Julian Gilbey's fact-based crime saga Rise of the Footsoldier traces one man's meteoric ascension from a lucrative soccer career, through the ranks of organized crime, to the status of Britain's most omnipotent drug lord. The tale begins in the 1970s, when hooligan Carlton Leach (Ricci Harnett) finds himself implicated in a series of violent skirmishes on the soccer fields of England. Prompted to leave this activity and enter another trade, Leach self-incorporates as a company called ICF - a front for the young entrepreneur's drug-dealing activities. Soon, Carlton's business flourishes - first with cocaine, then with ecstasy and heroin (as time rolls forward from the self-serving 80s into the 1990s), but with it comes severe addiction and, disturbingly, wave after wave of nerve-wracking violence. More hardened, more severe criminals turn up to do business with Carlton's associates, forcing Carlton to recruit tougher and more psychopathic elements to protect himself - particularly when the goods from a heroin shipment disappear and Turkish thugs begin closing in.~ Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide
Rated R for strong bloody/brutal violence, torture and language throughout, drug use, sexuality, and some graphic nudity.