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Brassed Off

Brassed Off (1997)



Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 10,853

My Rating

Movie Info

Economics and music are the twin focal points of this comedy/drama about a community in crisis. The small British town of Grimley has long been dominated by the coal mine where most of the men work, and the town's greatest source of pride is the Grimley Colliery Band, a brass ensemble that's won a number of nationwide competitions. Danny (Pete Postlewaite) is a retired miner in poor health who directs the band; a national championship is coming up, and Danny is determined that Grimley will walk


Drama, Comedy

Mark Herman

Feb 25, 1998

Watch It Now



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All Critics (40) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (8) | DVD (3)

Writer/director Herman pulls off a popular, proletarian comedy which might actually appeal to the people it's about.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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"Brassed Off'' is a sweet film with a lot of anger at its core.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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The characters are beautifully drawn in this bittersweet melodrama written and directed by Mark Herman.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A shining ensemble cast that hits all the right notes makes Brassed Off toot sweet.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Shamelessly manipulative and sentimental, but in an agreeably familiar way.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An accessible, entertaining package that is at once formulaic and cliché-busting.

October 14, 2005 Full Review Source:

Touching story is a good early showcase for McGregor

December 18, 2004
Kalamazoo Gazette

fun but overrated

September 19, 2004
Shadows on the Wall

Brassed Off drives toward an ending that combines bitterness and high spirits, plus a heavy measure of romanticism. Like the movie itself, it's an odd mix with a lusty, lingering appeal.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Stirring film about losing your job and reclaiming your soul.

August 23, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Like the music it celebrates, "Brassed Off" is in-your-face yet sentimental, rousing yet sad, defiant but full of heart.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Pete Postlethwaite's best film this summer!

July 9, 2001 Full Review

When it gets serious, "Brassed Off" is maudlin, mediocre and maddening. And, unfortunately, it gets more and more serious as it progresses.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

At once a tear-jerker and a life-affirming comedy, "Brassed Off" is the best kind of mush.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: SPLICEDWire

In the end ... the undeniable power and emotional richness of this film swing the balance toward the good.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

McGregor breathes life into a less-than-interesting role, Fitzgerald shines and Tompkinson is excellent as a man on the brink of cracking up. But Postlethwaite takes top honours ...

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Director Mark Herman conveys England's controversial mine-pit-closure program in a dark, docudrama style that echoes the gritty realism achieved in the works of Mike Leigh and Ken Loach.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Writer-director Mark Herman seems genuinely moved by the plight of the mining communities, but his attempt to translate those feelings into a story shows the effects of hard labor.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

Audience Reviews for Brassed Off

Quaint little story about miners from a Northern England town losing their quarry but finding unity in their brass band. Apparently it's a true story, the film is completely accurate, and the band still plays today (and indeed provide the soundtrack). Although not the most engrossing story ever, it is heart warming in a way that grows on you with time.
September 30, 2012

Super Reviewer

Certainly not as bad as all the other horrible Comedy/Dramas of the time, it's not that bad at all but it does suffer many of the cliches and is a little insulting towards our northern friends (yet it was made by northerners, so what you gonna do?) I'm guess the producers pinch might be at fault here but still, this is as good as it got.

PS. Flixster has got the date wrong, this came out in 1994!
In retrospect, this film deserves another star just for the late great Pete Postethwaite's brilliant performance!
March 24, 2011

Super Reviewer

A lovable, if formulaic and slightly predictable, film concerning a dying town in England which has been ravaged by poor politicians, and how the citizens there interact and keep each other's spirits strong through the use of forming their own music band. The real reason to see this movie is for the late great Pete Postlethwaite, who is one of the best actors ever in my opinion, and he once again delivers a stunning performance as the band's emotional orchestrator. As said, it is not a perfect movie and at one point it threatens to get a bit too into the dark aspects of it, but Postlethwaite's performance coupled with a well-paced plot and incredibly satisfying ending makes this one a winner in the end.
January 11, 2011
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

All band music fans must see this. Reminds me of a cross between Billy Elliot and Drumline. Coal may be dead, but music never ever dies. Is it really true that everything, in the end, is political? Really, the most fun I've ever had watching Pete Postlethwaite, and it's a very -- please forgive me -- sweet love story to boot. I've seen Tara Fitzgerald work the camera before, but this time it's official: I'm in love. Tara, you can play flügelhorn with me any time. Ewan, keep at the acting lessons.
February 11, 2008

Super Reviewer

    1. Gloria: Do you want to come up for a coffee?
    2. Andy: I don't drink coffee.
    3. Gloria: I haven't got any.
    – Submitted by Frances H (15 months ago)
    1. Danny: More than ought else here that symbolizes pride, it's this bloody band!
    – Submitted by Frances H (15 months ago)
    1. Danny: This is music.. And it's music that matters!
    – Submitted by Frances H (15 months ago)
    1. Danny: Bit clumsy with the crockery, your Sandra.
    – Submitted by Frances H (15 months ago)
View all quotes (4)

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Latest News on Brassed Off

January 4, 2011:
Remembering Pete Postlethwaite
Over the course of his distinguished career, Pete Postlethwaite delivered plenty of memorable...

Foreign Titles

  • Brassed Off - Mit Pauken und Trompeten (DE)
  • Les Virtuoses (FR)
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