Best Movies by Farr

This Is England

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What's it About

A year after his father has perished in the Falklands War, 12-year-old Shaun (Turgoose) finds camaraderie among a group of ska-music-loving skinheads led by good-natured Woody (Gilgun), who takes a shine to the scrappy schoolboy. But soon their peaceable, interracial group dynamic is poisoned by the return of Combo (Graham), a fearsome Nazi skinhead newly released from prison — and looking for recruits to the National Front among his younger brethren.

Why we love it

Meadows's hard-hitting, autobiographical drama of adolescence-on-the-cusp nabbed loads of acclaim thanks to the talents of young Turgoose, a fabulously expressive young actor, and his co-star Graham, whose channeling of the monstrous, tortured Combo feels less like acting and more like a personal exorcism. Meadows sets his raggedy '80s story within the context of a nation at war, and the period touches (clothes, hair-dos, the jumping soundtrack) underscore just how good he is at evoking the time. Lace up your Doc Martens and pledge allegiance to "England"!

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"