After a long run of baroquely plotted crime dramas like Layer Cake and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, it's a little depressing to come across a vigilante drama whose sole twist is its protagonist's advanced age.
London, present day: Elderly pensioner Harry Brown lives a largely solitary existence on a sinkhole council housing estate in London where drug dealing and recreational violence are the norm and disaffected hoodie-wearing teenage criminals (or "chavs" as we call them in the UK - a word derived from the acronym of "Council Housed And Violent") treat the ugly concrete canyons as a combination of a playground and the gladiatorial arena. Harry, despite a once prestigious career in the Royal Marines, is an affable, peaceful man who keeps himself to himself; literally going out of his way to avoid confrontation on a daily basis. But after the passing of his wife, then the tragic death of one of his dearest friends, Harry finds himself inexorably drawn onto a collision course with the violent criminal elements that have terrorized the estate.
Harry Brown is not a perfect film, but it is an important one. It's probably the only film that realistically deals with the reality of the plight of the elderly and vulnerable at the hands of what has now become an epidemic of casual violent criminality in the UK. There were many moments it was just sad to me, his wife passing, then his friend -- and the loneliness of his life and the crime and violence that surrounded him. It's a great movie, I like Michael Caine and he had his Dirty Harry moments in his film. I'm glad it's a part of my collection, great acting, great storyline and well worth my recommendation.