Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Liam's Mom, Jean is in prison...but is due to be released in time for his 16th birthday. This time Liam is determined that things will be different. He dreams of a family life he's never had, which means creating a safe haven beyond the reach of wasters like Jean's boyfriend Stan and his own mean-spirited grandfather. (Lions Gate Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Loach is a super-realist, and Sweet Sixteen has the disarming feel of a documentary. It's a film that miraculously catches life on the fly, without apparent embellishment, cliche or melodrama.
  2. The explosively combative young hero, Liam (a brilliant performance by Martin Compston), has only the illusion of a fighting chance. Yet Sweet Sixteen is powerful because of the searing honesty with which it strips Liam of his illusions.
  3. It's one of the most emotional and compelling the filmmaker has ever made. Confident, uncompromising and blisteringly realistic, Sweet Sixteen is a gritty and immediate film yet it goes right to the emotions.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    Compston's performance and the downer milieu, presented with appropriate paint-peeling profanity, are more than enough to keep an audience riveted and ultimately moved close to tears.
  5. In the grim and empathetic lost-youth drama Sweet Sixteen, the director focuses on a few failed souls -- rather than excoriate the system that failed them -- to produce a story of particularly streamlined, eloquent despair.
  6. 80
    There are no hearts and flowers in Loach's hard-edged world, no kindly interventions, no signs from heaven. Instead, he gives us the unvarnished facts about working-class exploitation and the failure of ambition in low places.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    70
    Dabbed with sentimental touches, the film nevertheless avoids facile victim psychologizing and pulls no punches.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 1 out of 9

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