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Awaydays (2009)

tomatometer

36

Average Rating: 4.9/10
Reviews Counted: 28
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 18

Awaydays is an overwrought coming-of-age drama that romanticizes the violence of 1970s street culture in Liverpool and neglects the requisites of a good script.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 1

Awaydays is an overwrought coming-of-age drama that romanticizes the violence of 1970s street culture in Liverpool and neglects the requisites of a good script.

audience

33

liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 712

My Rating

Movie Info

A young man makes some new and dangerous friends in this kitchen-sink drama set in Northern England in 1979. 19-year-old Carty (Nicky Bell) lives with his father (Ged McKenna) and younger sister Molly (Holliday Grainger) and has a good job working for his uncle Bob (Ian Puleston-Davies). Despite his loving family and promising future, Carty is fascinated with "the Pack," a gang of football supporters led by John (Stephen Graham) who are known in the neighborhood for their drinking and reckless

Unrated,

Drama

,

Kevin Sampson

Optimum Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (29) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (18) | DVD (1)

The film falls down in its effort to make credible the background stories of its well-performed lead characters.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Awaydays comes close to being lumped in with every other British indie but the excellent production quality pull it through and director Pat Holden is left with another promising, if flawed, adventure.

April 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

Bell's wholehearted performance and the film's convincingly scuzzy atmosphere don't make up for the big hole in the script.

May 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

A quality cast, strong performances and excellent period detail keep it feeling real.

May 28, 2009
Daily Record [UK]

There's no shortage of movies about Britain's mean streets and, for the most part, Awaydays runs with the pack.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

A meagre budget and a lack of clear-cut character motivations blunts the impact of what might have been a powerful Mean Streets-style study of male friendship.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

A pretentious, grubbily voyeuristic paean to football hooliganism, kitted out with ubiquitous slo-mo violence, tactical post-punk hits and retro fashions.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4

All around him the movie drips with atmosphere. The evocative sense of place is overwhelming, and perhaps the real star. Birkenhead in 1979 may not have been like this. But it is now.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

To these figures, Sampson applies an almost hysterical level of romanticisation, and it sort of works - especially when all the impossibly yearning post-punk music on the soundtrack really gets going.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

What's convincing here is the pervasive unhappiness - the movie really understands violence as a drug, a way out of a void.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Awaydays is a ham-fisted coming-of-age drama that fails to say anything interesting about male relationships, violence, the 1970s or the peculiar northern soul of Liverpool.

May 22, 2009
Little White Lies

Awaydays is a reasonably well-crafted coming of age story and the best of the recent hooligan dramas. It would've been much more impressive, however, had it arrived before Control and This Is England.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Call us old-fashioned, but we wouldn't have minded some characters to relate to, root for and care about.

May 22, 2009
Heat Magazine

Lacking the empathy brought to this sort of subject by Shane Meadows, this is a one-way ticket that hits the dramatic buffers all too soon.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

To its credit, Awaydays does not glamorise its hooligans the way The Football Factory and Green Street did.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

To the music fans, it's watching Echo & The Bunnymen gigs at nightclubs; to The Pack, Awaydays contingent of football hooligans, it's fighting in car parks.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Uncut Magazine [UK]
Uncut Magazine [UK]

Combining awayday punch-ups with bedsit brooding, the tortured relationship between the lads is generally lifeless. Things aren't helped by the film's sheer gloom, as if a layer of dust and grime lies over the camera lens. Missable.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

The film tries to blend Seventies music, fashion and a grim backdrop, but at heart it's a nasty and limp story told better by other movies.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Sunday Mirror [UK]
Sunday Mirror [UK]

Full of junkies, sordid sex and ultra-violence, it paints Seventies Liverpool as a vicious place to live. But somehow the gritty "realism" isn't believable. Perhaps it's the rambling plot or the shallow characterisation.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

Script, editing and some poorly staged fight sequences render this inchoate and almost unforgivably uninteresting.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Audience Reviews for Awaydays

How many films do you really need about Football hooliganism? Does Stephen Graham have to be in every British film that has a slightly dodgy stereotype in it? Well if we only have to have one, it might as well be this one. At least it doesn't glamorise anything, unless you like being miserable that is. The suggestion that the two leads have any kind of relationship or attraction towards each other is so subtle that you'd be forgiven for completely missing it. That said, I quite liked it. It's not brilliant but it is something new. Or maybe it's a new version of something old that wasn't very good but it got me all nostalgic, I don't know, but I liked it. Oh, and the soundtrack is nothing short of glorious.
November 20, 2013
SirPant

Super Reviewer

A really badly made film in many respects and the zero budget is glaringly obvious right from the start. Of course a low budget doesn't make a bad film and can often go in the film's favour, helping to give a film a raw, gritty and more credible feel for example. But good direction doesn't cost anything and here they don't seem to have bothered at all. It often feels like the actors were left to get on with it by themselves - unwise with a cast of (mostly) unknowns. The story is all over the place and characterisation is hamfisted and mealymouthed. So why did I like it so much??...
Maybe cus it's British and cheaply made and, funnily enough, it's not some dumb horror? Maybe cus there are no big stars, or celeb endorsements, or product placement, media hype, explosions or smug knowing in-jokes. Maybe it's cus The News Of The World slagged it off?
Or maybe I'm just a sucker for a story about a homo, tortured by self-loathing and unrequited love, set to a fantastic soundtrack? (it is FUCKING fantastic!). Maybe cus it's a failure but at least they tried?
Actually it's all of the above. It's certainly nowhere near in the same league as 'Control' or the best of Shane Meadows (to which some lazy critics have compared it to) but despite (and sometimes because of) it's many flaws it's not a bad little film and I really enjoyed it.
May 27, 2009
McKittrick

Super Reviewer

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