The Damned United - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Damned United Reviews

Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
November 24, 2009
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
November 11, 2009
The Damned United is a most entertaining study in obsession wrapped in a traditional sports movie.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Tom Long
Detroit News
October 30, 2009
The Damned United is a thoughtful and entertaining study on the perils of ambition that has little to do with soccer and a lot to do with being human. Well-played.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
October 23, 2009
One of [its] primary pleasures...is that, in choosing a topic as narrow and parochial as the fate of an English soccer club, Morgan has relieved himself of any duty to persuade us that the events he describes are of world-historical import.
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
October 23, 2009
A finely constructed and fiercely entertaining soccer movie that deals more in pride and obsession than penalty kicks.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
October 23, 2009
[Michael Sheen] adds to his gallery of public figures (Tony Blair, David Frost) with a sharp performance here as the legendary UK soccer coach Brian Clough.
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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
October 23, 2009
Like a tense World Cup match, there's a lack of scoring, but it is still riveting.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 23, 2009
While there's plenty of action, much of it satisfyingly wet and muddy, the reason to watch this film is its splendid cast.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 19, 2009
Sheen is wonderful.
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
October 16, 2009
Like a skill player who just can't score, The Damned United is all dazzle and no finish and, ultimately, damned frustrating.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
October 16, 2009
Sheen's performance is controlled fury, barely touching ground as he presents Clough as being the very picture of a delusional fool.
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
October 15, 2009
While it's true that a couple of the characters are vivid creations, it's hard to glean what else Morgan sees in this story, which he adapted from a novel by David Peace, besides a showcase for Sheen. Mostly, that's enough.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 15, 2009
The enigma of Brian Clough has long fascinated British fans. The Dammed United offers no easy explanation, but plunges into the mysteries of the personality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
October 9, 2009
Just as a great player can take an average team to surprising heights, Michael Sheen turns an ordinary sports movie into an unexpected winner.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 9, 2009
The rare sports movie that deals with humiliation and disappointment.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
October 9, 2009
As the two coaches head for a faceoff in a climactic live TV interview, writer Morgan starts to seem like a rip-off -- of himself.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 9, 2009
What vaults the film above the standard sports movie is the stellar performance by Michael Sheen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
October 9, 2009
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 9, 2009
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 8, 2009
Though his notoriously big mouth often got him into trouble, Clough is a great character for Sheen to play because his personal charm invariably -- but not always -- got him out of the difficulty.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
October 8, 2009
Those who give it a whirl will discover a delightfully comic and sympathetic portrayal of British life in the hardscrabble, ciggies-and-lager '70s.
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
October 8, 2009
At this point, the Morgan/Sheen roadshow may have finally run its course, but together they have a knack for understanding the recent past through men who are crafty and irreducible, usually despite all appearances to the contrary.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
October 7, 2009
[Sheen is] dazzling here, finally cut loose.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
October 7, 2009
The great cast includes Timothy Spall as the assistant manager, Colm Meaney as Clough's nemesis, and Jim Broadbent as a sports exec who'd make George Steinbrenner nervous.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Chuck Wilson
Village Voice
October 6, 2009
These actors are good at what they do -- like those soccer players that dodge and weave with effortless grace.
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Leslie Felperin
Variety
October 6, 2009
There's hardly more than five minutes of actual ball-kicking onscreen, and what's there is mostly seamlessly stitched-in archival footage. Diehard fans may actually feel shortchanged by the strategy. But it makes for more accessible drama.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
October 5, 2009
Quite enjoyable, even for those of us who don't follow British "football."
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Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
September 23, 2009
Vile, hateful and undeniably funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
September 23, 2009
You don't have to be a soccer expert, or even know all that much about the sport, to get sucked into the competing personalities and personal dramas of The Damned United.
Top Critic
Guy Dixon
Globe and Mail
September 11, 2009
Add an extra star rating for footie fans.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
September 10, 2009
A sports rivalry poisons everyone in this British soccer movie based, loosely, on a true story.
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
March 27, 2009
The biggest failure is the film's portrayal of the Leeds team: the oddly-coiffured lads are never more than a unit and the calamity of Clough's time in charge too much of a given.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6