City of Tiny Lights (Movie)

Title — City of Tiny Lights
Available on — Amazon Prime Video
Production Country — United Kingdom
Release Date — 2016
In moody London, a burned-out sleuth sinks into a world of corruption and murderous romance when he tackles a mysterious case of a missing sex worker.

🪶 Story & Synopsis

In the crime drama “City of Tiny Lights,” set in modern-day London, viewers are taken on a thrilling journey with private investigator Tommy Akhtar as he delves into the murky world of religious extremism and political corruption while trying to crack a missing persons case.

Tommy Akhtar, portrayed by Riz Ahmed, is a down-at-heel detective who gets embroiled in a complex web of intrigue when he takes on the investigation of a missing Russian prostitute. The case leads him deep into the underbelly of London, where he uncovers a sinister world of secrets and deception.

As Tommy follows the trail of clues, he finds himself confronting his own past and facing dangerous adversaries who will stop at nothing to protect their interests. Along the way, he encounters a cast of intriguing characters, including the enigmatic Shelley played by Billie Piper, the charming Lovely portrayed by James Krishna Floyd, and the mysterious Melody portrayed by Cush Jumbo.

Director Pete Travis skillfully navigates the gritty streets of London, capturing the city’s multicultural essence and infusing the film with a sense of urgency and tension. The cinematography by Felix Wiedemann adds to the atmospheric quality of the movie, immersing viewers in the dark and shadowy world where Tommy Akhtar must navigate to uncover the truth.

With a pulsating score by Ruth Barrett, “City of Tiny Lights” keeps audiences on the edge of their seats as Tommy races against time to solve the mystery and bring justice to the streets of London. The film’s runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes flies by as the intricate plot unfolds, revealing shocking twists and turns that will leave viewers breathless.

Overall, “City of Tiny Lights” is a gripping and compelling crime thriller that showcases Riz Ahmed’s talent as a leading man and delivers a captivating story that will keep audiences guessing until the very end.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Riz Ahmed, Billie Piper, James Floyd, Cush Jumbo, Roshan Seth, Hannah Rae, Antonio Aakeel, George Sargeant, Alexander Siddig, Vincent Regan, Barry Aird

Actor Role
Riz Ahmed Tommy Akhtar
Reiss Kershi-Hussain Young Tommy Akhtar
Roshan Seth Farzad Akhtar
Ram John Holder Trinidad Pete
Cush Jumbo Melody Chase
Miriam Acharki Mrs Elbaz
Mohammad Ali Amiri Avid Elbaz
Pablo Raybould Brian
Branko Tomovic Big John
Billie Piper Shelley
Hannah Rae Young Shelley / Emma
George Sargeant Stuart Southern
Charlotte Blake Jones
James Floyd Hafiz “Lovely” Ansari
Antonio Aakeel Young Lovely
Torin Pocock Barman
Danny Webb DS Cal Donnelly
Damson Idris Hakim
Alexander Siddig Al-Dabaran
Benjamin Leefar Spook
Vincent Regan Tall Man / Agent Schaeffer
Barry Aird Jerry Quinn
Jake Fairbrother Tunde
Grace Calder Girl at club
Elroy Anthony Cafe proprietor
Dean Phillips Rana
Aouxe Natasha
Harry Lawtey Charlie Benson
Adam Gibbs News reporter
Sofia Ben Achour Doctor
Ann Gabrielle The queen
Deepak Verma Asif Ansari

💬 Reviews and feedback

Welcome to the world of “City of Tiny Lights,” where the streets are paved with mystery, intrigue, and a whole lot of neon lights. Imagine a blend of Sherlock Holmes and a modern-day noir aesthetic, sprinkled with the captivating presence of Riz Ahmed.

In this crime drama set in the bustling London underworld, we follow private detective Tommy Akhtar, played by the talented Riz Ahmed. And let me tell you, Ahmed’s performance is like a fine wine – it gets better with every scene. His attention to detail is so on point that you might find yourself wanting to hire him for your own investigations!

  • Plot: The storyline takes us on a rollercoaster ride through the darkest corners of the capital, where Tommy unravels a missing person case that leads him down a rabbit hole of secrets and surprises. With each twist and turn, you’ll be hooked, trying to piece together the puzzle alongside our hardboiled detective.
  • Themes and Tone: The film delves into themes of friendship, betrayal, and the gritty reality of urban life. The tone is dark yet alluring, drawing you into a world where nothing is as it seems.
  • Acting and Characters: Ahmed’s portrayal of Tommy Akhtar is nothing short of mesmerizing. His nuanced performance brings depth to the character, making you root for him even when things seem bleak. The supporting cast adds layers to the story, each character contributing to the intricate web being woven on screen.
  • Direction: Travis’s direction gives the film a sleek and stylish look that perfectly complements the gritty narrative. The pacing keeps you on your toes, never letting you settle into complacency.

