Reviewer's Rating 2 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Green Street (2005)
18Contains very strong language and strong violence

Green Street would be a grittily convincing study of football-related violence, were it not for two factors. The first is Elijah Wood, a pint-sized, baby-faced actor who makes the least plausible hooligan in cinema history. The second is co-star Charlie Hunnam, who as the leader of the West Ham "firm" sports the worst Cock-er-nee accent since Dick Van Dyke's in Mary Poppins. Together they capsize a well-intentioned but ultimately calamitous attempt to analyse the so-called "English disease".

Expelled from Harvard, journalism student Matt (Wood) heads to London to stay with his married sister Shannon (Claire Forlani). As he plans his next move he falls in with her charismatic brother-in-law Pete (Hunnam), a well-respected teacher and dedicated Hammers fan who proudly leads his club’s infamous Green Street Elite.


Initially repelled by the GSE's bully-boy tactics, Matt soon becomes addicted to the adrenaline-fuelled intensity of a post-match scrap and the boozy camaraderie of his new circle of friends. But Pete's right-hand man Bovver (Leo Gregory) doesn't take kindly to this Yank interloper and secretly plots his downfall.

Director Lexi Alexander punctuates her film with extended fight sequences that boast a bruising, muscular authenticity. Sadly, nothing else rings true in an often comical drama that, like Nick Love's The Football Factory before it, obscenely glamorises senseless violence. There's a great movie about hooliganism and its place in working-class male culture. It's called The Firm, and Alan Clarke made it in 1988.

End Credits

Director: Lexi Alexander

Writer: Lexi Alexander

Stars: Elijah Wood, Charlie Hunnam, Claire Forlani, Leo Gregory, Marc Warren

Genre: Drama

Length: 109 minutes

Cinema: 09 September 2005

Country: UK

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