This Is England ★★★★

Everything about the film is realistic and the mood of the time in which it is set is nicely captured. The story is rather familiar and holds no major surprises, but the strengths of "This Is England" lie elsewhere. Thomas Turgoose is perfect in the role of Shaun, the strong-willed central character, and Stephen Graham is excellent as Combo; great acting by the other cast members as well. The film can be difficult to watch but is worth the effort. "This Is England" is an involving, decidedly personal film with engaging music, a powerful last scene, and a universal message.