Scum - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Scum Reviews

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December 18, 2017
a long and unpleasant movie, prison sucks. i guess it had to be banned because of the male rape scene. this isnt a horror movie its a prison drama
½ November 8, 2017
Alan Clarke directed films never cease to stray from the controversial. Sometimes to party political for my liking but not on this occasion.
The film focuses on juvenile punishment and detention in the U.K. which upon release in 1979 for males were the controversial Borstal detention centres.
The subject matter in the film and the widespread public viewing of it probably went someway to a change in Government policy in the area.
Borstals were scrapped.
The film shows gritty and at times extremely disturbing scenes including physical violence, suicide and male rape.
In particular a young Ray Winstone stars as 'daddy' prisoner Carlin.
The film is notable for fleeting performances from actors some of whom became mainstays of British television drama in the 1980s.
The films broached politically incorrect subjects such as racism and indeed breaches the limits of film classification for adult audiences.
Clarke delivers another memorable (controversial) film.
October 22, 2016
Doing for British Borstals what The Magdalene Sisters did for Irish Laundries, Scum is an often brutal, often shocking but always revelatory examination of life inside a prison for young offenders. We see bullying, beatings, psychological abuse, neglect and ridiculous abuses of power. The authority figures are intimidating and go out of their way to demean the inmates and remind them of how significant they are to them. While Ray Winston may be the Marquee star, it's Mick Ford's Archer that really steals the show, unleashing his countless methods of non-violent protest to undermine the system that means to belittle and diminish him at every opportunity. Everything in his performance, from his looks, his mannerisms, his smart, well-thought out but also angst-filled indictments of the penal system, he's the undeniable human centre of this film, and it would be nothing without him. There's some truly stomach-clenching moments in the movie, some of which will leave you speechless, but they are all justified in the context of the narrative, and all contribute something to the story and the characters. The near-total absence of music serves to empathises the isolation and bleakness, and the narrow rooms and corridors give it a tight, claustrophobic feel. It's an incredible film, an extraordinary experience, and one not to be missed, though certainly not one for the weak of heart.
½ April 6, 2016
An uncompromising insight into the brutality of life in a British juvenile prison, this film is so provocative in it's merciless portrayal of violence, drama and it's reflection of the mentality of youths. This belongs up in the master gallery along with Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange!
September 25, 2015
I remember i saw this movie when i was three and i absolutely loved it! I would well recommend it.
May 1, 2014
Directed by Alan Clarke (Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire Rita (1985) and Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987)), and produced by Davina Belling and Clive Parsons (Gregory's Girl (1981) and Comfort and Joy (1984)), this started out as a play for the BBC written by Roy Minton. But the BBC banned it before it was broadcast, so Clarke raised the money to remake it as a film. It's still heavy going, and hard to watch. Set in a borstal, 3 new inmates arrive. Carlin (Ray Winstone), Angel (Alrick Riley) and Davis (Julian Firth), all prosecuted for various crimes and misdemeanors. They try to adjust to tough life behind bars. Carlin just wants to try and get by with a low profile, in the hope that he'll be released sooner, but he soon finds himself up against Banks (John Blundell), who is the 'Daddy' of the Borstal. But when he witnesses Davis being set upon by Banks and other inmates, Carlin plans revenge, and it's not long before Carlin becomes the 'Daddy' of the borstal. He also see's that the inmates get what they want, but there's a few who stand up to Carlin's ways. It's a very violent film, and you can't believe they got away with this, but it's impact was felt and reached the British Government, who ended up closing borstals up and down the UK, and replacing them with young offenders institutions. If a film can have that kind of impact on a country, it's done something right.
½ April 16, 2014
Heavy-duty expose of the British reform school system.
January 10, 2014
Why Shawshank kinda sucks!
Super Reviewer
September 15, 2013
Upon their arrival at a new borstal, Angel(Alrick Riley) and Carlin(Ray Winstone) are given a lecture from Sands(John Judd), the headmaster, before the beating from Banks(John Blundell), the lead bully, which they conveniently give the same lie to Sands about. If for no other reason, it is because of the color of Angel's skin and the threat Carlin might present. Luckily for himself, Archer(Mick Ford) presents no threat even though he would like to be able to read Russian literature.

Maybe once a time, "Scum" might have seemed disturbing with its acute depictions of violence but time has softened its impact which has as much to do with recent basic cable programming as the fact that somehow Ray Winstone is much more intimidating in middle age than as a baby faced young man. I speak for everyone when I say that Archer is my favorite character but sometimes too much attention is paid to him, especially in an extended conversation that almost brings the movie to a halt. In any case, race is the underlying theme here in an institution where the adults seem much more interested in arcane rules than in preventing harm from two prisoners who use violence towards two radically different agendas.
August 31, 2013
suprisied, disturbing and realistic
½ August 6, 2013
ray is being a hard man again
July 31, 2013
gritty prison drama, let down by a forgettable plot and poor ending
½ July 8, 2013
banned by the BBC, trumpeted be Empire, and finally finding its way to the front of my queue
½ June 23, 2013
A classic 'cult film' of the late 1970's. I first saw it at the Cinema when it was released and came out 'a shocked teenager'...then I realized that this kind of thing really happens. Then I saw again on the TV more than 30 years later...still many talented actors looking so young !
½ March 27, 2013
Some of British cinema's most iconic scenes packed into one film. Still stands up 30 years on. I fell sir!
March 27, 2013
Scum was always one of them films that I watched as a young teenager but always felt I shouldn't of been. Ray Winston and Phil Daniels both give great performances and convincingly carry the film brilliantly. The glorified goings on and brutal acts of violence entertain but shock me every viewing and regardless of how realistic or unrealistic the film may be, Scum is engaging and enjoyable.
March 24, 2013
One of the best british film ever made. but not for everyone this is a very deep, dark very raw film. very well acted by Ray Winstone and Mick Ford. story is very compelling yet strong. some people can get very offended by this film due to racism etc. but it help the film being what it is. This film showed guts how it should be made its fantastic film it has very nice touch of humor with Archer. but can be very hard film to watch again not for everyone.
March 21, 2013
wow what a brilliant movie 2 watch......i have just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a brilliant movie 2 watch.....its got a great cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie.....i think that ray winstone, mick ford, john judd, phil daniels (from the brilliant music video parklife from blur), patrick murray (from the brilliant tv series only fools and horses), play good roles/parts throughout this movie......i think that the director of this action/adventure/drama/television/thriller movie had done a great job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect thorughout this movie.........i think that this is a brilliant movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie........i think that this is a brilliant movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie.....i think that this is a really well directed movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie......i think that this is a superbly directed movie......its got a brilliant cast throughout this movie,......i think that this is a really sad movie 2 watch because it deals with scenes with suicide......i think that this is a really powerful drama movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie.....i think that this is a superbly directed movie 2 watch its got a fantastic cast throughout this movie.......i think that this is a superbly directed movie its got a great cast throughout this movie its a really sad/powerful movie 2 watch its a great movie 2 watch its so enjoyable movie 2 watch its so really well directed to watch its a fantatsic movie 2 watch its really well acted its a brilliant movie 2 watch
½ March 21, 2013
A classic 'cult film' of the late 1970's. I first saw it at the Cinema when it was released and came out 'a shocked teenager'...then I realized that this kind of thing really happens. Then I saw again on the TV more than 30 years later...still many talented actors looking so young !
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