Awaydays

Critics Consensus

Awaydays is an overwrought coming-of-age drama that romanticizes the violence of 1970s street culture in Liverpool and neglects the requisites of a good script.

37%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 30

32%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 728
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Awaydays Photos

Movie Info

A young man makes some new and dangerous friends in this kitchen-sink drama set in Northern England in 1979. 19-year-old Carty (Nicky Bell) lives with his father (Ged McKenna) and younger sister Molly (Holliday Grainger) and has a good job working for his uncle Bob (Ian Puleston-Davies). Despite his loving family and promising future, Carty is fascinated with "the Pack," a gang of football supporters led by John (Stephen Graham) who are known in the neighborhood for their drinking and reckless violence. Carty strikes up a casual friendship with Mark (Liam Boyle), a member of the Pack nicknamed "Elvis," and while Mark isn't convinced Carty is cut out to run with them at first, Carty's tenacity in a fight changes his mind. While Carty and his new mates use their muscle to knock some sense into a short-term boyfriend who mistreats Molly, she doesn't trust the Pack and tries to persuade her brother that hanging out with them will lead to a bad end. Carty isn't easily persuaded, but his relationship with the Pack becomes complicated when his friendship with Mark takes an unexpected turn. Awaydays was adapted from a novel by Kevin Sampson, who also wrote the film's screenplay. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Awaydays

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (6)

  • Bell's wholehearted performance and the film's convincingly scuzzy atmosphere don't make up for the big hole in the script.

    May 28, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • There's no shortage of movies about Britain's mean streets and, for the most part, Awaydays runs with the pack.

    May 22, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The film falls down in its effort to make credible the background stories of its well-performed lead characters.

    May 22, 2009 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • All around him the movie drips with atmosphere. The evocative sense of place is overwhelming, and perhaps the real star. Birkenhead in 1979 may not have been like this. But it is now.

    May 22, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • To these figures, Sampson applies an almost hysterical level of romanticisation, and it sort of works - especially when all the impossibly yearning post-punk music on the soundtrack really gets going.

    May 22, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Andrew Pulver

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • Awaydays is a ham-fisted coming-of-age drama that fails to say anything interesting about male relationships, violence, the 1970s or the peculiar northern soul of Liverpool.

    May 22, 2009

Audience Reviews for Awaydays

  • Aug 25, 2010
    Control meets The Firm is sense of feel, but there are a number of flaws with the plot and character development which left me feeling that it could have been so much more. Not a bad attempt though at a gritty Brit drama.
    Jon H Super Reviewer
  • Oct 16, 2009
    a look at 2 young guys meeting throuugh football viloence in 1979, and how one inocent guys views canchange,and get better of him, a wellmade british effort,capturing the late 70s well,with great tunes and a look to it, some good acting fromthe two,and supporting players
    scott g Super Reviewer
  • Sep 20, 2009
    Hugely dissapointed with this...what the hell it thought it was supposed to be I dont know. There is no comparrison between books and the film adaptation but this one was even worse....I have absolutely no problems with people being gay but this film wasnt s0 sure. I know it was set in 1979 but is it a love story? Is it film about football violence or people being bored with their ordinary lives?.....God knows cause this film didnt...I sat there totally bemused and im sure most of you will be too.....so much potential so little outcome.....and the fight scenes were crap!
    Barry L Super Reviewer
  • May 25, 2009
    A really badly made film in many respects and the zero budget is glaringly obvious right from the start. Of course a low budget doesn't make a bad film and can often go in the film's favour, helping to give a film a raw, gritty and more credible feel for example. But good direction doesn't cost anything and here they don't seem to have bothered at all. It often feels like the actors were left to get on with it by themselves - unwise with a cast of (mostly) unknowns. The story is all over the place and characterisation is hamfisted and mealymouthed. So why did I like it so much??... Maybe cus it's British and cheaply made and, funnily enough, it's not some dumb horror? Maybe cus there are no big stars, or celeb endorsements, or product placement, media hype, explosions or smug knowing in-jokes. Maybe it's cus The News Of The World slagged it off? Or maybe I'm just a sucker for a story about a homo, tortured by self-loathing and unrequited love, set to a fantastic soundtrack? (it is FUCKING fantastic!). Maybe cus it's a failure but at least they tried? Actually it's all of the above. It's certainly nowhere near in the same league as 'Control' or the best of Shane Meadows (to which some lazy critics have compared it to) but despite (and sometimes because of) it's many flaws it's not a bad little film and I really enjoyed it.
    William S Super Reviewer

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