This Is England

In 2006, the world was introduced to the gritty British film, "This Is England." Directed by Shane Meadows, the movie is a coming-of-age story set in the summer of 1983, following the life of a young boy named Shaun as he navigates the complexities of adolescence in a post-punk era. The film is a raw and honest portrayal of working-class life in the UK, addressing issues of racism, nationalism, and identity.

"This Is England" is widely regarded as a cinematic masterpiece, earning critical acclaim and a devoted following. However, the film is not without controversy, as some have criticized its portrayal of skinheads and the use of racist language. In this blog post, we will explore the themes and messages of "This Is England," examining the impact it has had on British cinema and society.

One of the main arguments we will be covering is the film's portrayal of youth culture and its relationship with politics. Through the eyes of Shaun and his friends, we see the influence of the National Front and the rise of right-wing extremism in 1980s Britain. We will also discuss the use of violence and its representation in the film, as well as the significance of the skinhead subculture in British history.

Another point we will be covering is the controversy surrounding the film's use of racist language. While some have praised the film for its realism, others have criticized it as being gratuitous and offensive. We will examine both sides of the argument and explore the broader context of race relations in contemporary Britain.

Ultimately, "This Is England" is a film that challenges its viewers to confront uncomfortable truths about society and human nature. It is a film that has sparked important conversations about race, class, and identity, and its impact continues to be felt today. In this blog post, we hope to provide a deeper understanding of the film's significance and encourage further discussion. So, let's dive in and explore the world of "This Is England."

I'm sure you will also enjoy the following films:

TitleRelease YearDirectorIMDB Rating
American History X1998Tony Kaye8.5
Trainspotting1996Danny Boyle8.1
Fish Tank2009Andrea Arnold7.3
The Football Factory2004Nick Love6.8
This Is England '882011Shane Meadows8.3

"American History X" is a movie that holds a special place in my heart. Released in 1998, this movie has remained relevant to this day, tackling issues of racism, white supremacy, and redemption. Directed by Tony Kaye, and starring Edward Norton and Edward Furlong, "American History X" is a movie that showcases the power of cinema to challenge our perceptions and make us think about the world around us.

The Plot

"American History X" is a story about a man named Derek Vinyard, played by Edward Norton, who is released from prison after serving a three-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter. Derek was a member of a white supremacist group and was responsible for the death of two black men. However, during his time in prison, Derek begins to question his beliefs and realizes the error of his ways. Upon his release, he tries to prevent his younger brother, played by Edward Furlong, from going down the same path he did.

Strong Points

One of the strongest points of "American History X" is the performances of its cast. Edward Norton delivers an outstanding performance as Derek, portraying the character's emotional journey with conviction and depth. Edward Furlong also shines as Danny, Derek's younger brother, who is caught up in the world of white supremacy. The movie also features powerful cinematography, particularly in the scenes that depict Derek's transformation, where the black and white cinematography is used to great effect.

Weak Points

One of the weaknesses of "American History X" is that it can be quite graphic and violent at times. Some viewers may find it difficult to watch certain scenes, particularly those that depict hate crimes and racism. However, these scenes are integral to the story and help to convey the message of the movie.

Final Thoughts

"American History X" is a movie that is not for the faint of heart. It deals with some heavy subject matter, but it does so in a way that is both thought-provoking and impactful. The movie is a reminder that racism and hate can have devastating consequences, but it also shows that redemption is possible. Overall, "American History X" is a must-watch movie for anyone who is interested in exploring the complexities of racism and the human condition.

Trainspotting: A Gritty and Raw Film

Trainspotting, released in 1996, is a film that has become a cult classic over the years. Directed by Danny Boyle, it is a gritty and raw depiction of the lives of a group of heroin addicts living in Edinburgh, Scotland. The movie is based on a novel by Irvine Welsh and tells the story of Mark Renton, played by Ewan McGregor, and his friends as they struggle with addiction, poverty, and the consequences of their actions.

Plot Summary

The movie begins with Renton and his friends, Sick Boy, Spud, Begbie, and Tommy, who are all heavily addicted to heroin. They spend their days trying to score drugs, steal to fund their addiction, and get high. However, Renton starts to realize that his life is going nowhere, and he wants to get clean. He tries to quit heroin several times, but his addiction proves too strong.

As the movie progresses, the group gets involved in more dangerous activities, including stealing money from drug dealers and running from the police. Eventually, Tommy dies from complications related to his drug use, which leads to Renton finally deciding to get clean and start a new life.

Strong Points

One of the strongest points of Trainspotting is the cinematography. The movie captures the gritty reality of life in Edinburgh in the 1990s, and the camera work is both creative and visually stunning. The editing is also exceptional, with some scenes that are quick and frenetic, while others are slow and deliberate.

Another strong point of the movie is the performances of the cast. Ewan McGregor is outstanding as Renton, and the supporting actors also deliver powerful performances. The chemistry between the actors is palpable, and it is easy to believe that these characters are old friends.

Weak Points

One of the weak points of the movie is the graphic nature of some of the scenes. There are several scenes of drug use, which may be difficult for some viewers to watch. Additionally, some of the scenes of violence and sex are also quite graphic.

Another weak point of the movie is that it can be difficult to understand the Scottish accents at times. This may make it difficult for some viewers to follow the dialogue, particularly if they are not familiar with the dialect.

Overall Impression

Trainspotting is a movie that is not for the faint of heart. It is a gritty and raw depiction of addiction and its consequences. However, it is also a powerful movie that is beautifully shot and expertly acted. The story is compelling, and the characters are well-developed and believable.

What Makes This Movie Special

Trainspotting is special because it is a movie that deals with difficult subject matter in a raw and unflinching way. It is a movie that is not afraid to show the dark side of addiction, poverty, and crime. Additionally, the movie is a snapshot of a specific time and place in history, and it captures the mood and tone of Edinburgh in the 1990s.

