Parents' Guide to

Mike Bassett: England Manager

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Dated British sporting comedy has swearing, some nudity.

Movie NR 2001 89 minutes
Mike Bassett: England Manager Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

This is funny, I promise

Wow. What a joyless review from Commonsense of what is a total classic of British humour. The bad stuff first. There is A LOT of swearing, some of the behaviour shown is laddish and there is a hooliganism scene (mild compared to what you'll have seen on the news). There is some stereotyping by country but the one truly bigoted character is eventually called out for his behaviour and loses his job. On the positive side, this is the football/soccer equivalent of Spinal Tap. Yes, it helps if you have some feeling for the miserable state of English football until about 10 years ago (like it helps watching Spinal Tap if you have some feeling for rock music) but it works perfectly as an underdog story in its own right. The Kipling press conference scene has genuine emotional heft! And there are superb lines and set-ups all the way through. It's just very funny. To argue that the film isn't worth watching because the England football team is now good is to spectulalarly miss the point. This is for anybody who has ever supported a rubbish team, for anybody who has despaired and for anybody who just wants to laugh out loud.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Despite its underdog charm endearing it to some at the time, this 2001 British mockumentary now resembles an ancient piece of soccer history. The main problem with Mike Bassett: England Manager is that the era of the sport that it portrays -- English people skeptical of non-British players and sport science, while glorifying determination over talent -- has mostly been forgotten. England now has a national team who compete consistently in major tournaments and are no longer the laughing stock of international soccer that they were when the film was first released.

British comedy veteran Ricky Tomlinson is perfectly cast as Mike Bassett -- a stereotypical, bolshy but dedicated English manager who is treated with disdain by the sporting authorities and the press. However, he can't lift a limited script that relies on jokes that fail to hit their targets, while surrounding him with limp caricatures of England's star players of the day. The main point the movie tries to make -- that English soccer fans shouldn't expect too much of their team and that nothing will ever change -- has been shown to be a fallacy, something that probably dooms Mike Bassett to be another England manager who people struggle to remember.

Movie Details

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