Generally favorable reviews- based on 107 Ratings
OllieL.Jul 6, 2008Totally amazing and influential.
Aug 8, 2015My favourite British film. Sure, at times the acting is clunky (particularly amongst the child actors - who without exception improve in theMy favourite British film. Sure, at times the acting is clunky (particularly amongst the child actors - who without exception improve in the TV sequels) but the ambience, the setting are pure nostalgic genius. The story hits home as a true part of Thatcher's legacy, with Stephen Graham's Combo bringing amazing insight and emotional power to his character, who is caught up in anti-pakistani sentiment of the time. Thomas Turgoose's acting is also worthy of note - unfortunately he has since failed to live up to his career's beginnings, however here he takes us with him as he struggles to find his place amongst the other characters in the story. The real shame is that Joe Gilgun doesn't have more screen time. His character, Woody, provides the perfect foil to Combo, but it isn't a relationship that is explored in any depth until the sequels.
The relationship between Smell (a 15 year old girl) and Shawn (an 11 year old boy) has drawn some criticism, but that stuff happened, and probably still happens today. It was presented in a wholly realistic, if awkwardly acted, manner.
As a political allegory it serves to remind us that once upon a time, not all that long ago, our perceived "enemies" were different to those today. Replacing anger towards "pakis" today with Eastern Europeans and Muslims.
Shane Meadows has stated that the story unfolds as a reflection of his own childhood. This comes across in the film, which reminds me also of the dark times in my childhood in that period. I knew people like those depicted in the film, both those that embraced the racist rhetoric of the National Front, and those who saw past it and stayed out of the nonsense. Besides this, the clothing, the poor decoration in the homes, and the struggles of Shawn's mother against poverty are all spot on for the time.… Full Review »
Nov 30, 2014Very genuine and honest movie! The ending is heartbreaking. Stephen Graham shows one of the strongest and best perfomances I have EVER seen.Very genuine and honest movie! The ending is heartbreaking. Stephen Graham shows one of the strongest and best perfomances I have EVER seen. The inner conflict and vulnerability that he potrays as the character combo, is deeply moving, but in such a subtle way, that it becomes a very unique performance!
One of my favorite movies!… Full Review »