The Damned United (2009)

R  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  27 March 2009 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 30,405 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 75 user | 144 critic | 27 from

A look at Brian Clough's 44-day reign as the coach of Leeds United.



(screenplay), (novel)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

5 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

United I (2011)
Drama | History | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

United is based on the true story of Manchester United's legendary "Busby Babes", the youngest side ever to win the Football League and the 1958 Munich Air Crash that claimed eight of the ... See full summary »

Director: James Strong
Stars: Dean Andrews, Kate Ashfield, Natalie Burt
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The extremely talented Santiago Munez is given a chance at professional football, after being spotted by a scout who has ties with Newcastle United.

Director: Danny Cannon
Stars: Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

When Newcastle United soccer star Santiago Munez is offered a spot with Real Madrid, he accepts, but the move - accompanied by big money and fame - tests his ties and loyalties to family, friends and business acquaintances.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel
Crime | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A wrongfully expelled Harvard undergrad moves to London, where he is introduced to the violent underworld of football hooliganism.

Director: Lexi Alexander
Stars: Elijah Wood, Charlie Hunnam, Claire Forlani
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The Class of 92, a cinematic documentary detailing the rise to prominence and global sporting superstardom of six supremely talented young Manchester United footballers (David Beckham, ... See full summary »

Directors: Benjamin Turner, Gabe Turner
Stars: David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs
Frost/Nixon (2008)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon
Red Dust (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Police officer Dirk Hendricks (Bartlett) files an amnesty application for Alex Mpondo (Ejiofor), a member of the South African Parliament who can't remember the torture he once endured as a captive political activist. South African-born attorney Sarah Barcant (Swank), meanwhile, returns to her homeland to represent Mpondo, as well as Steve Sizela, Mpondo's friend who arrested along with him and ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Hooper
Stars: Jamie Bartlett, Hilary Swank, Ian Roberts
Crime | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Football Factory is more than just a study of the English obsession with football violence, its about men looking for armies to join, wars to fight and places to belong. A forgotten ... See full summary »

Director: Nick Love
Stars: Danny Dyer, Frank Harper, Tamer Hassan
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The manager of England's national football unexpectedly succumbs to a heart attack, and suddenly the search is on for a replacement. Most people who seem qualified for the position have the... See full summary »

Director: Steve Barron
Stars: Ricky Tomlinson, Amanda Redman, Bradley Walsh
Invictus (2009)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge
Longford (TV Movie 2006)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A portrait of Lord Longford, a tireless British campaigner whose controversial beliefs often resulted in furious political debate and personal conflict.

Director: Tom Hooper
Stars: Lee Boardman, Jim Broadbent, Tam Dean Burn
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Eric, a football fanatic postman whose life is descending into crisis, receives some life coaching from the famously philosophical Eric Cantona.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Steve Evets, Eric Cantona, Stephanie Bishop


Cast overview, first billed only:
David Roper ...
Jimmy Reddington ...
Oliver Stokes ...
Ryan Day ...
Mark Cameron ...
Frank Skillin ...
Dylan Van Hoof ...


Taking over England's top football club Leeds United, previously successful manager Brian Clough's abrasive approach and his clear dislike of the players' dirty style of play make it certain there is going to be friction. Glimpses of his earlier career help explain both his hostility to previous manager Don Revie and how much he is missing right-hand man Peter Taylor who has loyally stayed with Brighton & Hove Albion. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"They say Rome wasn't built in a day, but I wasn't on that particular job." See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 March 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Az elátkozott Leeds United  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£618,929 (UK) (27 March 2009)


$449,558 (USA) (5 February 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film has been criticized by the Clough family as they state it was not a true story of events. See more »


Duncan McKenzie is depicted as an idiot in "The Damned United' when in reality he was - and still is - an articulate and witty man. See more »


Brian Clough: We're from the north, Pete. What do we care about Brighton? Bloody southerners. Look where we are! We're almost in France!
See more »


Referenced in Creating Clough (2010) See more »


Yorkshire Television Logo (Original)
Written by Derek New
Published by Television Music Ltd - EMI Music / Granada Media Group
Courtesy of ITV Productions Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Whether or not it's fact or fiction it's certainly entertaining!
24 March 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I went to see this film with a certain trepidation as I don't always understand the true workings of the so-called beautiful game. I'm often rather lost by the offside rule, not too sure what actually constitutes handball and can't quite understand why a good friend can kiss a poster of George Weah and refer to the Liberian as a God. However, I can recognise what a worldwide phenomenon football has become and the massive status that the late Brian Clough held within in the sport.

Clough was one heck of a character and very much of his time and this is where 'The Damned United' really succeeds. You feel like you are truly watching the 70s when men were men and modern players like constant diver Cristiano Ronaldo would have been laughed (or even kicked) off the pitch. Sheen gives an excellent performance and Clough is portrayed as a complex individual with the sort of charisma and wit, which may endear him to cinema-goers who have little knowledge of football or the man himself.

However, I saw this film with a friend who is a huge soccer fan and who confessed afterwards to having certain problems with the accuracy of the story. The film is after all based on a book by David Peace, which merges the facts with his own fiction to show what he thought might being going on behind the scenes during Clough's reign as manager of Derby County and his infamous 44 days in charge at Leeds United. Having recently watched some TV dramatisations of Peace's other novels involving the real life Yorkshire Ripper murders it is easy to see why some people find his particular way of merging fact with fiction lacking in credibility. I personally didn't have such a problem with this film as I felt it really got to grips with who Clough was as a football manager and his probable motives for how he went about the job at Leeds.

While the film's narrative sometimes veers confusingly back and forth between Clough's time at Derby and his short spell at Leeds, 'The Damned United' is a really enjoyable piece of entertainment full of great actors bringing to life intriguing characters. The ultimate strength of the film is that the story manages to become more about friendship (the relationship between Brian and Peter Taylor) and the destructiveness of vanity rather than how many football matches Clough won.

52 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Inaccuracies johnir
Soccer vs Football indieinvestment
So, he hates everything about Leeds and their players... naxself
How will this go down in the States? mark-earl
Why did Revie need to step down from Leeds? ArkhamsMostWanted
Discuss The Damned United (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page