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Spike Island

Spike Island (2012)


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



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All Critics (17) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (10)

None of this ever feels remotely honest or real.

June 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The filmmakers botch the story with a fragmented script and harshly edited scenes that prevent us from properly engaging with anything that happens.

June 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

The piece as a whole gets bogged down in rites-of-passage cliches and, ultimately, seems out of time.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Whitecross clearly has both an eye and ear for the rarefied nuances of pop culture ...

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Incident after incident might be prefaced with the dread phrase "one time we took drugs and then . . ."

June 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

There's a terrific blast of nostalgia in this finely crafted film, which will probably make it a hit for Stone Roses fans, but it's so jaggedly edited that the plot is almost impenetrable.

June 21, 2013 Full Review Source:

It's a likable, amiable movie, and a nice reminder of the roaring 90s.

June 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian

Sniff all you like, but Spike Island smells of nothing.

June 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

It's a bit ramshackle but good fun and enjoyably nostalgic.

June 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Stylishly shot and features an expectedly strong soundtrack, but the script feels contrived and the clichéd voiceover is rather annoying.

June 19, 2013 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Christopher Ross's bold cinematography, in particular, helps capture the potent exuberance of the era.

June 19, 2013 Full Review Source: The Skinny
The Skinny

Spike Island is a film that does more or less precisely what you expect it to do - no more, and no less - and within that limited remit, it's a gentle and affable watch.

June 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Underwhelming drama 
about a fledgling band trying to get to the Stone Roses' momentous 1990 gig in order to pass on their demo to Ian Brown.

June 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Scotsman

It's hard to see who the film is aimed at, teenagers or nostalgic forty-somethings? There doesn't seem enough for either.

June 17, 2013 Full Review Source: The List
The List

Following Made Of Stone, this is another slice of nostalgia for baggies of a certain age.

June 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Saggy but also energised and endearing.

June 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Unfortunately, great music can only distract us so much in this disappointing feature from the talented Mat Whitecross.

October 14, 2012 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

Audience Reviews for Spike Island

In 1990, Tits (Tittensor) is a young man living in a working class area of Manchester known as "The Red Bricks". He spends his days drifting idly through school while his evenings alternate between visiting his dying father in hospital and practicing with his band. Along with his gang of mates, Tits is obsessed with The Stone Roses, a band who, for a very short time, were a huge phenomenon in the UK. The band are due to play what is being billed as "their ultimate gig", an outdoor concert held at the title location. Tits and his mates are desperate to attend, hoping to pass their demo tape to the band, but tickets are impossible to come by and fate seems to be conspiring against the lads.

Should you decide to count the number of great films made on the subject of music, you'll likely end up with a few free fingers. The exceptions, Robert Altman's 'Nashville', Milos Forman's 'Amadeus', Hal Ashby's 'Bound For Glory', concern themselves with the musicians, rather than the music itself. The closest a film-maker has come to expressing the swell of emotion one feels when exposed to great music, outside of classic Hollywood musicals, is Bertrand Tavernier's 'Round Midnight'. Tavernier never allows his protagonist, played by Francois Cluzet, to tell us through dialogue why he's obsessed with Dexter Gordon's jazzman, instead it's written all over his face. The creators of 'Spike Island' employ no such nuance. Their protagonists constantly scream and shout their love of The Stone Roses, but they never quite convince us.

If you're not a fan of the band in question, (personally I find their cult status baffling), Whitecross' film contains little to hold your attention. It's a soap opera affair, with each of the young protagonists struggling with their own cliched subplots. The father who wants his son to take over the family business against his will, the young man who can't express his feelings for the girl of his dreams, the teen stuck with an abusive father. For the most part, the cast, Clarke in particular, fail to sell themselves as working class Mancunians and the result is a film that feels like one of those "Yoof" dramas UK TV channels love to pump out, crossed with an episode of 'The Monkees'.
June 8, 2013
The Movie Waffler

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