IFC Films | Release Date: July 27, 2007
7.7
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 115 Ratings
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Positive:
92
Mixed:
15
Negative:
8
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10
OllieL.Jul 6, 2008
Totally amazing and influential.
2 of 2 users found this helpful
10
ChadS.Jan 11, 2008
"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 "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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JoshMay 7, 2008
Great Movie. Probably one of my most favorite movies and I watch a lot of movies. The script is well-written, the acting, especially that of thomas turgoose, is phenomenal. The film is directed beautifully portraying remarkable poignancy and Great Movie. Probably one of my most favorite movies and I watch a lot of movies. The script is well-written, the acting, especially that of thomas turgoose, is phenomenal. The film is directed beautifully portraying remarkable poignancy and a great story. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
FilmfanAug 5, 2007
Enjoyable and evocative for the time portrayed, but should be closer to 70 on metacritic scale. Nostalgia bits and acting very good but ultimately not much more to it.
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9
RichR.Jan 30, 2008
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 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
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10
PatD.Aug 7, 2007
Truly excellent film. Fantastic performances from the young cast, while the soundtrack is spot on. A real gem of a movie, easily one of the best of 2007.
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10
sterckxJan 15, 2008
A great movie that tells a real story about skinhead subculture an the emotional enviremant the culture struggled with during that decenium great acting and nice girls.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JimT.Feb 17, 2008
Great film. A stylish piece of pop culture, political commentary and coming of age calling-to-account. It felt like a very personal rendition of events and for those who didn't / haven't lived through 15% unemployment I can see how Great film. A stylish piece of pop culture, political commentary and coming of age calling-to-account. It felt like a very personal rendition of events and for those who didn't / haven't lived through 15% unemployment I can see how it doesnt travel particularly well. A solid 9. Expand
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8
DavidM.Nov 5, 2007
I agree that the scenes of the boy kissing the older girl was slightly odd. She wasn't 18 though but rather fifteen. Also, being a skinhead doesn't make you a racist so it is not unusual for them to have a black friend at all. I agree that the scenes of the boy kissing the older girl was slightly odd. She wasn't 18 though but rather fifteen. Also, being a skinhead doesn't make you a racist so it is not unusual for them to have a black friend at all. Anyone who does a bit of research will know that the history of skinhead culture is very blurred and has its roots in west indian culture. There are and always have been both racist and anti racist skinheads and for me this film illustrates this well. More importantly though I think it is beautifully shot film that is full of fantastic acting. Expand
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10
StevenSDec 29, 2007
To put this simply, this is one of the 3 best films I've seen this year. The soundtrack, the script, the direction and the cinematography were all perfect to the point of disbelief. Each scene was as powerful as the last and this To put this simply, this is one of the 3 best films I've seen this year. The soundtrack, the script, the direction and the cinematography were all perfect to the point of disbelief. Each scene was as powerful as the last and this continues up until the utterly BRILLIANT closing shot. Expand
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10
AjF.Sep 7, 2007
A gripping tale of a 12 year old's need for acceptance and the wrong place he found it.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
elabOct 24, 2008
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 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 Highmores of the film industry he has a raw, convincing acting style. This is England is fairly short but still packs a brutal punch. Great acting, great script, Meadows obviously has a great understanding of the era and the film shows that skinheads did not start of as racists but divided. The film is very real with people acting in a real style with real accents. So please, people instead of whatever Hollywood drivel is out on DVD, rent This is England. Expand
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8
bovvaboyMay 27, 2008
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 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
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10
JenniferC.Dec 11, 2007
Loved this movie. Touching and true portrayal of skinheads in England in the eighties.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
IainM.Oct 28, 2007
An accurate portrayal of skinheads.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
DamianC.Sep 24, 2008
A fascinating little slice of life film boasting an excellent script, alternately touching and powerful performances which accurately depicts real people in Thatcher's working class England rather than stereotyped versions of same. A fascinating little slice of life film boasting an excellent script, alternately touching and powerful performances which accurately depicts real people in Thatcher's working class England rather than stereotyped versions of same. While the young Shaun is utterly believable, it's the fury and frustration of Combo that steals scenes, exemplified in Milky's reaction to his racist epithets. Highly recommended. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
DavidR.Nov 29, 2007
Best British film in years
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
FilmIdeologistAug 31, 2010
Shane Meadows perfectly captures the 80s in England with his unflinching portrayal of the far-right movements of the time and the innocence of youth. Thomas Turgoose and Stephen Graham put in amazing lead roles which captivated me from the start.
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10
GoatbotSep 7, 2010
Seems a few people are going on about this group of skin heads being friends with a black person and that being unrealistic. The skinheads evolved in the 60s from the likes of the jamaican rudeboy culture. It was during the 70s strongSeems a few people are going on about this group of skin heads being friends with a black person and that being unrealistic. The skinheads evolved in the 60s from the likes of the jamaican rudeboy culture. It was during the 70s strong contingents of skinheads aligned with neo nazism. The period in which This Is England is based is when white power began to fade and anti racist skinhead groups began to emerge trying to bring it back to its roots. Also the kids in the film clearly hadnt been introduced to the neo nazi side of skinhead culture yet. They grew up with Milky and had accepted him as one of their own. Its clear why theyre friends with him and the film is historically very accurate. Its also a great story. Expand
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9
KingmushMar 20, 2011
http://mushreviews.blogspot.com/2011/03/this-is-england.html

