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Overall Rating
3.83

Awesome48.72%
Worth A Look: 26.92%
Average: 2.56%
Pretty Bad: 2.56%
Total Crap: 19.23%

3 reviews, 60 user ratings


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Green Street Hooligans
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by Peter Sobczynski

"The 'Last Samurai' of soccer-thug films"
1 stars

Imagine “Fight Club” made by and for people who misunderstood the point of “Fight Club” and you might wind up with something along the lines of “Green Street Hooligans,” a dismal new drama that pays lip service to the horrors of being a member of a violent gang of thugs–well, a group of British soccer fans (yes, I know they call it football but this isn’t England) who cheerfully beat the stuffing out of anyone who dares cheer for a team other than theirs–while spending most of the running time suggesting that such a group helps build character and can transform a milquetoast schlub into someone who can finally stand up for himself.

The schlub in question is Elijah Wood, who plays an American who flees to England to see his sister (Claire Forlani) after being drummed out of Harvard after being framed for drug possession by his rich, powerful and stoned roommate. Upon arriving, he falls under the spell of his brother-in-law (Charlie Hunnam), the leader of one of the more notorious firms and becomes a top brawler himself. (In other words, it is basically “The Last Samurai” with soccer.) Of course, it all ends tragically but in such a way so that when one of the main characters finally gets beaten to death, it is painted as a glorious and inspiring sacrifice rather than the inevitable end result of a life dedicated to pointless brutality. Sure, the guy has maimed and crippled dozens of people unnecessarily but he is just so darn magnetic in his final moments that you are supposed to overlook that pesky body count, I suppose.

That ending really left a bad taste in my mouth–it is as bottomlessly offensive as anything I’ve seen in a while–but it is hardly the only flaw in the film. The screenplay wants us to believe that these jerks are really complex people who aren’t just brutes but illustrates it in the most generic manner possible–the brother-in-law who breaks people’s noses in the streets after games is also a history teacher and give his tube seat to a little old lady. The direction by Lexi Alexander is equally inept–the dramatic scenes are laughable, the lighter scenes are wildly inappropriate and all of the fight scenes have been larded down with so much post-production trickery that they become impossible to follow. Perhaps the latter was done in an effort to disguise the fact that Elijah Wood, despite the story’s dogged insistence to the contrary, is simply not a very convincing soccer hooligan. Despite that, the screwiest bit of casting has to be the inclusion of Claire Forlani (remember when she was going to be the next big thing after “Meet Joe Black”?) as Wood’s sister–since the siblings are supposed to be American, we are treated to the decidedly odd sight of a British actress in a British-set film trying to pass as an American with an accent that brings new meaning to the word “questionable.”

