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This is England

4.3 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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(Nov 13, 2007)
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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.

Special Features


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:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Ifc
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2007
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Domestic 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.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000UNYJV8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,279 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "This is England" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Riordan on August 8, 2007
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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. The split from Trojan (Traditional Skins) to Rascist/Far Right Skins is shown here with Combo. It does very good to show the Skin Culture in a movie (the director was a Skin in his youth and it's pretty autobiographical). It is a great coming of age tale, a great Skin movie, it also examines how hatred can spread through manipulative people and how through reason good will rise in the end. Be warned this movie is quite an emotional experience and the ending is cathartic.

All the music is great (Toots and The Maytals, Percy Sledge, The Specials, U.K. Subs, the Piano themes by Ludovico Einaudi, Et cetera) in short it's all good.

As for extras there is an essay on skins, a making of feature, and the deleted scenes (including the alternative ending)

10/10 movie I would highly recommend it to those who keep the spirit of '69 Alive and those who aren't skins at all. It's just a great movie that has a powerful message, it's pretty universal and not just about a subcultute that is very misunderstood.
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