Rise Of The Footsoldier won't be for everybody, so I can understand the widely diverse reviews on here. It seems that people either really love it or absolutely hate it.
I fall somewhere in the middle.
British crime films are a beast unto themselves. Anyone expecting a Guy Richie opus will be disappointed, as will anyone expecting a pommy version of Goodfellas.
This is gritty, brutal and visceral fare with a story that meanders over the course of several years, regularly switching focus between various unlikable characters with the violent proceedings anchored around football hooligan turned career criminal Carlton Leach.
Based on Leach's memoirs and the events surrounding the notorious Rettendon murders, it's not a comfortable watch and at times is a bit of a slog to endure, shining a light as it does directly upon a brutal and unapologetic underworld life that most of us will luckily never have to experience or confront.