Personal Opinion

As a movie expert, I believe that Trainspotting is a masterpiece of modern cinema. It is a movie that is both entertaining and thought-provoking, and it has influenced countless filmmakers since its release. The movie is a testament to the power of storytelling and the importance of taking risks in filmmaking.

I recently watched the 2009 release, Fish Tank, and I must say I was thoroughly impressed by this British drama film. Directed by Andrea Arnold, the movie follows the story of a 15-year-old girl named Mia who lives in a council flat with her mother and younger sister. She dreams of becoming a dancer and frequently practices her moves in an abandoned apartment.

Plot and Characters

The movie is set in a bleak and gritty urban landscape, which perfectly captures the mood and tone of the story. Mia, played by Katie Jarvis, is an incredibly complex character who is struggling to find her place in the world. She is tough and rebellious on the outside, but on the inside, she is just a lost and vulnerable teenager who is desperate for love and attention.

The arrival of her mother's new boyfriend, Connor, played by Michael Fassbender, brings some much-needed excitement into Mia's life. She becomes infatuated with him and starts to see him as a father figure. As their relationship develops, Mia is forced to confront some harsh realities about herself, her family, and her future.

Strong Points

The acting in this movie is outstanding, especially from Katie Jarvis and Michael Fassbender. They both deliver powerful and nuanced performances that really bring the characters to life. The cinematography is also exceptional, with the camera often focusing on Mia's face and body language to convey her emotions.

Another strong point of the movie is the way it tackles difficult themes such as poverty, family dysfunction, and female sexuality. The story is raw, honest, and unflinching, which makes it all the more powerful.

Weak Points

While I loved this movie overall, there were a few weak points that I should mention. The pacing of the movie can be slow at times, which might not be to everyone's taste. Additionally, some of the scenes can be uncomfortable to watch due to the graphic nature of the content.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Fish Tank is an exceptional movie that deserves more recognition. It's a raw and honest look at the struggles of a young girl trying to find her place in the world. The acting, cinematography, and themes are all top-notch, making it a must-watch for fans of drama movies.

As a fan of gritty and realistic films, I recently watched "The Football Factory" and found myself intrigued by its portrayal of hooligan culture in England. Released in 2004, the film is directed by Nick Love and stars Danny Dyer as Tommy Johnson, a young man who finds himself drawn into the violent world of football fanatics.

Plot Summary:

The movie follows the lives of a group of friends who are enthusiastic supporters of the Chelsea football club. They spend their weekends traveling around the country to watch matches and get involved in violent clashes with rival fans. Tommy, played by Danny Dyer, is the main character and we see his journey from being a young and naive fan to someone who is consumed by the culture of violence that surrounds him.


Direction and Cinematography:

The direction and cinematography in "The Football Factory" are both top-notch. Nick Love does an excellent job of capturing the gritty and violent world of football hooliganism. The camera work is edgy and raw, which perfectly complements the film's subject matter.

Strong Points:

One of the strongest points of the movie is the cast. Danny Dyer delivers a standout performance as Tommy Johnson, and the supporting cast is also excellent. The film's portrayal of hooligan culture is also very accurate, and it does not shy away from showing the violent and ugly side of the football fan subculture.

Weak Points:

The movie does have some weaknesses, however. At times, the dialogue can be a bit clunky and the pacing can be slow. Additionally, the film's portrayal of women is somewhat problematic, as they are mostly depicted as objects of desire for the male characters.

Overall Impression:

Despite its flaws, "The Football Factory" is an engaging and thought-provoking film that offers a fascinating glimpse into a subculture that is often misunderstood. The movie is not for everyone, as it contains graphic violence and strong language, but for those who are interested in the subject matter, it is well worth watching.

Final Thoughts:

In conclusion, "The Football Factory" is a well-made movie that offers a realistic and gritty portrayal of football hooliganism. Nick Love's direction and the excellent cast make this a movie that is definitely worth checking out. While it may not be everyone's cup of tea, it is a film that is sure to leave an impression on those who watch it.

"This Is England '88" is a British drama television series that premiered in 2011. Directed by Shane Meadows, the series continues the story of a group of friends in the aftermath of the Falklands War in 1982.

Plot Summary

The series picks up three years after the events of the previous film "This Is England '86". The story focuses on the lives of the characters as they navigate their way through the Christmas season of 1988. The central character, Shaun, is struggling to come to terms with the death of his father, and his relationship with his mother is strained. Meanwhile, Lol and Woody are having difficulties in their relationship, and the arrival of a stranger threatens to disrupt the group's dynamic.


The series is a gripping and emotional exploration of the lives of working-class people in 1980s Britain. The characters are portrayed with a depth and nuance that is rare in television dramas. The performances are outstanding, particularly from Thomas Turgoose as Shaun and Vicky McClure as Lol. The writing and direction are impeccable, capturing the mood and atmosphere of the era with authenticity and realism.

Strong Points

One of the strengths of the series is its ability to tackle difficult and complex issues, such as grief, trauma, and mental illness, with sensitivity and empathy. The characters are flawed and vulnerable, but also resilient and determined to overcome their challenges. The cinematography is also a standout feature, capturing the bleakness and beauty of the British countryside in winter.

Weak Points

One potential weak point of the series is its heavy reliance on nostalgia and references to popular culture of the era. While this may appeal to some viewers, it could also be seen as limiting the series' appeal to a particular demographic.

Personal Opinion

Overall, I would highly recommend "This Is England '88" to anyone who enjoys high-quality drama with a social conscience. The series is a powerful and moving exploration of the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary times. The cast and crew have created a masterpiece of modern television, one that is sure to stand the test of time.