The Firm Review

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Urban youths find refuge in the comraderie of football supporter groups, called firms.


Nick Love has carved a career as chronicler of working-class male camaraderie and conflict. If 2007’s Outlaw felt like a regression, redemption comes in the unlikely form of this remake of Brit-grit doyen Alan Clarke’s 1988 TV classic about football hooligans.

Except, really, football doesn’t come into it: the various ‘firms’ — of West Ham, Pompey and Millwall — are pseudo-families for young men desperate to belong. Anderson is brilliant in the Gary Oldman role, the ’80s setting is lovingly recreated and the dialogue pithy and profane. Love also understands street violence is like first-time sex: eagerly anticipated, but quick and messy. The result is intense, exciting and impressive. You fackin’ melt.

Highly watchable and perceptive, with a captivating turn from Paul Anderson in the Oldman role.