Synopsis by Mark Deming
An American abroad is introduced to the heady but dangerous pleasures of violence in this powerful drama from Great Britain. Matt Buckner (Elijah Wood) is a journalism student from America who is expelled from college when his roommate sets him to take the fall after drugs are found in their dorm room. Needing time to sort out what his next move should be, Matt travels to London to visit his sister Shannon (Claire Forlani), who has married British Steve Dunham (Marc Warren). As it happens, Matt arrives at a less than opportune moment, and he ends up spending his first evening in the U.K. with Steve's brother Pete (Charlie Hunnam). Pete hangs out with a "firm" of friends who call themselves "the Green Street Elite" and are passionate fans of the West Ham United football club (Matt quickly discovers calling British football "soccer" is an easy way to get your teeth knocked out). Pete has little use for Matt until the Green Street Elite get into a dust-up with another firm; Matt turns out to be a fierce if inexperienced fighter, and discovers he enjoys the kick of street brawling. Matt is cautiously accepted by Pete and the other members of the firm, and is soon absorbed into the very British world of violent football fandom. But when Pete and his friends learn that Matt studied journalism, they begin to suspect he's a reporter doing an undercover piece on hooliganism, and they set out to teach him an ugly lesson about loyalty. The debut feature film from British director Lexi Alexander, Green Street Hooligans (initially shown simply as Hooligans) was the first film ever to win both the Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival.
expulsion, fall-guy, fan [devotee], soccer, street-gang, student, violence