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critics consensus

Critics find Ratcatcher to be hauntingly beautiful, though its story is somewhat hard to stomach. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

James Gillespie (William Eadie) is 12 years old. The world he knew is changing. Haunted by a secret, he has become a stranger in his own family. He is drawn to the canal where he creates a world of his own. He finds an awkward tenderness with Margaret Anne (Leanne Mullen), a vulnerable 14 year old expressing a need for love in all the wrong ways, and befriends Kenny (John Miller), who possesses an unusual innocence in spite of the harsh surroundings.

Cast & Crew

Lynne Ramsay Jr.
Anne Marie
Leanne Mullen
Margaret Anne
John Miller
Kenny
Jackie Quinn
Mrs. Quinn
Andrea Calderwood
Executive Producer
Peter Gallagher
Associate Producer
Barbara McKissack
Executive Producer
Sarah Radclyffe
Executive Producer
Rachel Portman
Original Music
Alwin H. Kuchler
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Ratcatcher

Critic Reviews for Ratcatcher

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for Ratcatcher

  • Nov 14, 2011
    Eventful sample of art imitating life through a hardcore representation of the hearts of young ones in infested contemporary settings thanks to one of the strongest modern heroines of the industry. The diverse allegories of rats were excellent. 97/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • May 16, 2011
    In the garbage strewn and rat infested streets of 70's Glasglow, there lies the rudimentary cinematic climax: that of poverty. For the young and still slightly innocent James, his downward spiral into depression starts with the death of a friend, possibly at his own hand. As the film progresses, the gritty reality of living in a slum, smellier than usual thanks to a garbage strike, becomes all too hard for him, and he frequently escapes to a model home in the country. Though he is tormented by a group of spiteful teenage boys, he does meet and fall for a girl who's glasses reside in the canal James fears to enter. The historical context and the ramifications of the many character's actions never fall under plausible. only possible. James' family is awaiting a transfer into a new house as the tenements they live in are being bought and demolished. Hope glides beneath the surface,as they battle each other with hate filled words and violence. The worst horror is the manifestation of bile within James' friend, once a member of the RSPCA, and now he himself kills the rats that infest the garbage piles surrounded them on all sides. Very bleak and dreary, you always wish for something better for James, a protaganist that may be the only unsullied person left.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 10, 2011
    One of the best British films of the nineties, Ratcatcher is a powerful evocation of the uncertainty and surreal nature of childhood. The film also has something to say about family relationships, death, and the toll poverty takes on people (in this case, in the Glasgow of the seventies). Although the film could be criticised for being fairly slow-paced, I think this is entirely missing the point. The film is more about atmosphere than a linear plot, and the lingering, intriguing glimpses it offers of the young character's life will stay in your memory like a particularly vivid dream. I expect great things of Lynne Ramsay in the future.
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2010
    This movie is very tricky to rate, because the subject matter is so real and human, which automatically gives it a edge over a large number of films. The acting is superb, by adults and youngsters alike. The film technique fits the mood and hard times of the characters very well, and it grabs your attention. Nevertheless, the downfall is found in the speed of the film, which has you wondering at times when action will resume. Apart from that, this was one really well done film that absolutely required subtitles.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer

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