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Green Street Hooligans

4.5 out of 5 stars 266 customer reviews

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(Aug 29, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Green Street Hooligans (DVD) (WS)

This is a story of loyalty, trust, and the sometimes brutal consequences of living close to the edge. Expelled unfairly from Harvard, American Matt Buckner (Elijah Wood "Everything is Illuminated," the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy) flees to England to his sister's home. Once there, he is befriended by her charming and dangerous brother-in-law, Pete Dunham, and introduced to the underworld of British football hooliganism. Matt learns to stand his ground through a friendship that develops against the backdrop of this secret and often violent world. Also starring Claire Forlani ("Meet Joe Black," "Basquiat") and Charlie Hunnam ("Cold Mountain," "Nicholas Nickleby"). Directed by Academy Award-nominated director Lexi Alexander.


After the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Elijah Wood could've opted for further big budget epics, but took a sharp left turn with this better-than-average B-movie. Released just after Everything is Illuminated, another offbeat entry, Wood plays journalism student Matt Buckner. In the prologue, he's expelled from Harvard when his over-privileged roommate sets him up to take the fall for his own misdeeds. With nowhere to go, Matt decides to visit his sister, Shannon (Claire Forlani), in London. He's already got a chip on his shoulder when he falls under the sway of Shannon's brother-in-law, Pete (Charlie Hunnam), head of West Ham's football "firm," the Green Street Elite. Matt soon gets caught up in their thuggish antics—to tragic effect. In her feature debut, German-born Lexi Alexander makes a mostly convincing case for the attractions of violence to the emotionally vulnerable, as opposed to the emotionally numb pugilists of the more satirical Fight Club. Unlike David Fincher (by way of Chuck Palahniuk), she plays it straight, except for the stylized fight sequences. Consequently, humor is in short supply, but the young Brit cast, especially Leo Gregory as the surly Bovver, is charismatic and Wood makes his character as believable as possible, i.e. he may seem miscast, but that's the point. Although there's no (direct) correlation between the two, Green Street makes a fine taster for Bill Buford's Among the Thugs, the ultimate dissection of the hooligan mentality. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

Documentary: The Making of Hooligans Music Video: "One Blood" Music Video by Terence JayDocumentary: The Making of Hooligans Music Video: "One Blood" Music Video by Terence JayDocumentary: The Making of Hooligans Music Video: "One Blood" Music Video by Terence JayDocumentary: The Making of Hooligans Music Video: "One Blood" Music Video by Terence JayDocumentary: The Making of Hooligans Music Video: "One Blood" Music Video by Terence Jay

Product Details

  • Actors: Elijah Wood, Charlie Hunnam, Claire Forlani, Marc Warren, Leo Gregory
  • Directors: Lexi Alexander
  • Writers: Lexi Alexander, Dougie Brimson, Joshua Shelov
  • Producers: Lexi Alexander, Gigi Pritzker, Bill Allan, Deborah Del Prete, Jon Favreau
  • Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2006
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FBNG1O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,939 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Green Street Hooligans" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 16, 2006
Format: DVD
"Green Street Hooligans" sets a family drama and coming-of-age tale in the world of football (soccer) hooliganism. Matt Buckner (Elijah Wood) was a promising journalism student before he was expelled from Harvard University over his roommate's cocaine stash. Suddenly aimless, Matt wanders to London to visit his sister Shannon (Claire Forlani) and her British husband Steve (Marc Warren). When Matt tags along to a soccer game with Steve's brother Pete (Charlie Hunnam), he finds that there is a lot more to soccer culture than the game on the field. Pete is a member of a football firm or gang called the Green Street Elite (GSE). Firms are organizations of fanatic fans who battle other firms for reputation and dominance -by beating the crap out of each other. Matt is attracted to the high energy, danger, and physicality of the GSE and embraces the lifestyle. But eventually word gets around that he might be a journalist - and hooligans hate coppers and journalists.

I couldn't say how accurately "Green Street Hooligans" represents the dynamics of football firms or the relationships of their members. But the film does provide a window into a subculture that is common in the UK and South America, where soccer reigns supreme, but which Americans may never have heard of. Contrary to the American cocept of gangsters, soccer hooligans are neither Mafioso nor errant youth. They are grown, middle-class men who function perfectly well in normal jobs. But outside of work and domestic obligations, they are completely lawless. They happily adopt a brutality that could leave them dead or maimed in the blink of an eye. "Green Street Hooligans" requires some suspension of disbelief to accept more mundane behavior.
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Format: DVD
Of everything written about this small film starring Elijah Wood and Charlie Hunnam, the most interesting is to see the lukewarm reactions from the UK side, which found the film is too violent, and dismissed it as implausible. And it must be admitted that they are complaining with some good reasons.

For the film is really violent, and Elijah Wood may be the least plausible choice for making a film about the hooligans, almost fanatic supporters of football team in England. Elijah Wood plays Matt, a Harvard college undergraduate student wrongly expelled because of his irresponsible roommate. Matt flies to the home of his married sister (Clair Forlani), and there meets his brother-in-law Pete (Charlie Hannam), devoted leader of the Green Street Elite, bunch of the hooligans supporting West Ham United.

The set-up part is contrived, but you should wait a while. Soon the film's story leads us to its gist, about how Matt (estranged from his father now in Kabul) finds his new existence in this underworld of the `Firm' and its hooliganism. The film does not fail to show the complexity of the characters. The members of the `Firm' have jobs to do when there is not a game (believe me nor not, one of them is an airplane pilot by profession), and not exactly bad guys at all, but when it comes to football games and the rivalry between the Firms, they turn fierce and unstoppable street fighters who have their own rules to follow. You cannot say the script is an in-depth study of hooligans, but still good enough to make us care its characters.

Besides its violent scenes, the criticism we hear against `Green Street Hooligans' is about its cast, Elijah Wood in particular. Yes, the star of blockbuster hit `Lord of the Rings.' Throughout `GSH' Elijah Wood never looks like a hooligan.
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Format: DVD
Green Street Hooligans in a nutshell is an Americanised somewhat overexagerated English story. Being from England, and a former football hooligan in my youth I saw many flaws in this movie that just confused me more than anything. Lets get one thing cleared up "the only thing worse than a yank around here is a journo". That annoyed me, it really got on my nerves, I don't know or have known a football hooligan that has an issue with Americans. Maybe a few have but it's not put about as a general idea, obviously journalists have infiltrated gangs here in the past and have caused a few issues but it's not a wide scale hatred that represents the majority of the culture. If I am completely honest the worst things going to Hooligans are the Germans and the Police, and slight more right wing hooligans have an issue with Muslims.

This film really creates an anti-american vibe amongst the hooligans which in real life just dosen't exist, in reality like mentioned before English hooligans concentrate there dislike mainly on the Germans, with other rivalries with Italians, Turks, French, Dutch, Welsh, Scottish and Irish. The widescale fight near the O2 arena (Millenium dome) near the end is largley unrealistic, as was the depicted deserted train station at Macclesfield (Manchester scene) which depicts as a deserted abandoned station when in theory its a busy Town station. I was impressed with the clothing, the researches have it spot on as the hools like in the film really do wear Stone Island, Armani, Fred Perry, Henri Lloyd, Prada, Burberry, Aquascutum, CP Company and so forth. Pete Dunham's accent is shocking but I like the character, it was a big ask to cast an actor from Newcastle (thick geordie northern accent) and ask him to speak with a strong southern cockney accent.
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