Flash Movie Review: The Damned United

I do not need to know how the beautiful baked dessert placed before me was made. All that matters to me is that it tastes as good as it looks with its dark chocolate syrup dripping down the sides of the spongy chocolate chip cake. The same can be said about the art exhibit I attended, where the artist created these incredible colorful sculptures out of blown glass. It was beyond me how he could take such a delicate medium and produce these exquisite pieces that were placed among the foliage of the local conservatory. Most of the time I prefer not knowing how something was created because I feel it takes away from the visceral experience. It would be similar to having prior knowledge of all the tricks and magical sequences a haunted house amusement park attraction has before you go through it. What fun would that be? This biographical comedic drama is a good example of me not being familiar with the subject, yet I still found this movie to be a highly entertaining experience. I had no idea what was English football. As I viewed this film I wondered if this sport was what here in the United States we call soccer. Michael Sheen (MIdnight in Paris, Twilight franchise) played abrasive, arrogant coach Brian Clough. The story was about the challenges that faced him when he took over the coaching duties from his bitter rival Don Revie, played by Colm Meaney (Law Abiding Citizen, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine-TV), who had taken the Leeds United football team and made them one of the most successful in the league. With Tom Hooper’s (Les Miserables, The King’s Speech) direction, I thought he did a fantastic job in keeping the story steady, letting the actors shine. I have been impressed with Michael Sheen’s body of work so far; this picture only continued it. Adding their specialness to the rest of the cast were Timothy Spall (Ginger & Rosa, Enchanted) as Peter Taylor and Jim Broadbent (Cloud Atlas, The Iron Lady) as Chairman Sam Longson. My only complaint about the film was the use of flashbacks; I had to remind myself of the time frame periodically. To tell you the truth the story was more about egos and personalities than about actual football games. For someone who had no knowledge about this sport, I still had a good time watching this DVD. An added bonus was researching the events of this film afterwards and learning more about the history of the sport. So not only was this an entertaining film, it taught me something new.


3 stars — DVD

About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on January 31, 2014, in Dramedy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. This film tells a very familiar story for us Brits. It’s all about the manager of Nottingham Forest, Brian Clough who was an incredible character and also extraordinarily successful. He won the European Cup twice with the relatively small team of Notts Forest, which is just an incredible achievement. It would be like winning the World Series with [insert small-town baseball team here].

  2. Strangely enough I watched this dvd too on Saturday, and it really brought back the memories. Michael Sheen was excellent as Clough and it was really odd seeing 70s football from a modern perspective. Timothy Spall is one of my favourite actors, if you haven’t seen them already you might like to get the British TV series where he started, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, and Mike Leigh’s Secrets and Lies.

    • That is pretty wild that we both watched this film the same weekend. Thank you for the tip on the TV show; I too am a fan of Timothy Spall. I appreciate you stopping by to leave your comments, thank you.

  3. Haven’t seen anything about this yet here in the states but hope to. The trailer made a compelling case for a great human drama albeit on a small scale. Hopefully if not on the big movie screen here soon then on pay per view. Have always liked both Sheen and Colm Meany’s work. Odd for an American southerner raised in Texas, eh. What can I say? I’m an anglophile.

    • Thank you for your comments and I am glad to let you know I saw this on DVD here in the states. If you get to see this film I would enjoy hearing your take on it. Good luck.

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