The Firm

Critics Consensus

Nick Love's remake of the 1989 original has enough warmth, humor, and -- of course -- violence to make The Firm worthwhile.



Total Count: 25


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,160
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Movie Info

Centers on Dom, a young wannabe football casual who gets drawn into the charismatic but dangerous world of the firm's top boy, Bex. Accepted for his fast mouth and sense of humor, Dom soon becomes one of the boys. But as Bex and his gang clash with rival firms across the country and the violence spirals out of control, Dom realizes he wants out--until he learns it's not that easy to simply walk away.


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Critic Reviews for The Firm

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (8)

  • The Firm is hardly calculated to convert those who find Love's work brash, clichéd and empty, but there's a good deal of warmth and humour here.

    Sep 18, 2009
  • Love's second movie about hooligans marks a quantum leap forward from the messy, senseless violence of 'The Football Factory'.

    Sep 18, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Nigel Floyd

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • While it doesn't exactly break new ground thematically, this is Love's most accomplished film to date. Like the terrace heroes who are its subjects, it's as good-looking and stylish as it is dangerously seductive.

    Sep 18, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Love's films have, in the past, brought me out in a rash - but this one is watchable. It's well made; there's a persistent and welcome undercurrent of humour in the script that reminded me of Love's sparky debut, Goodbye Charlie Bright,

    Sep 18, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The film is covered in talent, including Love's, of the sort that makes you look forward to the next thing they do. Here, you feel they have a lot to climb over, but there are scenes where the attempt to get close to something real is powerfully inspired.

    Sep 18, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A watchable, but disappointing, movie that brings nothing new to the serious topic it addresses.

    Mar 1, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Firm

  • Nov 16, 2012
    Expected allot more from this film, I was expecting a better version of The Football Factory after better reviews but it was bland and boring and never has any plot to keep the film going forward.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 21, 2010
    20/08/2010 I enjoyed the hard-knock dialogue, it was quite entertaining to listen to. Well, the fact is it's not good morally, but it's a good flick to see why it's not good to do what it is they did, you know wha' I mean? Another one of those "done before" films but hey, same drink different bottle and label. All I know is that it's a brutal flick with maybe a message, maybe, who knows what they're really trying to teach and encourage. Full of violence and wit, dudes with no care in the world may give it a fiver, but I still have my screws. Not a fiver for me but a definite alright watch. With witty dialogues that pack as much of a punch as the brutality in the story.
    EightThirty . Super Reviewer
  • Mar 05, 2010
    It feels really disappointed after watching this movie.. what i aspect to be a great movie like its predecessor Green Street Hooligan melt like an ice cream.. green street hooligan far more interesting than this,the plot cover every way,from life ,pride, conflict, fight, brave and humor.. i think the main plot here was about the football fan life but its failed as it was too straight forward,directly into some kind of hooligan-wannabe but in immature way.. the fight was interesting but other than that its awful,no 'soul' in this movie that make it interesting.. it doesn't focus on what a football fan for even about hooligan-wannabe but more into gang fight, territory,revenge and power.. In Gary Oldman's Clive 'Bex' Bissell, Clarke's 1988 original features one of the all-time great screen villains: an upwardly mobile Loadsamoney with a sociology A-level and a Stanley knife. Reaping the benefits of the Lawson boom, this sociopathic estate agent and family man is seen to be a breed apart from the stereotyped bovver boy of the previous decade But The Firm isn't only a superb character study. Above all, it's a damning indictment of grass roots Thatcherism turned brutal, tribal and nationalistic. Bex's baseball bat-wielding Inter City Firm is just the flip side of an altogether more ruthless and democratically elected 'firm'. For Bex, Trigger and Snowy read Thatcher, Tebbit and Hesseltine. So, given the class, calibre and integrity of Clarke's output - and given Nick Love's - we haven't felt such a sinking feeling about a remake since Neil LaBute released The Wicker Man Mark II. A reaction the director himself anticipates: "I know there is an element of cynical people who are taking issue with the fact I've remade The Firm." It's a fair cop, Nick. "But I'm hoping there's enough of a different angle and that we've taken this into different territory." You mean a territory that isn't populated by geezers, gangsters and a string of 1980s club hits? Ah. Love's version backdates the action to 1984, a few years earlier than the original. So out go the quiffs and stripy yuppie shirts, and in come wedge-cuts and sportswear: a day-glo riot of Fila tracksuits, Adidas trainers, Pringle jumpers and Tacchini tops. The kind of clobber 17-year-old Dominic (Calum McNab) eagerly sports in his infatuated attempts to please West Ham firm leader Bex (Paul Anderson). The hapless lad is soon pitched into the violent world of Saturday turf wars with old rivals Millwall, discovering the hard way that what might look exciting on telly is acutely painful in real life. Love has dutifully re-staged a few key scenes from the original. The rest is fat; less a remake of Alan Clarke even, than a Football Factory rematch. Certainly, the entire point of Clarke's drama is anathema to the director. "I think if you get bogged down in the politics behind it all, it would play less as entertainment," he says. Instead, to please multiplex audiences, "which is what I'm aiming this at, you've got to have big fight scenes and lots of loud music". Thus, deliberately shorn of any socio-political context (although the West Ham-Millwall kick-up of August 2009 has been an unfortunately well-timed gift, promotion-wise), this shallow and pointless remake settles for rehashing Love's single idea, familiar from his previous three pictures, in which a young, weedy, working-class guy gets sucked into a violently glamorous world led by a charismatic father figure who eventually turns round and bites him, before our hero escapes with a few scrapes and bruises. Whatever demons the former middle-class rude boy is trying to exorcise, he clearly hasn't achieved catharsis yet. This is less The Firm than 'The Formula'. Set in the 1980s, Dom is a teenager who finds himself drawn into the charismatic world of football 'casuals,influenced by the firm's top boy, Bex. Accepted by the gang for his fast mouth and sense of humor, Dom soon becomes one the boys. But as Bex and his gang clash with rival firms across the country and the violence spirals out of control, Dom realizes he wants out - until he learns it's not that easy to simply walk away.
    Sergio E Super Reviewer
  • Sep 20, 2009
    nick love tackles football hooligism once again after the interesting football factory, and based on the 1988 tv movie of the same name starring gary oldman, taking a bit of a diferent aproach,as that charactor is still a focus,but mainly focusing ona young lad getting in with the gang, superb 80s setting, where bright coloured, tracksuits were the rage. andthe dresssenceis a major part of the story, bex the leader, being guy who sees it as a statement, dom sees this, a young lad being taken in and following his ways, a engageing story following doms rise and the crews dealings with a rival firm, all told nicely the80s faithfully recreated,and a superb 80s soundtrack, all actors give it there best,and, when violence urupts its engageing, not the most violent of the football hooligism films to come from the u.k,but for me overall one of the best
    scott g Super Reviewer

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