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James' family lives in a poor neighborhood of Glasgow in the late 1970s. While they wait for relocation to a nicer part of town, James makes do with playing by the canal with Margaret Anne and Kenny. Margaret Anne is older, and willing to sleep with the local boys for a bit of affection, while Kenny loves animals, but is slow-witted. As the garbage piles up during a prolonged strike by the garbage collectors, James dreams of a better life and tries to escape the realities of his family and personal tragedies. As his family's dream of moving to a new home slowly fades, James also finds… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Some may find such wrenching realities shocking, if not reprehensible. Others may glean meaning in their starkness -- a meaning that transcends the film's despair with the power of its truth."
‑ Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle
"Lynne Ramsay bears watching. But when we talk about advances in the art of movies we have to be talking about leaps of feeling, not just leaps of technique."
‑ Charles Taylor, Salon.com
"Gritty yet beautiful coming-of-age film too dark for kids."
‑ Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
"Writer-director Ramsay has a deft touch throughout: Her actors all seem natural, and her occasional touches of magic realism...help to soften the blows of squalor."
‑ Luke Y. Thompson, New Times
"Difficult but rewarding"
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Ramsay's imaginative shot-making gifts make for a sublime result, creating a different sort of magical realism than we're used to seeing."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Ratcatcher goes straight to the head."
‑ Marta Barber, Miami Herald
"This is often a stunningly, grimly beautiful film, but one that leaves a bitter aftertaste."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"Ratcatcher is an inner-city tragedy that plays its story simply, sorrowfully, and beautifully."
‑ Kimberley Jones, Austin Chronicle
"A surprisingly assured and highly original directorial debut."
‑ Jeremy Heilman, MovieMartyr.com
"In any good film, the opening shot is telling, and Ratcatcher is a very good film."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"Ramsay tells much of the story through a series of images, each more marvellous than the last."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"artful and astonishingly beautiful"
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"Done so deftly, with such a exquisitely poetic touch and keen understanding of the paradoxical coexistence of filth and beauty in the world, that you can forgive some of its narrative triteness."
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"William Eadie's acting helps make this drama an enlightening and intense experience."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
More reviews for Ratcatcher on Rotten Tomatoes