Parents' Guide to

The Damned United

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Soccer biopic has language, sporting violence, smoking.

Movie R 2009 98 minutes
The Damned United movie poster

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Adapted from the controversial novel of the same name, this sporting drama enlists a talented cast to bring to life one of the most eventful periods of soccer manager Brian Clough's storied career. Just don't expect The Damned United to be a true-to-life biopic, as many of the events here are compressed, distorted, and even invented for the sake of telling a (more) dramatic story. The action revolves around Clough's brief but memorable stint at Leeds United, with Sheen portraying our lead as relentlessly ambitious but also a man bearing a gnawing grudge against his predecessor, rival manager Don Revie (Colm Meaney).

While the movie sensibly focuses on a relatively short period of Clough's career to tell its story, there's no escaping the liberties it takes with what actually happened, something that is likely to make soccer fans who know their history tune out. What's left is a briskly delivered and well-acted rise and fall redemption story that just happens to revolve around a soccer manager. Sheen's foul-mouthed megalomania keeps things entertaining, though, and it's also a fond reminder of an era of English football that might lack today's abundance of world-class talent, but was a time when underdogs could defy the odds and triumph.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate