Film, Comedy
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(11user reviews)

Sacha Baron Cohen's football hooligan comedy is a half-successful blend of laughs and action movie

We've come to expect Sacha Baron Cohen's movies to be bad-taste comedies which are at least vaguely about something. Characters like Ali G, Bruno and Borat all mocked social norms or satirised wonky attitudes and opinions. 'Grimsby' is different. It's a silly, raucous, unashamedly juvenile fish-out-of-water comedy about two very different brothers, Sebastian (Mark Strong), a slick spy, and Nobby (Baron Cohen), a football-loving layabout, who were separated as kids at an orphanage.

'Grimsby' doesn't pretend to have much to say about anything - notwithstanding a final tongue-in-cheek plea on behalf of 'scum' ('It's scum who keep the "Fast and Furious" franchise alive'), which plays more as a late gag than a theme. Instead it rides on base-level shock and awe, patched together with knob jokes, fat jokes, semen jokes, HIV jokes and arse jokes. If you're looking for a message, you'll be disappointed.

The film reunites the brothers and quickly sends them on the run. Director Louis Leterrier ('Clash of the Titans') drags the pair through the short, sharp ordeal of a spirited action comedy, all quick cuts and daring stunts, and one that just happens to feature an endearing but relatively limp Sacha Baron Cohen character at its core. 

Fears that 'Grimsby' might poke fun at the likes of Nobby disappear when you realise that he's just an excuse to catapult a clown – any clown would do – into scenarios as far-flung and unlikely as a South African game reserve, a World Health Organisation conference in London and a football final in Chile. You're never far from a punchline involving shit, genitals, cum or arseholes. The film is at its best when it wears its immaturity proudly. There's a memorable scene involving a herd of elephants and a giant phallus which includes the terrified yell: 'It's an elephant bukkake party!' 'Grimsby' is a riotous mess – part I-dare-you-comedy, part circus, part action flick. Nobby is hardly a character for the ages. He's a basic fool. The movie, too, is chaotic and crude. But its lack of sophistication, like its odd mix of souped-up action and base comedy, ultimately feels like a badge of honour.

Release details

Release date:
Wednesday February 24 2016
0 mins

Cast and crew

Louis Leterrier
Sacha Baron Cohen, Phil Johnston
Sacha Baron Cohen
Isla Fisher
Annabelle Wallis
Ian McShane
Mark Strong

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
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Sacha Baron Cohen returns with a low-brow comedy (although his brows are rather impressive in this one), and even a star-studded cast including Ricky Tomlinson, Rebel Wilson, John Thompson and Penelope Cruz can't save it from the kind of humour that may work on a trashy TV channel but misses a lot on the big screen. Two brothers from Grimsby are separated when children and whilst one becomes a football fan and lout, the other one becomes a spy. When they meet again, they become outlaws and work together to save the world form a deadly virus. There's the occasional funny moment but mostly the setups are too outlandish. If you like Sacha's brand of humour then you will probably get something out of this. Just be warned, if the idea of two people hiding inside an elephant's vagina to escape the people after him isn't your idea of a good time, you should steer clear of this. 


I went in with low expectations after the rather poor reviews but thought this was largely great - easily the funniest film of recent memory.  It grosses out and then some - the elephant scene will linger long in the memory... - but there's one-liner after one-liner throughout.  Loses it's way a little at the end and it all feels a little rushed, I'd be happy with an extra 15-20 minutes, but this is a must-see comedy all in.  No idea what the Yanks would make of it, very British humour and references.  Mark Strong is very game as well, and SBC is his usual self.

I'd disagree with the Time Out reviewer that this isn't about anything, I took it as a parody of the "Benefits Street" media culture; using that stereotypical image and amplifying it to the nth degree highlighting it's ridiculousness.  There's an obvious theme of nuture/nature too, and the links with societal unfairness, due to the brothers having wildly different lives. 

I had heard soo many bad reviews about this so I had waited until DVD, I know very old school, but its alot better than people had said, great detail, they hadn't gone cheap on the action parts and as usual Sacha delivers the humour in bucket loads!


Not to everyone's tastes, but if you like films such as Borat and Ted, then you will love it.

The story is about 2 brothers, one who is 'Northern Scum' and the other who is a top spy. Not sure that the people of Grimsby will make of it (check outvwhat town it is twinned with!), but there are laughs throughout.

They continuously push the boundaries of humour and I was surprised that they were allowed to get away with it. The elephant scene is funny, but so gross I had to look away before I heaved!

My husband cried with laughter at least twice.


On a scale of Dictator to Borat this was somewhere in-between, not his finest but an easy laugh nonetheless. It gets harder and harder to achieve that shock factor yet SBC manages to escalate the lengths he'll go to every single time. I'm sure the inhabitants of Grimsby greatly appreciate their new found fame....

Hilarious film but don't go and watch it if you haven't got a good sense of humour. It had me laughing so much.

As per usual Sacha Baron Cohen's film tests the boundries.

This film for me is completely tongue in cheek hilarious and did not disappoint. The humour is so very outrageous yet somehow relatable.

Without a doubt my favourite since Ali G.


Usually SBC's films are rather cringeworthy, and this one is no different, but this was actually a very amusing film...especially the elephant scene!


Typical shock/gross out stuff from the man who brought you Borat and Ali G.

Avoid it if looking for something to do on Mother day!


So i'm not sure if I should be ashamed of the fact that I am giving this film the same star rating as the Rvenant but it's the sort of unease Sascha B Cohen is probably always on the look out for!

While Grimsby is released in Oscar season, it may be easy to overlook the small time flick BUT I really do recommend for a funny, silly and tongue in cheek way to waste some spare time.

Of course, the bad taste comedy is not for everyone, there were times when I felt really uncomfortable and sometimes the jokes fell quite flat, some being a bit overly childish and silly.

I was surprised to find the film endearing and playful with the two brother at the core and some really good 'lol scenes' that have kept me smiling til payday Friday :) My fave scene has to be the elephants....