If you haven't heard of this movie it's probably because it is British..as the title suggests. I was recommended me this movie by my roommate (who coincidentally is in England
http://mushreviews.blogspot.com/2011/03/this-is-england.html

If you haven't heard of this movie it's probably because it is British..as the title suggests. I was recommended me this movie by my roommate (who coincidentally is in England this semester) and finally watched it. I didn't know to expect as he really just said, "Watch this movie." But I liked what I got. Basically the story is about a younger kid who is getting picked on at school and on his way back home he meets a group of skinheads. From there they take him under his wing and introduce him into the skinhead culture. Eventually things get serious, lines are drawn, mistakes made. I thought this was a great coming of age story with a different style. You really feel for this kid as he's getting picked on and then even though you know the skin heads are sketchy, at least they are nice to him and you sympathize. The whole movie honestly is a roller coaster of emotions about the main character and all that's happening. I haven't had a movie that has had this much emotional impact on me in a while.
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10
jordanmorganOct 15, 2010
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 sevenBritish 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
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10
MichaeIDec 21, 2010
The way Shane Meadows builds up tension and makes the viewer care about the characters in the story is truly amazing. A brilliant film where not much happens but every moment seems to stay in your head. The acting of Stephen Graham isThe way Shane Meadows builds up tension and makes the viewer care about the characters in the story is truly amazing. A brilliant film where not much happens but every moment seems to stay in your head. The acting of Stephen Graham is exceptional as he manages to portray an intimidating and thuggish character but also succeeds in showing there is a reason behind it without blatantly saying it out loud. Expand
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8
rotkuDec 24, 2011
Gritty but believable and the characters are superbly acted. A true sense of what growing up in the miserable era of the early eighties was like. The concept has been done a million times over but rarely with this much aplomb.
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10
funkydoodycoolAug 8, 2015
My 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 trueMy 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.
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10
StevenFJul 10, 2013
A film that digs into the heart and soul of human beings, that tests the limits and boundaries one will go to not only for friendship, but for love, This Is England is one of the defining films of the decade. It has the most influential,A film that digs into the heart and soul of human beings, that tests the limits and boundaries one will go to not only for friendship, but for love, This Is England is one of the defining films of the decade. It has the most influential, surprising and emotional performances of any film, and could certainly contend with being one of the best British films ever made.
We are introduced to Shaun, a 12 year-old schoolboy who is dealing with the loss of his father in the Falklands war, and a boy who also has quite an attitude of not giving in when criticism or verbal abuse comes his way, the part played by Thomas Turgoose, and its safe to say you will be in awe of this young lads performance, his acting puts across this stubborn behaviour of Shaun, something which lands him in trouble, but also which introduces him to a group of youths in a tunnel, who immediately feel sorry for him and take the young lad under their wing. These group of people, led by Woody (Joseph Gilgun), are skinheads, the prominent and often highly publicised subculture of shaved head and punk style appearance.
Shaun immediately fits in with the band of misfits, who are really a sympathetic bunch, but when Combo, a former member, is released from prison, he seeks to return to the old ways of taking an almost white supremacy stance, ridding their country of anyone who isn't British. The part of Combo is in my personal opinion the highlight of the film, his unpredictable yet heartwarming attitude with Shaun is portrayed in undeniable perfection by Stephen Graham. A scene involving himself and Turgoose as Shaun when they speak about how Combo will be there for him when others aren't is truly moving, and shot beautifully to capture the gritty effort going into the performances.
But of course, This is England isn't without its brutality, and the language and violence, while minimal, truly show a glimpse of the life of these youths, and what they felt under the rule of Margaret Thatcher.Shane Meadows has truly created one of the finest films of the decade and shoots i na wonderful manner, but the performances, especially from Graham and Turgoose are exceptional, with the more candid and personal scenes being the standout parts.
With the racial segregation and attitude of those that felt rage towards their countries political agenda are brought to light in the film and addressed, but for others there is also a light of acceptance shown for those who the wider world would believe wouldn't be a part of it, true human behaviour and emotional depth has been outlined in one of the finest films of this generation.
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10
suity_saharFeb 9, 2012
Brilliant. Almost every scene is perfection. Contains intense scenes that slowly creep up on you. Right up there with Trainspotting I have to admit. Now i want to see the series that came after.
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9
CinePlaceboJun 14, 2012
El espíritu adolescente siempre ha marcado momentos de angustia para los padres. Rebeldía, experimentación, búsqueda de identificación, llevar al límite las normas y entender, por las buenas o por lasEl espíritu adolescente siempre ha marcado momentos de angustia para los padres. Rebeldía, experimentación, búsqueda de identificación, llevar al límite las normas y entender, por las buenas o por las malas, este mundo que hay que caminar. This is England es una película que pareciera esculcar en un pasado reciente en Inglaterra, que buscara la génesis de un movimiento neonazi y problemáticas urbanas que han pasado de generación en generación; pero no, es una historia efervescente en lo clásico, entrañable en lo ya visto: un adolescente perdiendo su inocencia. La magia y el drama de las hormonas en desarrollo.
Leer más en: http://cineplacebos.webnode.es/news/unos-ojos-un-momento-una-nacion/
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8
Nesbitt10Aug 29, 2013
"This Is England" sounds like your typical British film concrete, plenty of rain, and of course the misery. In actuality, this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, the film buzzes with energy and humor, while propelled by brilliant,"This Is England" sounds like your typical British film concrete, plenty of rain, and of course the misery. In actuality, this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, the film buzzes with energy and humor, while propelled by brilliant, engaging performances.