“Green Street Hooligans” is a stupid and squalid bit of quasi-fascist entertainment that is more nauseating than edifying. The only thing more offensive than the way that it glorifies brutality are the half-hearted stabs at telling us that Violence is Bad–you can tell how much stock the film puts in it by the final scene with Wood confronting his college tormentor. Frankly the single positive thing to be said about the film is that I suspect that American audiences will probably pay it the same amount of attention as they do to the sport that it celebrates.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=11709&reviewer=389
originally posted: 09/09/05 14:00:07
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Tribeca Film Festival For more in the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Atlanta Film Festival For more in the 2005 Atlanta Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/08/12 Marty Suspenseful plot, but spotty acting and script. Great fight scenes and setting. 4 stars
2/28/11 RLan It's a ok film. More about the gang life than football. 3 stars
10/06/10 tiffanys Thank you for your web pages. See that you have updated it. Keep up the good work. [URL= 5 stars
9/04/10 PAUL SHORTT VIOLENT AND CONTRIVED 1 stars
4/13/09 G.S.E SO NOW U KNOW ABOUT FUTBOLL RATHER THAN UR PUSSY GAMES IN THE U.S 5 stars
11/03/08 Shaun Wallner Friiggin Awesome!! 5 stars
7/20/07 Old Bill Hunter So Mr R Anderson yose lot won th Battle of Britain, The Desert Campain and Burma ? Nah 4 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK Oh yes, let's all kiss americas arse. You were very late both times, Ronnie anderson. 1 stars
12/03/06 jordan.b it was wicked and there was loads of blood my faviort is the mager 5 stars
11/15/06 Ronnie Anderson The British are so stupid. We saved your behinds twice already. 5 stars
11/08/06 haylz absolutly amazing best film iv ever seen! 5 stars
10/31/06 Micki best film eva made cr wait till green street 2 cums out n defo pete is fit as anyfin eva!!! 5 stars
10/24/06 Melissa Lang Best film ever pete is a fine thing 5 stars
10/22/06 William Goss Mildly melodramatic towards the end, but relatively engaging overall. 3 stars
10/18/06 Katrina VL I loved this movie so much. Good acting and yes, I cried in the end. 5 stars
10/11/06 Jordan LOVED IT. It was amazing, and I love the loyalty inside the firms. 5 stars
10/10/06 JM people grow up in many different ways; the ending could have/should have been different 5 stars
10/08/06 Hinano Top movies thats for sure. I need to go to the uk for a football match. 5 stars
8/25/06 Zidane Football is war! 5 stars
8/18/06 [tartan army] laughable tht americans think we wouldnt batter fuck out of any US boy comin to our matches 1 stars
8/14/06 Jack Excellent film, really makes you think 5 stars
8/11/06 jonjon the guy who wrote the review, has he ever been to a fight between 2 firms? his review sucks 4 stars
6/20/06 daniel gunn good over all very good acting abit sad at the end 5 stars
6/19/06 TreeTiger A semi-sentimental piece of SOCCER/hooligan bull shee-eit... 2 stars
5/04/06 Travis Butler One of my top 5 favrites for sure. 5 stars
4/17/06 Ismail Ali A very good movie(fantastic) 5 stars
4/10/06 Pedro PPaiva The guy that wrote this review is a huge asshole that doesn't understand football 5 stars
12/18/05 clare fuckin excellent!pete is so sexy and all 17 of my mates luv him,luv to meet him!!such a buz 5 stars
11/06/05 natasha loved it made me cry wen pete died 5 stars
10/26/05 iop Not so bad 4 stars
10/12/05 Dominic P yea its good im glad it captured what its really like down here 4 stars
10/07/05 Rikkert No US citizen understands the passion that British and European fans have for FOOTBALL! 5 stars
10/06/05 Suicide Squad ok film but if it was real frodo would have been killed by those brummy fans hahaha 4 stars
10/04/05 j i think this film was gd 10/10 n charlie hunnam looked HOT 5 stars
9/30/05 Jakub poop 1 stars
9/30/05 DW LUFC - Welcome to the beautiful game 5 stars
9/13/05 steven badass film 5 stars
9/12/05 Jan Well-acted, powerful movie which shows the ultimate futility of violence 4 stars
9/11/05 Z.Ulu-Brum ISF, your havin a laugh. 4 stars
9/09/05 WHUFC Congratulations You Just Meet The ISF 5 stars
9/07/05 Andy This film is terrible. Elijah Wood would get his teeth kicked out at an english game. 1 stars
8/26/05 Charlie H Scarily spot on. I know people who do this every weekend... 5 stars
8/12/05 Tom THis is what soccer is all about none of this soccer mom BS. STAND YOUR GOUND FOR YOU TEAM 5 stars
8/03/05 Kai This stuff is real! 5 stars
7/27/05 Dustin awesome movie, loved every minute 5 stars
7/15/05 Lara Great, fantastically gritty movie 5 stars
6/18/05 tomemk this is studpid !!! 1 stars
6/14/05 Dori Good Story + Strong Acting = Completely satisfying film 5 stars
6/07/05 tom it was useless 4 stars
4/21/05 hm It is wonderful. 5 stars
4/18/05 Chris Excellent Film 5 stars
4/18/05 Cass Pennant=real one I used by cunts ,watch The Firm or footiefactory 1 stars
4/18/05 steve stone This film sucks ..,it was refused a release in UK as NIL/Decline 1 stars
4/10/05 Kip Smedley Amazing film. 5 stars
3/28/05 Cass Pennant Excellent film. Very realistic. 5 stars
3/22/05 GJ Great film, great script. Bravo first time writer Dougie Brimson! 5 stars
3/22/05 Cheri AWESOME! Elijah & Charlie blew me away! 5 stars
3/21/05 bp Half an interesting look at a subculture, half a ridiculous, implausible melodrama 2 stars
3/19/05 Ned awful drivel 1 stars
3/18/05 Nadia Kotula By far the vest narrative film at the festival. Charlie Hunnam was remarkable in this film 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  09-Sep-2005 (R)
  DVD: 13-Jun-2006

UK
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Australia
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