Rise of the Footsoldier


Rise of the Footsoldier

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 7


Audience Score

User Ratings: 15,507
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Rise of the Footsoldier Photos

Movie Info

Julian Gilbey's fact-based crime saga Rise of the Footsoldier traces one man's meteoric ascension from a lucrative soccer career, through the ranks of organized crime, to the status of Britain's most omnipotent drug lord. The tale begins in the 1970s, when hooligan Carlton Leach (Ricci Harnett) finds himself implicated in a series of violent skirmishes on the soccer fields of England. Prompted to leave this activity and enter another trade, Leach self-incorporates as a company called ICF - a front for the young entrepreneur's drug-dealing activities. Soon, Carlton's business flourishes - first with cocaine, then with ecstasy and heroin (as time rolls forward from the self-serving 80s into the 1990s), but with it comes severe addiction and, disturbingly, wave after wave of nerve-wracking violence. More hardened, more severe criminals turn up to do business with Carlton's associates, forcing Carlton to recruit tougher and more psychopathic elements to protect himself - particularly when the goods from a heroin shipment disappear and Turkish thugs begin closing in.

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Critic Reviews for Rise of the Footsoldier

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (1) | Rotten (6)

  • Footsoldier doesn't so much pack a punch as leave you feeling violated and more importantly, robs you of two hours of your life you won't get back.

    Sep 7, 2007 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • The direction smacks of sadism, especially the obvious glee Gilbey gets from filming violent scenes in close-up and, in the case of the bloody shotgun-to-the-face denouement, in triplicate.

    Sep 7, 2007 | Rating: 1/6 | Full Review…

    David Jenkins

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Ugly.

    Sep 7, 2007 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Fans of British geezer films would be better off checking out I.D. - this is best enjoyed after a night at the pub on DVD.

    Sep 7, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The filmmakers' wide-eyed attempt to turn Leach into a living legend will probably rattle Daily Mail readers' cages; everyone else may find its stonking hard-on for real-life hard men slightly ludicrous.

    Sep 7, 2007 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Gore-flecked rucks and bruising rumbles are the order of the day in this unflinching portrait of a demi-monde your really rather wish would stay that way.

    Sep 7, 2007 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rise of the Footsoldier

  • Nov 19, 2012
    A pretty good film, The half hour was the best for me and then it just kind of got very dark and pretty gruesome at times, I know it was based on true events so they couldn't really change it, Worth a watch if you like british gangster films.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 04, 2012
    Nasty & risible in equal measure. That the director went on to make the superb "A Lonely Place To Die" is quite remarkable.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Oct 18, 2009
    I was suprised.Actually a pretty good movie
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 15, 2009
    It starts on the terraces of West Ham but moves on and charts the rise to power of Carlton Leach. The second half changes direction and we see Leach (wisely) take a back seat as the film marches on to The Land-Rover Murders of '95. The last half hour is a bit superfluous, but up until then it's a powerful and hard punching tale with smarts.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer

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