The Damned United (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Damned United (2009)



Critic Consensus: Better than your average football pic, Damned United is carried by another star turn from Michael Sheen as Brian Clough.

Movie Info

Set in 1960s and 1970s England, "The Damned United" tells the confrontational and darkly humorous story of Brian Clough's doomed 44-day tenure as manager of the reigning champions of English football--Leeds United. Previously managed by Clough's bitter rival Don Revie, the Leeds team had just completed its most successful period ever as a football club. It was perceived by many to represent a new aggressive and cynical style of football--an anathema to the principled yet flamboyant Clough, who had achieved astonishing success as manager of Hartlepool and Derby County. He had built these teams in his own vision with trusty lieutenant Peter Taylor. Taking the Leeds job without Taylor by his side and with a changing room full of--what in his mind were still--Don's boys, would lead to an unheralded examination of Clough's belligerence and brilliance over 44 days. This is that story: The story of The Damned United.more
Rating: R (for language)
Genre: Sports & Fitness, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Peter Morgan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 23, 2010
Box Office: $0.3M
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site


Michael Sheen
as Brian Clough
Timothy Spall
as Peter Taylor
Colm Meaney
as Don Revie
Jim Broadbent
as Sam Longson
Henry Goodman
as Manny Cussins
Maurice RoŽves
as Jimmy Gordon
Stephen Graham
as Billy Bremner
Brian McCardie
as Dave Mackay
Peter MacDonald
as Johnny Giles
Giles Anderson
as Colin Todd
Mark Bazeley
as Austin Mitchell
Martin Compston
as John O'Hare
Joe Dempsey
as Duncan McKenzie
Joe Dempsie
as Duncan McKenzie
David Roper
as Sam Bolton
Jimmy Reddington
as Keith Archer
Oliver Stokes
as Nigel Clough
Ryan Day
as Simon Clough
Frank Skillin
as Younger Nigel Clough
Dylan Van Hoof
as Younger Simon Clough
Sydney Wade
as Younger Elizabeth Cl...
Elizabeth Carling
as Barbara Clough
Mark Jameson
as Groundsman
Liam Thomas
as Les Cocker
Tony Gubba
as Himself
Gillian Waugh
as Lillian Taylor
Colin Harris
as John McGovern
Stewart Robertson
as Archie Gemmell
Laurie Rea
as Terry Hennessey
Ralph Ineson
as Journalist
Philip Childs
as Commentator (Wembley...
Terence Harvey
as FA Committee Chairma...
Gordon Hall
as FA White-haired Elde...
John Craven
as Himself
Isabella Eades-Jones
as Elizabeth Clough
Paul Bown
as Mike Bamber
Christopher Chilton
as Floor Manager
Joe Dempsie
as Duncan McKenzie
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Damned United

Critic Reviews for The Damned United

All Critics (129) | Top Critics (32)

Two things that the British know that most Americans don't: Michael Sheen is the best actor in the English-speaking world; and soccer is the only football that matters.

Full Review… | November 24, 2009
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

The Damned United is a most entertaining study in obsession wrapped in a traditional sports movie.

Full Review… | November 11, 2009
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

The Damned United eliminates the existential anguish and pain that propelled Peace's novel, and curtails its lowering style.

Full Review… | October 20, 2014
Film Comment Magazine

as foreign for American audiences as a story about one of Billy Martin's stints with the Yankees would be in the U.K.

Full Review… | January 31, 2011

If soccer is a Shakespearean drama, then The Damned United is Richard III.

Full Review… | October 27, 2010

Michael Sheen has played vampires and werewolves, but works up his most insatiable bloodlust as Brian Clough in this sharply observed, superbly acted drama that realizes sports forms as nasty a symbiotic relationship with a nation's people as politics.

Full Review… | September 25, 2010

Audience Reviews for The Damned United


A very interesting story that, if we didn't know that it eventually works out for Clough (later in his career, managing Nottingham Forest), could be filed as a classical tragedy: the brash and egomaniacal protagonist gets so high on himself that he forgets how he got to his station and alienates his friends and colleagues until it ends his tenure at the top club in England (Leeds United, at the time) in a mere 44 days. The plot was indeed the best part, as the scenes often seemed overstretched and the emotions in them often hokey; and though the cast is a who's-who of second-fiddle Brits, there's not much for these talented actors to do. I thought too much of the story was spelled out in on-screen text, as well - there were definitely elements that were obvious from the scenes (shown) that didn't need to be noted (told). A mediocre film that unfortunately sucks a lot of the life out of its promising material.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

Im not into football movies at all and i will avoid them as much as possible but it takes one football movie to star Michael Sheen to actually get me to watch this movie and much to my surprise i actually enjoyed this movie. Its entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable and is actually highyly amusing.
Worth a watch and like me it may change your minds about movies focused on football!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer


An underrated british movie.Since it's about football its intresting and entertaining.Like other Peter Morgan's screenplays ,stoyline is short and simple and has mostly focused on details and is more concerned to be faithful to historic events

Reza Mohseni

Super Reviewer

The Damned United Quotes

Brian Clough: I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the country. But I'm in the top one.
– Submitted by Bram S (3 years ago)
Brian Clough: We're from the north, Pete. What do we care about Brighton? Bloody southerners. Look where we are! We're almost in France!
– Submitted by Chris P (5 years ago)
Brian Clough: Things are going to be a little different around here... without Don
– Submitted by Chris P (5 years ago)

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