As The Harder They Come Celebrates Its  Anniversary, We Run Down Some Yardstyle Cinematic Classics Today marks the 40th anniversary of the official U.S. release of the Jamaican cult classic, The Harder They Come. Our heartical bredrens at Complex have just published a definitive history of the making of the film, which you can read right here. (After which you can peep the trailer below) As a celebration of the film’s legacy, Synocto Pictures is screening it in theatres across the U.S. in a fully restored and re-mastered version. If you've only seen the first film ever made in Jamaica on a small screen, find a theater near you, roll up, and roll out. After that we predict you'll be in the mood for more yardstyle cinema. So we've helpfully curated a list of all killer no filler feature films with Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora as a setting or a subject, complete with web streaming links so you can get right to the Lights... Camera... Action! Seen?


A funky ’70s docu-drama in which the great drummer Horsemouth’s motorbike gets stolen and he burns a spliff with Jah Spear before putting together a ragtag posse of reggae artists to get it back from the Jamaican mafia. Crazy cameos and musical performances throughout.

Netflix Link

Better Mus Come

Storm Saulter’s gritty independent film is simulatneously a love story, a hood story, and a tale of political intrigue loosely based on the Green Bay Massacre. BMC has been a big hit on the festival circuit as well as a cathartic experience for many Jamaicans who lived through this period of the country’s history.

Facebook Link


Ky-mani Marley stars with Spragga Benz in this Kingston-to-Miami hustler’s tale. Louie Rankin steals the whole movie with his portrayal of the big man Teddy Bruk Shot.

Netflix Link

Dancehall Queen

Palm Pictures produced this film about the bashment girls who compete for prize money and bragging rights in the dancehallls of Kingston. Amazing soundtrack.

Netflix Link

Third World Cop

Another Palm Pictures production, this time loosely based on the exploits of the notorious Jamaican policeman known as Trinity. The Ninjaman cameos are amazing.

Netflix Link


The star of this film is a real Rastaman beloved to director Dickie Jobson in part because he helped rescue a young castaway named Chris Blackwell from dehydration back in the day. The plot progresses from rescuing some helpless travelers to exposing all types of Babylonian fuckery.

Netflix Link


Brinsley Forde of Aswad stars in this film about the British reggae sound system scene and the lives of Jamaican youths in the UK. Essential viewing to help understand the riots that broke out all over London a couple years back.

Vimeo Link

Life & Debt

The only documentary on this list is Stephanie Black’s mind-blowing and heart-breaking investigation of how the International Monetary Fund cripples Jamaica (and other “third world” nations like it) through its severe economic policies. Reggae star Buju Banton livens up an otherwise bleak tale. Still this should be considered a must see.

Netflix Link

Gett'A Life

GHETT’A LIFE is an “against the odds” action drama set in a politically turbulent inner city community of Kingston. Derrick, a determined teenager realizes his dream of becoming a champion boxer despite a country, community and family conflicted by divisive political system.

Netflix Link