Golden Globe-winning actor Idris Elba’s standout directorial debut fuses the hard-boiled gangster genre with a dramatic coming-of-age period piece, bringing to life characters who struggle to find forgiveness while making their own paths between two worlds.
On a hot night in Kingston, Jamaica, 1973, Jerry Dread stops the music at an outdoor party to encourage a truce between warring gangs. His little brother Denis looks on from the crowd as an assassin's bullet rings out, taking Jerry’s life. A decade later, Denis is the right-hand man to gang boss Fox, who sends him on a loyalty-testing mission to London. But when the mission goes wrong, Denis hides out with an old flame and decides to find his brother’s killer.
Yardie – a term used to describe Jamaican expatriates in London in the 1970s – is based on the cult novel by Victor Headley. Elba clearly revels in his meticulous recreation of the times with an astute eye for period detail and an evocative soundtrack that captures the tumultuous spirit of Kingston and London in the ’80s—where identity, culture, and even the cities themselves were in flux.