7.7/10
104,723
196 user 171 critic

This Is England (2006)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama | 27 April 2007 (UK)
A young boy becomes friends with a gang of skinheads. Friends soon become like family, and relationships will be pushed to the very limit.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
2,604 ( 57)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 13 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Shaun has just finished his final exams and he realizes he is no longer a kid. It's mid 80's England, and the gang are back, looking for a laugh, a job, and something that resembles a future.

Stars: Andrew Ellis, Andrew Shim, Chanel Cresswell
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Christmas 1988. Soulmates, woody and Lol find themselves in exile from each other and the gang. Trying to understand the definition 'growing up', Shaun begins a course at College, that quickly takes the wrong turn.

Stars: Andrew Ellis, Andrew Shim, Chanel Cresswell
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The year is 1990, the rave scene has just entered England. The sound of the Stone roses lurks toward Shaun and the gang. This means that Woody and Lol are living in a domestic bliss, they are happy again. But this year will see huge changes in everyone. This is the year 1990. This is England.

Stars: Lyra Mae Thomas, Billy Braithwait, Chanel Cresswell
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A disaffected soldier returns to his hometown to get even with the thugs who brutalized his mentally-challenged brother years ago.

Director: Shane Meadows
Stars: Paddy Considine, Gary Stretch, Toby Kebbell
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In a typical English working-class town, the juveniles have nothing more to do than hang around in gangs. One day, Alan Darcy, a highly motivated man with the same kind of youth experience,... See full summary »

Director: Shane Meadows
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Danny Nussbaum, Toby
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Cynth
...
...
Lol
...
Woody (as Joe Gilgun)
...
Andrew Ellis ...
Perry Benson ...
Meggy
...
...
...
Kriss Dosanjh ...
Kieran Hardcastle ...
Kes
...
Edit

Storyline

This is England: Mods, New Romantics, and Skinheads are the major youth sub-cultures of this very English summer of 1983 and young 12-year-old Shaun is left wandering aimlessly alone and lost during the start of his school holidays, until his chance meeting with Woody and his fun and friendly Skinhead pack. Finding a new lease of life; girls, parties, Ben Sherman shirts, Doc Martin boots and shaven hairstyles young Shaun is welcomed, life during this summer holiday has got a whole lot better. That is until Combo arrives on the scene bitter, dangerous, racist, militant and psychotic life for young Shaun has just approached his first major crossroads. This is England is a look back at the early eighties of British working-class life through the eyes of young Shaun and his new gang, and dealing with the bitterness of outside influences such as racism and xenophobia, of mass unemployment and the fall out of the Falkland's War; Thatcher's Britain: Did we ever have it so good? When you see ... Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

skinhead | england | friend | racist | boy | See All (168) »

Taglines:

Run with the crowd, stand alone, you decide.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 April 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Ovo je Engleska  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

£1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£207,676 (United Kingdom), 29 April 2007, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,430, 29 July 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$327,919, 18 November 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The character names 'Woody', 'Gadget' and 'Meggy' were also used by Shane Meadows in TwentyFourSeven (1997) See more »

Goofs

Misrepresentation of the World Wars. WWI and WWII were won through international cooperation. See more »

Quotes

School Bully: I'll tell you how to get four people into a mini. Two in the back, two in the front and your Dad in the ashtray!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in This Is England? (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Tainted Love
Written by Ed Cobb
Performed by Soft Cell
Published by Embassy Music Corporation
Courtesy of Mercury Records Ltd. under licence from Universal Music Operations Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
This is England - The very best British cinema has to offer.
5 November 2006 | by See all my reviews

Fellow Midlander Shane Meadows has produced not only his finest work to date but one of the very best films to come out of Britain that I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. Just as the effectively chilling, bloody (yet arguably flawed) "Dead Man's Shoes" showcased a passionate return to low budget, focused film making, "This Is England" sees him perfect his technique. It is a seemingly effortless achievement that matches a warm, humorous portrayal of a young lad growing up with his experience of the cold brutality that came with the 80s skinhead culture. The way in which Shane blends these two aspects together without compromising on either is most impressive.

Delivering a surprising, enchanting performance in the lead role as Shaun, Thomas Turgoose portrays a youngster of incredible warmth and charisma. He is befriended by a relatively harmless gang skirting with the skinhead culture rife at the time. His strength of character in the face of the adversity life throws his way is truly unforgettable, a credit to both Shane as the writer and Thomas as the performer. As Shaun discovers the joy of "belonging" in the gang, the viewer takes a similar journey. Through sublime use of another excellent soundtrack (an ear for music in relation to visuals is one of Shane's most loved and respected trademarks) the joy of youth and life literally springs from the screen.

What is particularly successful is Shane's restraint where it comes to grounding the film in reality. It would have been all too easy to escalate these events above and beyond the core group of characters, creating a power struggle on a much bigger, thrill friendly scale. Instead the film remains focused and convincing, not once do you doubt the likelihood of events. The canvas may be smaller but emotionally "This Is England" resonates more powerfully than ever before, taking the harsh, greys of a story like "Dead Man's Shoes" and enlightening it with a central character full of warmth and honesty. In the end this serves to engage the viewer on a much greater level.

It is in comedy that "This Is England" truly surprises, not the usual splash of dark humour but humour of much broader appeal. Thomas' performance brings the sharp dialogue to life with a wonderful physical range, the first half the film is crammed with delightful comic moments that really draw you in to the character, making future events all the more affecting. Much is made of Shaun's romance with a much older girl, the scenes are tear-jerking in their tender, wonderfully observed realism. There is much in the film that will trigger moments of recognition in the viewer, especially (but not exclusively) those who were young in the 80s.

As big time skinhead Combo (the other stand out performance of the piece from Scouser Stephen Graham) comes out of jail the film takes a U-Turn, presenting a troubling, unrestrained view on racism through extreme nationalism, getting deep under the skin to question the source and nature of such hatred. It is in this that we realise this is a study of human nature as Shaun is presented with more extreme acts that drive him to question the moral behind such irrational prejudices.

Book ending the film is real news footage of the political climate surrounding the events depicted, prominent among which is Maggie Thatcher's invasion of the Falklands (a conflict that's consequences prove key to the central narrative) When asked "Will we ever talk to the Argentines again?" on a radio interview Thatcher purrs "No… I don't think so" The parallels are fitting and thoroughly engaging. Inspired, shaped and formed by Shane's own childhood, "This Is England" is ultimately an honest, confident piece of film making right from the heart. The film is a wonderful example of what British cinema has to offer the world. The film may be grounded in period authenticity, but the narrative is ultimately applicable to all of us, having experienced the inescapable process of growing up. Shaun's quality shines through, his experienced may be unique but the messages conveyed are most certainly universal.


112 of 140 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 196 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page