Ali G Indahouse

Ali G Indahouse is a 2002 British comedy film directed by Mark Mylod, written by Sacha Baron Cohen and Dan Mazer, and starring Baron Cohen as the title character, who was originally developed for the Channel 4 series The 11 O'Clock Show and Da Ali G Show. It is the first of four films based on Baron Cohen's characters from Da Ali G Show, and is followed by Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Brüno, and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, it is also the only one of these films not to be a mockumentary.

Ali G Indahouse
Ali G Indahouse.jpg
Cinema release poster
Directed byMark Mylod
Written by
Based onAli G
by Sacha Baron Cohen
Produced by
  • Sacha Baron Cohen
CinematographyAshley Rowe
Edited byPaul Knight
Music byAdam F
Distributed by
Release date
  • 22 March 2002 (2002-03-22)
Running time
88 minutes[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom
  • £5 million
  • ($7 million)
Box office$25.9 million[2]


Ali G is the leader of Da West Staines Massiv, a fictional gang composed of wannabe gangsters from Staines. Their chief rivals are Da East Staines Massiv. Da West Staines Massiv are distraught to learn that their cherished hangout – the John Nike Leisure Centre, where Ali teaches a life support group for young schoolboys, will be demolished by the local council so they decide to protest. After he goes on a hunger strike and is spotted locked to some railings by the Deputy Prime Minister David Carlton, he is thrown into a world of political corruption as the Deputy Prime Minister tries to use Ali as a catalyst to ruin the Prime Minister's (the PM) reputation. Ali is put forward as a candidate to be the next MP for Staines and manages to alienate most of the electorate. During a debate with his rival candidate, Ali tries to insult his rival by claiming that he "sucked off a horse" but the rival unintentionally confesses to Ali's claim and Ali wins.

Inexperienced as a Member of Parliament, Ali's outlandish behaviour and ideas seem to work. He visits a customs checkpoint in Dover as a delegate compiling a report. Through strategies such as making education more relatable and ensuring the immigration of attractive women into the UK, Ali becomes incredibly popular, meeting the PM's intentions and bringing his percentage lead in the polls up twenty two percent. With this the PM offers to save Ali's Leisure Centre. Ali accompanies the Prime Minister to a United Nations peace conference to avert war between the French-speaking African nations of Chad and Burkina Faso. The United States and Russia back opposite countries and both threaten nuclear attacks. Ali sneaks into the catering area and pours a bag of cannabis into the delegates' tea. A side-effect is that the two opposing presidents become allies. The PM says that Ali has saved the world. Carlton's secretary Kate Hedges figures out what Ali has done and retrieves the empty bag, which she mails to the press. Upon his return to the UK, Ali is forced to leave Parliament.

Before the John Nike Leisure Centre can be saved from imminent demolition, a video emerges of Ali and his girlfriend having sex in the PM's bedroom at Chequers. As Ali was wearing items of the Prime Minister's clothing at the time, the media believe the video details the PM with a prostitute, forcing his resignation. This results in Carlton being made acting Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Carlton orders the destruction of the leisure centre. He has bought all available real estate in Staines knowing that the town will be destroyed to make way for the construction of a new terminal for Heathrow Airport which will make him wealthy. The West Staines Massiv race to find the master copy of the CCTV tape proving the PM's innocence, offering a truce to the gangs of Staines and Berkshire to help them break into the vaults and retrieve the tape. They do this successfully and reinstate the original Prime Minister. Staines is to be saved from destruction with the Prime Minister declaring that Slough is to be destroyed instead. The film ends when Ali is posted as the British ambassador to Jamaica, where Carlton is forced to work under Ali in Jamaica.



The opening "gangland" dream sequence was filmed in Los Angeles, with all other scenes photographed in Manchester, London and Staines.

Filming also took place at Manchester Town Hall between Thursday 31 May and Saturday 2 June 2001.

When Ali references the Berkshire Massiv of Englefield Green, this is actually in Surrey. The John Nike Leisure Centre is a real facility, though located several miles west of Staines in Bracknell, central Berkshire.


The film premiered in British cinemas on 22 March 2002, and across various other countries (France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Spain, etc.) throughout the rest of 2002 and midway through 2003.[3] Ali G Indahouse was given a limited theatrical release in the United States. On September 5, 2003, the film was released on a few screens in Austin, Texas.[4]

The film was released via DVD in the UK on 11 November 2002, and in the US and Canada on 2 November 2004. The DVD version has been modified from the original UK cinema version. In the original cut, the film opens with Ali G appearing over the BBFC Certificate and changes the categorisation from 15 to 18. He goes on to warn about having sex in the back row of the cinema (other people's semen on the seats) and to suggest that the audience's enjoyment will be enhanced by lighting a spliff.[5] This thirty second introduction is missing from all international cinema releases as well as all current home video releases.

Critical receptionEdit

The film received mixed reviews, The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 53% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 17 reviews, with an average rating of 5.16/10.[6] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 46 out of 100 based on 9 critic reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[7] It opened to some notably negative reviews from critics; however, over the years, the film began to receive some positive mentions following the successes of Borat and Brüno. While some hailed it as a successful low culture comedy,[8] it inspired little of the strong fan enthusiasm associated with Da Ali G Show and with Baron Cohen's subsequent film, Borat.


On 18 March 2002, a soundtrack album for the film was released. Featuring music used in the film, it also featured linking material by Ali G, as if the album was a pirate radio broadcast on Ali's "Drive By FM". It was an enhanced CD, featuring the music video for "Me Julie".

Cultural impactEdit

Staines was officially renamed by local councillors to Staines-upon-Thames in part to avoid the fictional gangland associations implied by this film.[9]


  1. ^ "Ali G Indahouse (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 7 March 2002. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Ali G Indahouse – Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  3. ^ "Ali G Indahouse (2002) - Release dates". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Ali G Indahouse". The Guardian. 24 March 2002. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Ali G Indahouse (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Ali G Indahouse Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  8. ^ Hollywood Archived 14 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Staines becomes Staines-upon-Thames to shake off Ali G link". BBC News. 20 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2013.

External linksEdit