The Firm (1988)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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Critic Reviews for The Firm
Gary Oldman's give one of his finest performances as Bex, who projects outward respectability under which lurks a creature of fragile masculinity and senseless rage.
A jarring exploration of the male psyche and the devastating consequences of pride and uncontained machismo in a society where men's lives have lost meaning.
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Audience Reviews for The Firm
Alan Clarke, in what appears to be his trademark style, turns a clear and steady eye on English hooligan culture and the simian impulses on which it feeds. Gary Oldman is, appropriately, a force of nature as the alpha male.
I'm rating "The Firm" as high as three stars mostly because of Gary Oldman's fiery performance, but the sports-goon mentality depicted in this film is so alien and repulsive to me that I really had a hard time keeping a scowl off my face while watching. I also must plead guilty to having difficulty understanding some of the dialogue, between the heavy accents and the regional slang. The directing of the final scene puzzled me -- it almost played like a segment from the evening news, where the characters were swaggering in front of some unseen interview correspondent. A strange shift in tone. Almost like breaking the fourth wall.
There are a lot of football-violence films, but they're all Spurs, Villa, et al. This film is the Manchester United treble-winning team of '99 - unstoppable. This is mainly all thanks to Oldman going bugnuts and off the wall in one of his best performances as a man who leads two lives, which can only end in tears and bloodshed. It shows both sides of their actions and nicely distances itself from the actual game, proving that these 'firms' are actually nothing to do with football. This film is the King, the Top Dog and the Guv'nor.
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