Binge-watching Tips: Keep your eyes peeled for subtle details in each scene; they might just hold the key to unlocking the mystery before Tommy does!

“City of Tiny Lights” isn’t just about solving a case; it’s about peeling back the layers of a city teeming with stories waiting to be told. So grab your popcorn, dim the lights, and get ready for a thrilling ride through London’s underworld.

Rumor has it that after watching this film, even Sherlock Holmes himself would be impressed! So what are you waiting for? Dive into “City of Tiny Lights” and let yourself be enveloped by its captivating darkness.

Rating: 8/10

In conclusion, “City of Tiny Lights” shines bright amidst a sea of crime dramas with its stellar performances, gripping plot twists, and an atmosphere that keeps you glued to your seat. So go ahead, immerse yourself in this neo-noir gem and let Riz Ahmed guide you through the labyrinthine streets of London!

Remember – in a city full of tiny lights, sometimes it’s those dimly lit corners that hold the biggest secrets…

Pros Cons
Riz Ahmed’s captivating presence Excessive stylistic tics
Stellar and attentive performance by Ahmed Script floundering in parts
Ahmed’s meticulous work in every scene Horrendous acting at times
Engaging crime drama storyline Laughably absurd moments


  • City of Tiny Lights - Wikipedia

    City of Tiny Lightsis a 2016 British crime thriller film directed by Pete Travis and written by Patrick Neate, based on his own 2005 novel of the same name. It stars Riz Ahmed, Cush Jumbo, James Floyd, Billie Piper and Roshan Seth. Set in London, it tells the story of a private detective who investigates the disappearance of a Russian prostitute. The film had its world premiere in the Special Presentations section at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival on 12 September 2016. It was released in the United Kingdom on 7 April 2017.

  • City of Tiny Lights (2016) - IMDb

    • js-66130
    • Jun 16, 2017
    • How long is City of Tiny Lights?Powered by Alexa


    • Release date
    • Country of origin
    • Language
    • Also known as
      • Grad neupadljive svetlosti
    • Filming locations
      • Brentford, London, England, UK(Various street scenes)
    • Production companies
    • See more company credits at IMDbPro

    Box office

    • Budget
      • £3,000,000 (estimated)
    • Gross worldwide
      • $54,903
    • Runtime1 hour 50 minutes
    • Color
    • Aspect ratio
      • 2.35 : 1

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  • City of Tiny Lights | Rotten Tomatoes

    City of Tiny LightsCritics ReviewsAudience ReviewsMy RatingCast & Crew

    Pete TravisDirectorRiz AhmedTommy AkhtarBillie PiperShelleyJames Krishna FloydLovelyCush JumboMelodyRoshan SethFarzad Akhtar

⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

In “City of Tiny Lights,” directed by Pete Travis, the story revolves around British detective Tommy Akhtar, played by Riz Ahmed, as he navigates the gritty streets of London in a crime thriller based on the novel by Patrick Neate. The movie delves into themes of terrorism anxiety and anti-Muslim prejudice, adding layers of tension to the narrative.

The plot thickens as Tommy Akhtar, a complex and nuanced character portrayed brilliantly by Riz Ahmed, finds himself entangled in a web of mystery and danger. His past resurfaces when his long-lost love, Shelley, played by Billie Piper, reappears, adding emotional depth to the storyline.

As the story unfolds, Tommy delves deeper into a case involving a missing woman, leading him down a dark path where he must confront his own demons while untangling a complex web of deceit and betrayal. The narrative is enriched by the stellar performance of Riz Ahmed, who brings a captivating intensity to the role of Tommy Akhtar.

The film captures the essence of a modern noir, with a blend of suspense, intrigue, and emotional resonance. The portrayal of London as a character in itself adds to the atmospheric quality of the movie, immersing the audience in the seedy underbelly of the city.

Throughout the film, Riz Ahmed’s performance shines as he skillfully navigates the moral ambiguity of his character, drawing the audience into his world of shadows and secrets. The supporting cast, including James Floyd, Cush Jumbo, and Roshan Seth, further enriches the narrative, adding layers of complexity to the story.

As the movie builds towards its climax, the tension mounts, culminating in a gripping finale that will leave viewers on the edge of their seats. The resolution of the central mystery and the emotional arcs of the characters come together in a satisfying and thought-provoking conclusion.

In the end, “City of Tiny Lights” is a compelling and atmospheric crime thriller that offers a fresh take on the genre, anchored by Riz Ahmed’s standout performance and a captivating narrative that keeps the audience engaged from start to finish.

👪 Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating:

“City of Tiny Lights” has not received an official MPAA rating. However, based on the content of the movie, it is recommended for mature audiences aged 16 and above.

