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4.2 out of 5 stars270
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 6 November 2012
This film is fantastic, however it is an absolute rollercoaster, blink and you could miss something. Alternativley this film could of been 4 hours long and still had me hooked. Who would of thought when I picked this out of a bargain bin a couple of years ago it would go on to be one of my favourate all time films. Carlton Leach is one of the best movie characters around..obviously I know he is a real person, but the story told in this film is second to none.

To make it even better it comes with an excellent cast of noticable faces who just make this film ten times better. I only remember seeing Ricci Harnett cast as a rogue Army private in 28 Days Later, and to be fair despite being a likable but nasty character in that film he disappeared and I can't remember seeing him again until cast as Carlton Leach in rhis film. He is outstanding to say the very least. A must watch for any hooligan or gang film lovers!
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on 1 January 2011
Bought this for my other half and he didn't think it was as great as it was recommended, thought it would be more about west ham but it's about his life with very little reference to west ham. It's not a football hooligan film, it's a gangster film
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on 28 January 2008
Are there Russian subtitles on this DVD. My friend in Russia wants to see this as a darker portrayal of English life, but she will struggle with some of the slang. I rented it, enjoyed it, but forgot to check the subtitles. Thanks in advance:)
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on 17 July 2012
Recommended to me by a friend and based on the autobiography of Carlton Leach, this film starts at the end with the removal of a Range Rover containing the bodies of three men from the woodlands where a multiple gang-land execution had taken place in the Winter of 1995 (known as the Triple Rettendon Murders). It's a well-constructed movie, well-written, well-acted, extremely violent and pulls no punches, but it has to be so because otherwise the message would be lost or blurred. Carlton Leach was involved in the production so one can assume that the film reflects the facts, or at least as intimately as could be expected from a former criminal, once at the top of his game, who will no doubt be prudent in his memoirs. Well worth watching...
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on 4 January 2008
Enjoyed this film, despite the violence being relentless and a bit excessive. Dont think I'll be able to look at a Pizza slicer again!

A couple of slight criticisms. Firstly (as mentioned already) the opening 20-30 minutes with voiceovers about his time in the ICF firm. Secondly although I thought the lead actor Ricci Hartnett was good, did think he slightly lacked the charisma for the main role of Carlton Leach. As a result the best scenes were with Terry Stone, Craig Fairbrass and Billy Murray.

Good film though and if you liked Football Factory, Goodfellas and the Business you will like this
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on 14 February 2008
Anyone who rates this less than 4 stars is insane. Having read the books and viewed other interpretations of the Essex "Range Rover" Murders, I figure that this is the best one yet. Granted it is not the best Valentines gift for the girlfriend/wife, but for the blokes an excellent (though disturbing) account. This is about as close as anyone is ever going to get to the truth and the choice of actors to play the relevant parts was bang on. Never seen Ricci Harnet in anything else, but it worked for me. Top Tip: View the DVD extras. This really puts things into perspective.
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on 30 December 2007
Carlton Leach's small budget/independant film release about three decades of his very very dangerous lifestyle; I found personally very true to life,accurate in every aspect covered; As other "Real" man/woman on the street reviewers have stated on many sites / magazines; I honestly did not want the film to end.

The so called professional film reviewers (Failed film producers/directors) who go out of there way to destroy great films like Rise Of The Foot Soldier obviously are running it down 100% I feel sorry for Nick Love; all Four of his films have been slated / destroyed by the so called reviewers/critics but all are fantastic.

I class myself as an amateur modern film buff; I love modern day thrillers / dramas especially gangster films and even better when they are based on true stories.

To end my review I would have to say that Rise Of The Foot Soldier is far better than and in every aspect: Good Fellas, American Gangster, Etc; they are all lame in comparison; Rise Of The Foot Soldier is violently graphic but the reality is that it had to be because of the details of the three decades of Carlon Leach's dangerous life style.

On the extra disc during the interview with the producer; he states that there were parts of the true story / incidents they could not in any way transfer into part of a film story.

Congratulations Julian Gilbey (Director) & Carlton Leach this film had the same effect on me as what Scum had many years ago; a deep,magnetic,detailed,shocking story which made me want to watch the film over and over again.

