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This is England (2006)

Thomas Turgoose , Stephen Graham , Shane Meadows  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley, Andrew Shim, Vicky McClure
  • Directors: Shane Meadows
  • Writers: Shane Meadows
  • Producers: Hugo Heppell, Julia Valentine, Kate Ogborn, Lizzie Francke, Louise Meadows
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Ifc
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2007
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B000UNYJV8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,386 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "This is England" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

School is out for summer, and 12 year old Shaun is about to find a dangerous new group of friends. Having lost his father in the Falklands War, life has been lonely in this grim coastal town in northern England. When Shaun meets the local skinheads, however, their companionship and even their violence appeal to Shaun’s hurt and rage. In Combo, an older volatile skinhead, Shaun finds a big brother and under Combo’s leadership, the gang and young Shawn will arrive at an irreversible act of violence.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
This story, both beautiful and disturbing in it's messages and imagery, is about many different themes, all brilliantly woven together by British director, Shane Meadows.

The themes cover Thatcherite England in the 80's, Skinheads (good and bad), racism, bullyism, and the loss of childhood innocence. The film is strongly influenced by Director Shane Meadows childhood experiences as a skinhead, both good and bad.

The outline of the story is that a young "Shaun Fields"(played amazingly by newcomer Tomo Turgoose) lives in a small un-named Northern English town in 1983. "Shaun" has recently lost his father in the early stages of the Falklands War. On the last day of the school term before summer break "Shaun" is harassed over his choice of hippy-like clothing by several cooler kids.

On his way home from school, Shaun chances upon a non-racist skinhead gang (which includes two Jamaican members), led by the charming and lanky "Woody" (played by the affable Joe Gilgun). "Shaun" immediately takes to "Woody" as a surrogate father figure and is soon admitted in to the gang. Admission means parties, a new girlfriend (Rosamund Hanson) a new haircut, a new Ben Sherman shirt, and a new pair of boots (purchased by his mother (Jo Hartley) in an extremely funny scene) as well as a whole new group of friends who treat Shaun as an equal.

All seems well in this quiet English town until one incident changes all of their lives about midway through the film. This is the return of "Combo" (the electrifying Stephen Graham in his first major leading role) from 3 years in prison. "Combo" is the former leader of this gang and wastes no time trying to re-establish his dominance in a direct confrontation with "Woody".
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why are`nt there more movies like this? January 2, 2008
First of all, I have to say that I enjoyed this film more than any recent film I`ve seen in the past 2 years. Some may say that coming of age is a gentre that`s been done, but This Is England gives it new life. How can you not root for confused pre-teen Shaun? He`s an average kid in 1983 Britain who is befriended by a group of older teens who dress in punk fashions and love reggae music. The early scenes of Shaun and his new friends really convey the jubilation you feel when you`re young and hanging out with peers, however clueless you may be at the time. All is well until the appearance of ex-con Combo, an older guy who hangs with the neighborhood youth in order to recruit them to racist thinking and the National Front group. Shaun appears to take to his agenda at first, but then the plot goes down another path and there is a more positive ending than one would think.
The film does`nt sugarcoat adolescent behavior-Shaun and cohorts smoke pot and engage in petty vandalism- but neither does it aim for shock value. Every character is just amazingly real, an archetype of people we`ve all grown up with, no matter where you live or what kind of music you like. Extra points for the soundtrack- lots of Toots & the Maytals. And yes, we learn a bit about the politics of 80`s England, which is fascinating since you don`t always hear about recent history in Europe or America. An underrated gem I know I`ll watch many times.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Shane Meadows' semi-autobiographical story of a dejected pubescent boy's transformation into a skinhead in recession-wracked England of 1983 earned "This Is England" top honors at the 2006 British Independent Film Awards. Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) is a defiant and cocksure 12-year-old who recently lost his father in the Falklands War. Surrounded by unemployment, malaise, and picked on at school, he finds companionship and an outlet for his frustrations among a group of skinheads whose leader, Woody (Joe Gilgun), takes the boy under his wing. This seems harmless until violent, insecure Combo (Stephen Graham) rejoins his fellow skins after a 3-year stint in prison, shattering the group's camaraderie with racism and crime.

"This Is England" dives into the skinhead counterculture that gave working-class young people a place to belong and share their dissatisfaction. Unemployment and a poor economy made them susceptible to the inflammatory rhetoric of the National Front, causing skinheads to be associated with racism and violence in the popular consciousness. The two stand-out performances are, not surprisingly, the most emotionally charged characters. Thomas Turgoose is completely natural as a foul-mouthed, moody youngster -who looks closer to 9 than 12. Stephen Graham makes Combo's instability and insecurity menacing, always in danger of erupting. I found the poor quality DV out of place in the period setting and less than this film deserves. But the fine performances are worthwhile. The only bonus feature on the IFC DVD (2007) is a theatrical trailer. No subtitles.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Independent Film! December 7, 2007
This movie touches on a subject that isn't too well known amongst the general public. The concept of what a traditional skinhead is vs. a neo-nazi, and when the traditional skinhead movement turned into a political mess during the 1980's, and the Falklands being only a part of what caused a lot of the political chaos amongst the working class, the patriots, and the youth.

The story is told through the life of a young fatherless boy who lost his father in the Falklands war that befriends a group of traditional skinheads. He is tired of being picked on, and he's tired of being bullied. He's a loner, and the traditional skinhead group he meets become part of his family. When the group encounters Gumbo, a former member of the group, it's a world that the young boy never imagined, and a divide occurs between the traditional skinhead gang and Gumbo's National Front inspired movement.

I have to say that I found the story to be a little bit more realistic than "American History X," and a little bit more educational. The soundtrack to this film is also very fitting, and the soundtrack of traditional ska and northern soul music is wonderful. The characters in the film are also great, esp. the black skinhead, Milky.

If you want a feeling of what happened to the traditional skinheads, or just want an interesting independent film to experience, check out "This Is England."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
i kinda didn't enjoy this movie.
Published 23 days ago by Edith SP
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my favorite films, fantastic character development and cinematography. Highly recommended
Published 1 month ago by Faith
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done British film
If you have any interest in working-class England of the early Thatcher years, you'll appreciate how well done this movie is.
Published 9 months ago by Andrew F.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies I've ever seen!!
Hands down, one of the very best films I have seen in many years. An honest, powerful and genuinely realistic story about the beginings of the skinhead movement in England. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Quadro Sinead Summer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ripping Ride Through Racist Times
Neither for the squeamish nor those who choose to see the problems of racism as in decline, "This is England" places at the forefront of its subject matter a Thatcherite England... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Micah Shapiro
4.0 out of 5 stars Dreary but Good
THIS IS ENGLAND makes up for its relative uneventfulness with immediate realism, truly fine acting, and well-developed characters. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Doug Park
5.0 out of 5 stars A Trad Skin movie with a lot of heart! Oi Oi Oi!
This is one of my favorite movies that I saw on TV late at night. As always amazon had it! It tells the story of a young boy who joins a group of skinheads. Read more
Published 19 months ago by anonymous rogue
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly entertaining movie
I watched This is England on Netflix and found it to be an enjoyable albeit a vague movie about the skinhead culture or counter culture depending on how you perceive it. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Milk__007
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed
A good introduction to this England 86 and 88 looking forward to the next one a true picture of England at that time.
Published 20 months ago by Harry Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Movie
Captures the skinhead life style and pride perpectly and also shows how jail and the ecomany in london caused racisim torward inmmagrants but still be proud be a true skinhead... Read more
Published 21 months ago by skinhead jr
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