For Queen and Country (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

For Queen and Country1989

For Queen and Country (1989)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

With a cruel, keen edge, this taut social drama slices deeply into Thatcher's England to expose a grim underbelly of racism, cynicism and despair. Reuben James is a black paratrooper who has spent the last nine years serving in the British army and who finally gets discharged to return to his home in South London. There he discovers that the residents have been ravaged by the poverty of the decade and many have turned to crime to survive, while others do their best in the midst of crushing hopelessness to find order and meaning. He too fights the same battles as he struggles to find work. He is disillusioned to discover that to racist employers, his sterling service record is almost worthless. The poor veteran suffers a final blow when he learns that because he was born on the common-wealth island of St. Lucia, and because the laws have suddenly changed, he is no longer considered a British citizen. Now he must quickly make a decision about the rest of his life. Meanwhile, back in the neighborhood, tempers fray, frustration mounts and violence ensues.


Denzel Washington
as Reuben James
George Baker
as Kilcoyne
Sean Chapman
as Bob Harper
Craig Fairbrass
as Challoner
Geff Francis
as Lynford
Colin Thomas
as Feargal
Jo Martin
as Pearl
Suzette Llewellyn
as Girl with Bull Terrier
Ken Stott
as Civil Servant
Shaheen Khan
as Party Girl
Mike Smart
as Peelhead
Beverly Michaels
as Party Girl
Dan Armour
as Drunken Man
Charlie Appleby
as Fairground Stallholder
Stewart Harwood
as Cab Office Onwer
Joginder Singh Lal
as Sikh Minder
Graham McTavish
as Lieutenant
Alison Rowley
as Party Girl
Tatiana Strauss
as French Girl #1
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Critic Reviews for For Queen and Country

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (7)

Effective radical agitprop, relentless in its anger, this film is more outspoken about contemporary racism in England than any other feature that comes to mind.

May 21, 2013 | Full Review…

This is a serious subject, and worthy of a serious journalistic report. That is not, however, what For Queen and Country is.

May 21, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

The choice of Washington doesn't help: he isn't bad in the part, but his accent strays absurdly. More worrying is the often corny plotting, the by now tired-looking exploitation of Broadwater violence, and a preposterous shootout ending.

January 26, 2006

In a terrifically subtle and powerful performance, Mr. Washington is true to the modest, struggling man he plays. His expression registers restrained anger and much confusion.

May 24, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5

For Queen & Country is suspense-free, a laboriously paced look at the poor man's impotence in an unjust society.

September 9, 2002 | Full Review…

Washington creates the character as a convincing, sympathetic person, and he deserves more than to have the character thrown away on a phoned-in plot.

September 9, 2002 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for For Queen and Country


Denzel walks around, denzel talks to some guys, denzel drinks some liquor, denzel dies. and he does all this with a british accent and australian slang.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

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