Sweet Sixteen
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Ken Loach directs Sweet Sixteen, a gritty drama about a young man slowly succumbing to a life of crime. Liam (Martin Compson) hopes that his imprisoned mother (Michelle Coulter) will be free by his 16th birthday. Hoping to help his mother escape her abusive heroin-dealing boyfriend (Gary McCormack), Liam rats him out to the cops. Liam's sister, Chantelle (Annmarie Fulton), suggests that a new trailer park might be a better place for their mother to live. With the help of his best friend, Pinball (William Ruanne), Liam sells the boyfriend's supply in order to raise the money, but this… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Using mostly unknown and first-time actors, Loach spins a passable coming-of-age tale, which should please his fans and provides a diversion for the rest of us."
‑ Bill Muller, Arizona Republic
"There's a profane but strangely tender rawness to this sometimes brutal movie, anchored by Compston's remarkably assured debut performance."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"...a better-than-average slice-of-life kitchen-sink drama that benefits substantially from Compston's star-making performance."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"You want Liam to succeed. You want a happy ending. You want to try to understand the heavy Scottish accents without reading the subtitles mercifully provided by Loach."
‑ Matt Kelemen, Las Vegas CityLife
"Its bleak tale was lightly delivered and filled with a wry Scottish wit and a poignant social realism that rang true."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Despite this film's title, don't expect something light and fluffy."
‑ Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A raw movie, but it relies on the natural appeal of its main character and the skill with which Loach creates a thoroughly believable environment."
‑ Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News
"Under Loach's deft hand, it feels indisputably real ... An undeniable downer, but hellaciously well acted, brimming with compassion, and relevant in a way that doesn't chafe."
‑ Andrew Wright, Portland Mercury
"Another fine Loach film that refuses to sentimentalize the plight of the poor and disenfranchised. Compston is a real find."
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"Sweet Sixteen is a wonderfully bittersweet effort, and one of Loach's best works."
‑ David Cornelius, eFilmCritic.com
"From its gripping immediacy to its strong cast of unknowns, Sweet Sixteen feels almost like a documentary. Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty keep an evenhanded focus on harsh truths, and avoid melodrama and grandstanding."
‑ Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle
"The film is so alive, the performances so urgent and convincing, that it's as if Loach had just discovered the subject matter."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"Hollywood has manufactured a number of coming of age films of varying quality, yet it's difficult to think of one that tops this powerful character study"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"The story is extremely powerful. This is a very depressing film, but also very well crafted."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Loach tends to get a little preachy, but his skill is undeniable. His messages strike harsh and true."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
More reviews for Sweet Sixteen on Rotten Tomatoes

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