The Riot Club, film review: Brutishness and snobbery with no humanity or humour

(15) Lone Scherfig, 107 mins Starring: Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Jessica Brown Findlay
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It's the sheer nastiness of the Riot Club (the secret Oxford University dining society) that takes you aback.

The members are nothing like the effete Sebastian with his teddy bear in Brideshead Revisited.

They are supercilious thugs who behave far worse than Danny Dyer and his friends ever did in hooligan films such as The Football Factory.

The club members are supposedly our future leaders. "In a few years time, these boys will be behind some very big desks," we are told.

The Danish director Lone Scherfig does a fair job of conveying the brutishness of her protagonists, their sense of entitlement and their vicious snobbery.

Laura Wade's script (based on her own play Posh) is very sharply written.

What The Riot Club lacks entirely is any of the humanity and quirky humour found in Scherfig's earlier British-set films (Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, An Education) or in her earlier Danish work.


The Riot Club members may be played by the cream of young British actors but in spite of their charm and epicene good looks, this is a film that ultimately leaves a very sour taste.