Parental Guide:

Parents should be aware that “City of Tiny Lights” is a British crime thriller film set in modern-day London. Here is a detailed parental guide to help you determine if this movie is suitable for your child:

Sex & Nudity
  • The movie contains some sexual content and references, including scenes with kissing and implied sexual activity.
  • There are no explicit nudity scenes in the film.
Violence & Gore
  • “City of Tiny Lights” includes scenes of violence, including fights, shootings, and physical confrontations.
  • There are some bloody and graphic moments, but they are not excessive or overly gory.
  • The movie features moderate to strong language throughout, including profanity, sexual references, and some crude humor.
  • There are instances of use of the F-word, as well as other expletives.

Overall, “City of Tiny Lights” is a mature crime thriller that deals with themes of religious fanaticism and political intrigue. Parents should consider the above content elements before allowing their teenagers to watch this film.

📺 Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
Amazon Prime Video Currently you are able to watch ‘City of Tiny Lights’ streaming on Amazon Prime Video or for free with ads on Amazon Prime Video with Ads.

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • In the teeming, multicultural metropolis of modern-day London, a seemingly straightforward missing-person case launches a down-at-heel private eye into a dangerous world of religious fanaticism and political intrigue.
  • City of Tiny Lights is a 2016 British crime thriller film directed by Pete Travis and written by Patrick Neate, based on his own 2005 novel of the same name.
  • Meet Tommy Akhtar (Riz Ahmed), cricket fan, devoted son to an ailing father and deadbeat private eye. He’s got an office above a cab firm, a taste for cigarettes and bourbon, and a finely tuned moral compass that he keeps hidden behind a sharp cynicism.
  • Ahmed impresses in the only role with any meat on it. His big eyes add sadness to a one-note character defined by an uninteresting back-story and a convoluted emotional history whilst Billie Piper – in her first film since 2005 -tries valiantly to reach the heady heights of femme fatale gone before.
  • Few actors could inspire hope when reading dialogue so inconsistent and over-wrought whilst their shared chemistry is never anything more than slightly, if unremarkably palatable.
  • It’s clear Travis is enamored with classic noir, but he struggles to translate that adoration to anything more than a half shrug. Ahmed is a star, and that’s clear, it’s a disappointment then that City of Tiny Lights tries so hard to dull it.
    Thomas Harris

🤖City of Tiny Lights Reddit Talks

The song “City of Tiny Lites” by Frank Zappa has been the subject of much discussion on Reddit, with users offering various interpretations of its meaning and significance. Here’s a summary of the key points raised in these discussions:

City of Tiny Lights Meaning: Many users believe that the song’s title refers to Los Angeles, as seen from the hills or mountains, where the city’s lights appear as tiny specks. This interpretation is supported by the fact that Zappa was known to use Los Angeles as a setting for his songs, and the lyrics of “City of Tiny Lites” evoke the city’s atmosphere and culture.

Musical Interpretation: Users have also discussed the song’s musical qualities, praising its complex and experimental nature. The song’s use of dissonant harmonies, odd time signatures, and extended guitar solos has been noted as characteristic of Zappa’s unique and innovative approach to music.

Live Performances: Several users have shared their experiences seeing Zappa perform “City of Tiny Lites” live. They describe the performances as energetic and captivating, with Zappa’s virtuoso guitar playing and the band’s tight musicianship creating a mesmerizing atmosphere.

Zappa’s Genius: “City of Tiny Lites” is often cited as an example of Zappa’s genius as a composer and musician. Users have praised the song’s originality, complexity, and emotional depth, arguing that it is a testament to Zappa’s immense talent and creativity.

Personal Interpretations: Reddit users have also shared their personal interpretations of the song’s lyrics, which have been described as open to multiple meanings. Some users see the song as a commentary on the superficiality and alienation of modern life, while others interpret it as a more personal and introspective reflection on the human condition.

Cultural Impact: The song’s cultural impact has also been discussed, with users noting its influence on subsequent generations of musicians. The song’s innovative use of sound and structure has been cited as an inspiration for many experimental and progressive rock artists.

Overall, the Reddit discussions on “City of Tiny Lites” reveal a deep appreciation for Zappa’s artistry and the enduring legacy of his music. The song continues to inspire and challenge listeners, inviting them to delve into its complex layers of meaning and musicality.

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Where was City of Tiny Lights filmed?

The movie City of Tiny Lights was filmed in London, UK. Principal photography began on 27 April 2015 and lasted for six weeks.

What is the City of Tiny Lights about?

City of Tiny Lights is a crime drama centered around private detective Tommy Akhtar who takes on the case of a missing prostitute and finds himself immersed in the mysterious London underworld.

Is City of Tiny Lights worth watching?

For fans of Riz Ahmed’s captivating performance, crime dramas, and films with intricate plots, City of Tiny Lights is a compelling watch that is sure to keep you engaged throughout its 90-minute runtime.

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