The Damned United (2009)

damned_united

This biopic of football legend Brian Clough concentrates on his early career which saw his meteoric rise from manager of relegation-battling lower league team Derby County to manager of league champions Leeds United.

Martin Sheen once again employs his chameleonic skills to become the short-tempered, egotistical yet hugely charismatic and beloved character that was to change the face of modern football. The film centres around his bitter rivalry with previous Leeds manager Don Revie and attempts to look past his abrasive style and understand the man behind the media persona. His particular brand of narcissism is softened by a warm bromance with assistant manager Peter Taylor – played by the ever reliable Timothy Spall – which paints a believable picture of the man behind the legend, aided by a strong ensemble cast and a genuinely realistic sense of the Britain of the 1970’s.

Perhaps only of interest to footballing aficionados, but a nice sense of nostalgia for a passion for the sport that seems to have long since vanished under an ocean of money men and corporate sponsorship makes it well worth watching for said fans.

6.5/10

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