this movie! Straight on top! Check out that dude from that movie called "Belly!" This movie is real ever since Belly came out or Menace to Society! I can't forget them movies Scarface, Untouchables, King of New York, The harder they come, (Well I never seen that movie) and Year of the Dragon! This is a must see! Thanks!

Dee Smalls!
Represent: Decatur, GA!
10 people found this helpful
Rough Neck ChickenReviewed in the United States on March 9, 2005
4.0 out of 5 stars
Rough Neck Chicken
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Anyone who grew up or spent any number of years in Jamaica or had close cultural exposure through parents\family should find this film very authentic and entertaining; especially if you are a fan of Dancehall Reggae and have familiarity with the contemporary culture. What I found most entertaining was the brash and flamboyant nature of the gangsters (a.ka "shottas") and the authenticity of the patios and each character.

Louie Rankin (also in Belly w/DMX) is a hysterically funny and course gangster who played well against the intensions of Biggs(Kymani) and Wayne(Spragga). Spragga Benz was surprisingly engaging and executed a consistently cool "in control" demeanor, especially in the first half of the movie that was shot in Jamaica. Paul Campbell who played the character "Priest" in Dancehall Queen is excellent as the cool and deadly killer who adds a menacingly dark yet complimentary contrast to the mentality of the "shottas". Wyclef Jean, formerly of the Fugees plays a small but forgettable role as the Haitian contingency who supports Louie Rankin(Teddy Bruck Shut).

The violence depicted in this movie is shocking(but not overly gory) in the way the gangsters\ "shottas" boldly embrace and aggressively execute their way of life with such minimalist concern for human life other than their own brethren. The plot develops very quickly but there are some gaping holes that make the film seem a bit unrealistic. The sub titles are helpful because if you are unfamiliar with Jamaican patios the movie will be hard to follow. However, the sub titles don't include all the dialogue. In my opinion this is will be a long time cult favorite.
20 people found this helpful
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