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

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Sweet Sixteen Reviews

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familiar s

Super Reviewer

July 28, 2010
Sweet Sixteen. Sounds like a chick flick (nothing wrong if you like that genre; it's just that I'm not into that kind of movies in general). Now, the title itself is enough to prompt me to click on 'NOT INTERESTED'. (Off topic, but Shakespeare didn't know shit when he coined "What's in name?") But when it came as a recommendation from one of the friends here (by mvieaddict, to be specific), & the review (which I fortunately didn't read fully. She's given away how it ends. I know it's predictable, but still.) mentioned that it's a crime related movie, I was inclined to check it out. And having just watched it, I'm glad I did.

It's not 'American History X', but it's close to that. It's relatively realistic & way better than most of the crime dramas I've recently seen. It has some truly great intense moments. It's not a tearjerker, but the way the relations are portrayed is quite touching. It made me care for the protagonist even after knowing that what he's doing is quite unethical. That's where the movie scored for me, because generally I don't get that kind of a feeling for such characters (or the characters I can't relate to).

It takes a sneak peek into the life of a boy who wants to lead a sound life with his mom who's currently serving time in jail. But that's not not quite easy. He resorts to crime to make his dreams come true. And pieces start falling in their place for him. But alas... well, you already know what kind of ending you're supposed to expect with this type of movies. I'd not give away what exactly it is, just in case (yep, of late, I've decided not to give out big spoilers as far as possible).

The actors were all new faces to me, but everyone performed well. The movie wouldn't have been so effective otherwise. Surely recommended.


EDIT: Just because someone asked, I felt I should clarify it once & for all. I mentioned 'American History X' because the movie reminded me of it while watching it. There's not much resemblance between the two. When I said "it's close to that," I meant in terms of greatness, & not plot-wise. So there.
gor41
gor41

Super Reviewer

August 17, 2007
Tragic tale of a boy trying to pull himself and his family out of a grim world but struggling not to get sucked back. Stinging indictment of a class of society whose only goal is survival and morals are cheap. The ending will blow you away.
mvieaddict
mvieaddict

Super Reviewer

January 30, 2009
Ken Loach's movies are known for their intensity of showing the society differences of the British class. I saw that in Bread & Roses, Carla's song and AE fond kiss, but Sweet Sixteen was more dramatic and emotional. Here the director portrayed some sad lives going into violence and crime and the way he presented the bad situations of these people were just memorable. Liam the lead character, a 15 year old boy who life had treated very hard, was selling heroine cigarettes on the street, who he had stolen from his mother's boyfriend. Liam's older sister Chantelle, who hated her mother,for being a heroine junkie and in prison was a very touching part of the story.The mother, for whom all the effort was done for her to keep her straight, got a nice house from Liam ,which he bought of drugs money.But when she got out prison she remained the disappointment she always was, and gave this movie a dramatic ending.
Sunil J

Super Reviewer

May 28, 2008
Such a dark movie but it's good and the acting is good for amateurs.
Deb S

Super Reviewer

May 23, 2008
I've never heard the "C" word so much in my life! Even so, my heart went out to this 15 yr old Scottish boy in Sweet Sixteen. His mom is due to be released from prison the day before his sixteenth birthday. He's doing everything he can to make a home for his family. Not much available for a young lad except crime. This movie had me interested until 3/4 the way through...then it disconnected from the audience somewhat.
audrinalove2
October 8, 2009
I love all things british (mostly) & thia was not differant .....
Good & sad & happy story of a young boy becoming a man & having a hard time of it .
July 16, 2006
A bit tough to watch without subtitles. The accent is VERY thick.

It was mediocre throughtout the beginning then really got good with the fighting and back-stabbing.

If you liked "Kids" you'll probably like Sweet Sixteen
February 3, 2014
bittersweet symphony. The story is universal true for every teenager.
aleksis s.
October 20, 2013
Entertaining movie. Hard to understand scottish accent in some scenes.
Madmartigan
November 17, 2013
Meh. It doesn't press far enough in any direction to be memorable or worth watching. Good performances.
April 7, 2013
"Oh Liam..What a waste"
May 31, 2013
Predictable plotting can be easily excused for Martin Compston's terrific performance and sensitive direction from Ken Loach in this bleak and relentless coming of age crime drama.
January 26, 2013
From the first minute there's no surprise that this coming of age tale is going to end up bleeding in the gutter with its teeth kicked in. What saves it are the truthful performances from an ace cast. Not Loach's best effort though.
September 27, 2012
Liam and his innocent ideals... Powerful movie delivered in honest moments. If you like Kes you're gonna like this.
June 2, 2012
Martin Compston played the lead actor in this nail biting film. Ken Loach portrays reality, bringing in actors who relate very closely to their acting roles, resulting in a film that was almost documentary in style. A great film that wasnt given the exposure it should have gotten.
December 20, 2011
I love this film, simply love it. Martin Compston was able to balance his dramatic performance along with his comical side, which in my eyes , resembles charm in Scottish cinema. The film was shot so close to my hometown, that I was able to relate myself to his character. Purely phenomenal as we would say !
September 11, 2011
Raw and uncompromising. An incredible film.
August 14, 2011
Tpical Ken Loach. Grim but powerful
December 3, 2010
oor Michelle is a great actress pure brilliant
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