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4.2 out of 5 stars77
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 19 July 2014
The mantra, uttered early on, is that if the truth differs from the legend, print the legend. This gives license, as it was intended to, to the film makers to unashamedly mix fact, fiction, fantasy, lies, half truths, myth and legend. The result, like the scene they are trying to depict, is a freewheeling, out of control headrush of colour, bad decision making, great, inspired decision making,a mishmash, barely able to contain its own weight or conceit, but delivered with a panache, a style, originality, passion and sheer brass neck that means it works.

And boy, does it work. It is hysterically funny for one thing, with Steve Coogan playing (Anthony) Wilson who narrates to camera with the straightest of straight faces. "That, " he deadpans, "is Howard Devoto, who would later sleep with my wife." This is followed up by the real Howard Devoto, playing a cleaner (are you keeping up?....good) saying "That never actually happened." Yes it is that kind of movie.......
It follows the career of Tony Wilson, a curious mixture of idealist, pseudo intellectual and businessman, through the So It Goes days "Tonight, Alice Cooper plays Newcastle, where he will hang a dwarf on stage. Here's The Sex Pistols...." through to the Madchester scene, the Hacienda, Joy Division, New Order, and all points in between.

Part of the fun is looking to see who the next cameo is from. Dave Gorman, John Thompson, Peter Kaye, Jon Sims, Keith Allen, Mark E Smith, Ralf Little, Andy Serkis, even Simon Pegg all get a look in. More fun is to be had with the impersonation of some of the main characters. Coogan has Wilsons voice off pat at the beginning, but doesn't sustain, and it doesn't matter. My favourite is the guy that plays Shaun Ryder,(Danny Cunningham). he is just brilliant.
The main points of the story are covered, the contract in blood, the suicide of Ian Curtis, the Guns and Drugs nightmare of the Hacienda, Rave Culture, Shaun Ryder and the pigeons, the ill fated trip to Barbados to record a Mondays Album,(which is true, and pure genius because it is.)

It's just one of the best movies of its type ever. It's the only movie of it's type ever.

This is really good. If you really want to know what happens, buy a book. If you want a hoot, watch this.
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on 16 December 2012
Though many have compared it to the likes of 'Studio 54' (Lord knows why), '24 Hour Party People' is a far better made and more effective film. Based on a true story, it takes place during the time when punk rock was subsiding and new kinds of music were born in England. Shot with a digital camera, in documentary style with some use of live footage and narrated by Tony Wilson, (who leads a double life as a TV reporter and music producer), Michael Winterbottom takes us into the rave culture in Manchester, that of sex, drugs and rock and roll. We see it all from Wilson's point of view and we are amused by the layers of his character. Coogan breathes life into Tony Wilson and brings an excellent humor in his portrayal. Paddy Considine and Shirley Henderson stand out too. Pretty much all the performances appear authentic. Watch out for cameos by Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg and Marsha Thomason and by real band members. The portrayal of the Manchester culture, the scenes inside the club and the bands look very real. Winterbottom infuses loads of energy and craze to 'seduce' the viewer. He cleverly injects dry humor which only supports that this is more than just a documentary-like movie. The soundtrack is a must-have and for those who love movies about music, this is a must see.
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on 3 December 2012
Having been born in 1982 and therefore being too young to have experienced at first hand the era in question and the music that defined it, i went to see this film (at the pictures on a warm late spring evening in 2002), with no idea of 'the real story' - therefore i wasn't bothered when i later learnt about how this film is not entirely accurate. Steve Coogan is brilliant and, while i can see how someother reviewers have associated his performance with a hint of Alan Partridge, the more you watch (at, for example, Tony Wilsons reaction to Ian Curtis' death) you see that that isn't entirely true. Being a Manc himself, Coogan paints a picture that is very North Western (I'm from Stockport, so i can vouch for this).
As the years go by, we see the blossoming of the Madchester scene, the onset of rave culture and the tragic decline, heralded by the closure of the Hacienda:another bit of theatrical license as the audio commentry tells us, there wasn't a 'last night' as such. The audo commentries are invaluable to the muso nitpicker, we have the made up bits put in their proper context.

Not sure i can really articulate just how much this film rocks....
It just.... does.
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on 19 February 2010
Great, exuberant film this. There's a bit of controversy about how 'authentic' a take it is, but who's counting? That's what makes folklore so powerful - people believe the things that seem believable, and if Tony Wilson didn't actually go round telling everyone he went to Cambridge I call it a crying shame! Chock-full of wonderful moments, howl-out-loud funny in parts but poignant and sensitive too... very good effort indeed.
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on 28 February 2010
I am a fan of Joy Division and New Order, after watching this movie I started to like the Happy Mondays also.

This movie is very entertaining and you can watch it many times, alway discovering something new, Steve Coogan does a great job impersonating the late great Tony Wilson.

This movie captures the spirit of the late 70s and early 80s.

Highly recommended !
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on 1 May 2015
I'd not seen this film originally, but a friend recommended it and I wasn't disappointed as I grew up in this era and went to the Hacienda in Manchester in the mid 80's.

Steve Coogan does a great job of portraying Tony Wilson and manages to capture the humour, madness and eccentric nature of the business from start to finish. From his appearances on Granada to his dealings with bands that go on to have huge success, there is an almost frantic madness, coupled with a passion and enjoyment that kept me enthralled throughout the film.

The portrayal of Joy Division and especially Ian Curtis (well played IMO by Sean Harris) is graphic, clever and intense. You certainly get a feel for the music of the time, as well as the scene in Manchester.

If you're thinking of watching this film, do so.
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on 20 March 2003
This film has to be one of the most true and original pieces of filmmaking coming out of Manchester and England in the last few years, The story is told in such a way that you are drawn into what is happening and feel as if you are part of the story. For those who lived through the scene it's almost got to be compulsory viewing if only for the shots of the hacienda to revoke a few old memories. I should mention however, that what you think is the Hacienda actually isn't although it looked and felt just like. This is part of the reason why the film feels so believable as the Hacienda was actually re-created in a warehouse in Ancoats (as it had already been knocked down) and unbelievably the atmosphere created by those who willingly volunteered to be in the film and pretend to be crazed clubbers was completely real although i am a little biased as i was one of those crazed clubbers seen in the film. That energy seems to have been recreated and transferred to the whole of the film. It's great for a nostalgic trip but even better as a great story of some amazing characters.
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on 16 February 2015
An enjoyable film that covers the story of how Tony Wilson created and then screwed up a legendary record label. Steve Coogan hams it up to great effect but you end up spotting all othe over well-known actors/comdeians when you look at this now (eg Ralf Little and Jon Simm were nowhere as big names as they are now back when this was released). Does tend to over-simplify the New Order/Hacienda ownership story and how they got screwed the most by Wilson though.
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on 5 March 2014
A fine account I'm sure of the times of Tony Wilson, Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays et al. DVD also contains accounts by Wilson, Sean Ryder, Bez and others to underline the authenticity of the film content. Not for the squeamish or anyone who can't watch the consequences of psychoactive drugs on the fate of Hacienda in the raw and Factory Records from birth to self destruction, PLAY LOUD. Then watch it again, but louder.
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on 17 May 2014
Having grown up with Tony Wilson on the telly, I was pleased to see that Coogan captured his personality perfectly.

The whole film is slightly "tongue in cheek" with elements of fantasy, but the story is mostly accurate and very entertaining.
The set of The Hacienda is recreated perfectly, the character portrayals are excellent and the whole film is a fun and nostalgic trip.
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