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86

Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 97 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: It's 1983, 12-year-old Shaun is an isolated lad growing up in a grim coastal town, whose father has died fighting in the Falklands war. He finds fresh males role models when those in the local skinhead scene take him in. Here he meets Combo, an older, racist skinhead who has recently got outIt's 1983, 12-year-old Shaun is an isolated lad growing up in a grim coastal town, whose father has died fighting in the Falklands war. He finds fresh males role models when those in the local skinhead scene take him in. Here he meets Combo, an older, racist skinhead who has recently got out of prison. As Combo's gang harass the local ethnic minorities, the course is set for a rite of passage that will hurl Shaun from innocence to experience. (IFC Films) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. 100
    One of the year's best movies...It's one of the simplest and best re-creations of downscale urban England during the gritty post-punk years ever put on screen, and it's both upsetting and very funny.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    100
    As its title implies, This Is England isn't a hyperstylized head-trip a la "Trainspotting" but a straightforward calling to account.
  3. 91
    Taut, tense, and self-consciously stylish.
  4. 88
    The movie is taut, tense, relentless. It shows why Shaun feels he needs to belong to a gang, what he gets out of it and how it goes wrong.
  5. 83
    It's a remarkably sure-handed film, taking us with Shaun on a journey through alienation, anger, trepidation, ebullience and fear.
  6. Somewhere between the pop jouissance of Guy Ritchie and the social realism of Ken Loach, this ballsy drama freeze-frames bleak Thatcherite Yorkshire and exposes its racist underbelly.
  7. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    60
    Facile pop psychology is the real tragedy here, a double disappointment given the film's smart take on pop culture.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 43
  2. Negative: 4 out of 43
  1. ChadS.
    Jan 11, 2008
    10
    "This is England" is the best period-piece film about the relatively recent past since Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused". From "This is England" is the best period-piece film about the relatively recent past since Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused". From the actors with speaking parts, down to the extras that fill out the screen, in unison, capture the milieu of a small population locked together by a generational happenstance. The boys and girls don't look like fashion victims. They look like the young people you see in documentary films about the post-punk era. You instantly know what band or solo artist each girl or boy are into. Shot like a docu-drama, "This is England" also tells a story that's as no-nonsense as its visual style; a story well-told about how an indoctrination begets the racist lifestyle a person undertakes, because we're all born innocent, blank slates susceptible to rhetoric, both, the good and bad sort. Shaun(Thomas Turgoose) is a lonely kid. Combo(Stephen Graham), too, we realize, in spite of his advanced age. Shaun's mentor is still very impressionable, just like anybody who feels marginalized. He's a walking and talking contradiction. Graham makes Combo a fascinating character study because he's not completely irredeemable. There's a vestige of that lonely kid somewhere beneath the faux-confident exterior that hatred instilled him with. "This is England" steers clear away from the wrongheaded notion that racial violence is mindless. There's always some deep-rooted psychological factor behind every hate crime. Combo got to Shaun. And somebody got to Combo. "This is England" is the best British film I've seen of recent vintage that wasn't directed by Mike Leigh(you know who he is), or Lynne Ramsay("Ratcatcher", "Morvern Callar"). Expand
  2. Oct 15, 2010
    10
    British cinema, though underrated, is going from strength to strength. This is hard-hitting, thought-provoking and even occasionally funny.British cinema, though underrated, is going from strength to strength. This is hard-hitting, thought-provoking and even occasionally funny. Thomas Turgoose isn't your typical English child actor, he doesn't have a RP accent or look seven years younger than his real age, but unlike the Freddie Highmoreâ Expand
  3. OllieL.
    Jul 6, 2008
    10
    Totally amazing and influential.
  4. RichR.
    Jan 30, 2008
    9
    I love this director. For me the best scenes are when they are cutting his hair off (this gang may act tough, but they're all really I love this director. For me the best scenes are when they are cutting his hair off (this gang may act tough, but they're all really sweet) and the speech by the creepy National Front guy. Only problem with this movie for me is that Paddy Considine, by far England's best young actor, isn't in it, but then, what role would he have taken? If you liked this, you'll love Dead Man's Shoes, starring Paddy. Expand
  5. bovvaboy
    May 27, 2008
    8
    Tupac S..It doesnt make sense to you because you dont know what real skinheads are.You only know the so called modern day skins.In the uk Tupac S..It doesnt make sense to you because you dont know what real skinheads are.You only know the so called modern day skins.In the uk skins derived from the mods and the rude boys (jamaican blacks) and were NOT against blacks.The confusion probably comes from the so called paki (pakistani) bashing which both the blacks and skins both did. Quote..."These kids were the first skinheads. With shorter cropped hair than the mods(for convenience in street fights) and passions that included football, reggae, and working class values, skinheads were the perfect hybrid of the two groups. A skinhead did not take shit from anyone, they stood firm on their stance on racial unity and working class pride."You live and learn eh? Expand
  6. RichB.
    Nov 16, 2007
    6
    I liked the movie for the most part. It felt very authentic and very well done characters. On the other hand I felt it was lacking a bit in I liked the movie for the most part. It felt very authentic and very well done characters. On the other hand I felt it was lacking a bit in plot. Nothing honestly happens in this movie and after watching it I felt a little let down. Expand
  7. TerryC.
    Nov 25, 2007
    0
    This is England. Yes we know that, and you had to make a movie about that.

See all 43 User Reviews

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