It deserves much much more recognition and credit than what it actually is getting at the moment.
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on 14 August 2008
What can be said about this film. It has it all, sex, violence and loads of drugs yet, it has a lost plot. The film started brightly enough, hooliganism is rife and shows graphic fighting, the scene with the Turks is excellent but then.....that is it. the film loses the plot, plenty of violence nut nothing else. This film had the potential to be the top British gangster film but was ruined by shoddy acting and a bad plot. Despite being a film of true events. maybe more of an insight into the gang activities would have given this film proper recognition.
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on 12 May 2010
not bad but very disappointing in the lack of detail relating to carlton leach's life and escapades and the actor that played him in the movie bore no resemblance to him whatsoever especially in stature.
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on 20 July 2011
As a film, ROTF lags severely in several areas. Sound quality is one, with some scenes very obviously having been dubbed over. The old adage about makeup is that it is best applied so that it cannot be seen, evidently the same applies with sound editing and audio overdubbing in particular. The story progression is handled fairly well, though the film cannot be blamed for the intellectually devoid nature of many of the scenes focusing on the protagonist's criminal life - this is no glamorous GoodFellas or Casino-style retrospective with sophisticated scams and shoulder-rubbing with power, but instead a look at the extremely grim culture of the British criminal underworld. To say much of the dialogue is guttural would be a grave understatement, as would praising some of the gratuitous violence on-screen which often seems to be lacking in depth beyond gore for the sake of gore - again, this is not to knock the film, as the harsh reality of the film's factual basis included many instances of this kind. Torturing people for reasons ranging from example-setting to simple paranoid rage appeared commonplace in Essex in the late 1980s. One perhaps subtle point the film makes in portraying the characters in such brash, ugly and lowly personas is demonstrating crime really does not pay in many regards - even after many years of grafting in the ecstasy trade, the Essex Boys are seen living in fairly drab suburban houses, albeit with the dining table covered with heroin paraphernalia rather than copies of the Daily Telegraph and Waitrose shopping bags. Their social lives remain fairly low-end on the enviable scale - one scene involving a revered associate being released back into society creates expectations of a lavish celebratory reception in a nightclub. We see instead a private 'welcome home' party thrown in a badly decorated and boring-looking function room that probably plays Saturday night host to fading B-stars of prior decades. This is most certainly not the tracking-shot Copacabana world that Scorsese showed Henry Hill enjoying in the Lucchese family. Nor the celebrity-glittered and cultural icon-dotted Swinging London of the Krays. From start to finish, the world inhabited by the principal characters of ROTF seems one not to be chosen if given the chance. Particularly if sitting in Range Rovers down a country lane on a cold night makes you nervous.

The film suffers somewhat from the company it keeps, perhaps mirroring the protagonist's own permanent lodging among the criminal cliques of society over twenty years, beginning as a West Ham-supporting professional hooligan, moving onto doorman and security manager before ending up a close associate of the Essex Boys drug syndicate. Case in point, after an impressive trailer on the film's first DVD for Shane Meadows' powerful period drama This is England, we are given a precursor to ROTF's quality by the other trailers - C and D-List movies which bombed at the box office or raised no sidebars at all when released on DVD. When watching how some of ROTF's scenes are executed - the execution scenes in particular, one might add - it can be clearly seen why the distributors have lumped the film in with some truly trashy cinema. This is perhaps unfair given the positive qualities that ROTF enjoys but the films promoted on the disc do not - chiefly some high-quality acting from supporting players, a rigorous but still believable crime plot and a very well done multiple-angle conclusion.

Ultimately, ROTF is not a bad film. It isn't particularly 'good' either, coming up somewhere between average and nearly-good. I'd give it a C+ or if I was feeling particularly charitable, a B-. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone interested in criminal history as well as film-making in itself, the second disc in the DVD set containing some excellent documentaries on the making of the film. Interviews with cast and crew are long and cover all the areas expected from behind-the-scenes features and a lot more. My particular favourite was a feature on 'Creating a Period Film', which I found very useful in my own production of a short period film. This may be a case of the DVD release being more satisfying than the film itself. In any case, I would buy it if you like crime, violence and laughing at how truly dreadful the mid-90s club scene looked. Don't shell out on a brand new copy, however, a decent used copy will be enough.
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