It's 1983 and 12-year-old Shaun Field (Thomas Turgoose) is an isolated lad growing up in a grim coastal town, whose father has died fighting in the Falklands war. After being persistently bullied, he finds role models when those in the local skinhead scene take him in. With his new friends, Shaun discovers a world of parties, his first love, and a sense of belonging. Here he also meets Combo (Stephen Graham), an older, racist skinhead, who was recently released from prison. As Combo's gang harasses the local ethnic minorities, Shaun is a willing passenger. But When Combo ups the ante and his propensity for violence increases, Shaun must make some difficult choices.

There are two standout performances. The first is from child actor Thomas Turgoose, whose raw energy and pugnacious attitude are perfect for the character of Shaun. There's never a moment's doubt that he fully inhabits the character. Equally strong is Stephen Graham as the demented, charismatic Combo. Graham conveys both critical aspects of his character: the allure and the contempt. Combo is more than a heartless street thug, and that understanding is what makes Graham's portrayal so powerful.

Meadows sentimentalism has sometimes gotten the better of his work, with tears and needlessly punishing violence, but not here.The film slows down and thickens as Shaun becomes embroiled in a subculture of hate in moments, it’s a little talky, but never loses its intensity. Shaun may embody hard times and bad breaks, but Mr. Meadows refuses to let him off the hook. His script and direction are virtually flawless. The one exception is the film's ending when it needlessly nails home the point once more, but no worries. The unrelenting heart and toughness of the film makes this one terrific British drama.
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8
iCronicJul 12, 2014
This just flashed me, when i saw it. Genius amateur actors, so realistic, so raw
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10
TheGreenBeastNov 30, 2014
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 inVery 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!
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