Parents' Guide to

Brassed Off

By Tracey Petherick, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Gritty comedy drama has positive messages, strong language.

Movie R 1997 108 minutes
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A gritty but often tender portrait of working class Britain in the 1990s, this bittersweet comedy drama finds the humor in a sometimes unbearably sad story. Inspired by the experiences of the real life Grimethorpe Colliery Band (who provide the soundtrack for the movie), Brassed Off charts the heartbreaking challenges faced by coal miners and their families when impending pit closures threatened their livelihoods and brought many to financial -- and emotional -- ruin.

Thankfully, the bleak setting and emotive storyline are offset by a sharp, witty script, rousing music, and brilliant acting. An experienced ensemble cast give strong support to powerful performances from Postlethwaite and Tompkinson and there is a touching chemistry between McGregor and Fitzgerald. Tapping into the psychology of people pushed to their limit but finding a way to survive, Brassed Off expertly portrays the domestic grind, workplace camaraderie, and relationship woes. Among all the despair, humiliation, and bitterness there is romance, joy, optimism, and uplifting music. You'll definitely laugh, you'll probably cry, and you might even want to take up the flugelhorn.

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