• R, 1 hr. 46 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Ken Loach
    In Theaters:
    May 16, 2003 Limited
    On DVD:
    Oct 7, 2003
  • Lions Gate Films

Opening

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Sweet Sixteen Reviews

Geoff Andrew
Time Out
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June 24, 2006
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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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.

| Original Score: 3/5

August 7, 2003

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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July 3, 2003
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Despite this film's title, don't expect something light and fluffy.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

June 27, 2003
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
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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.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: B+

June 27, 2003
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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There's a profane but strangely tender rawness to this sometimes brutal movie, anchored by Compston's remarkably assured debut performance.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

June 20, 2003
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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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.

| Original Score: B+

June 20, 2003
John Hartl
Seattle Times
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The film is so alive, the performances so urgent and convincing, that it's as if Loach had just discovered the subject matter.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

June 13, 2003
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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The movie's performances have a simplicity and accuracy that is always convincing.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 13, 2003
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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A beautiful, grim tale.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

June 12, 2003
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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Ideology is manifested as empathy, rather than polemic, and the result is a lean, powerful little film that's more about people than politics.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B+

June 12, 2003
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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It's a harsh, terrible story of a rite of passage, a boy's love and a journey to hell, and it's so brilliantly told that we feel the cold above and the all-consuming flames beneath.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

June 12, 2003
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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A grim and gripping story.

June 6, 2003
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
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The casting is impeccable, the dialogue raw and the impenetrable Glaswegian brogue is wisely translated with English subtitles.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

June 6, 2003
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
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A classic.

June 6, 2003
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
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Mixes the bitter with the sweet and stays in the mind because it refuses to succumb to the cynicism that surrounds its protagonist.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 4/4

June 5, 2003
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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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.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 1, 2003
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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There's a raw, uncensored power here -- in the film in general and in newcomer Compston in particular.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: B-

May 30, 2003
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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[I]t's a tough film to watch, but so well done.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

May 27, 2003
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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Confident, uncompromising and blisteringly realistic, Sweet Sixteen is a gritty and immediate film yet it goes right to the emotions.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

May 22, 2003
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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Loach may be best known for staunchly political films like Bread and Roses, but in many ways Sweet Sixteen is a throwback to his other pictures, grittier slice-of- life films like My Name Is Joe.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger

May 22, 2003
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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It has a humane grasp of the pleasures kids create even under hellish conditions and of their adaptive capacity to craft a life out of the materials available.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

May 22, 2003
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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Mr. Loach once again reaffirms his honored position as one of the world's most passionate and compassionate filmmakers.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

May 16, 2003
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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It's impossible to tell the experienced from the inexperienced among Loach's casts.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

May 16, 2003
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
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Mr. Compston's untamed star power gives the movie a heart, a sweetness that makes the title heartfelt and not just cheaply ironic.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

May 16, 2003
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Ken Loach's most effective film since My Name Is Joe.

| Original Score: 3/4

May 16, 2003
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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[Loach] allows us to look into lives we would otherwise ignore.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 3/4

May 16, 2003
Jan Stuart
Newsday
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One more feather in the proudly proletarian cap of Ken Loach.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3/4

May 15, 2003
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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A story of particularly streamlined, eloquent despair.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

May 14, 2003
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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Yes, this is a political movie (at least it has a political viewpoint), but, more than that, it's a character study of an individual who will not easily be forgotten.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 13, 2003
Jessica Winter
Village Voice
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Loach's latest adheres so closely to his long-established narrative pattern -- overdetermined case study crowned with a morbid jolt -- that viewers might underestimate its wit, empathy, and careful characterizations.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

May 13, 2003
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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Campston, who has never acted before, is a natural.

June 5, 2002
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