The Angels' Share


The Angels' Share

Critics Consensus

The Angels' Share is a surprisingly delightful, uplifting comedy that successfully blends a charming story of redemption with bits of dark humor and a social message.



Total Count: 99


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,904
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Movie Info

Winner of the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film festival, legendary director Ken Loach , one of Britain's most distinguished and respected filmmakers, who makes tough, uncompromising films about a beleaguered working class with poetry and humor, and longtime writing partner Paul Laverty (The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Bread and Roses and My Name is Joe), present an engagingly off-kilter new film, The Angels' Share. Robbie, a young ne'er do well (Paul Brannigan), a broke new father with a good heart is in serious trouble with the law. When he holds his newborn son for the first time, roguish Robbie is determined that the boy will have a better life, one with more opportunities than he has been offered in this insular, blue collar world. But first Robbie must sort out a variety of pressing problems --his girlfriend's family wants to do him harm and run him out of town being first and foremost among them. He is given a lucky break by a judge who shows mercy, granting him community service instead of jail. Here he meets Rhino, Albert and Mo, former petty criminals also down on their luck. (c) IFC Films

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Critic Reviews for The Angels' Share

All Critics (99) | Top Critics (29)

  • Modest in scale, expansive in emotions, this movie is a rarity: a contemporary tragicomedy.

    Mar 3, 2014 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
  • Despite its ultimate sense of optimism, the Glasgow-set dramedy nevertheless carries a sense of foreboding. And yet, that might not have been the intention.

    Jan 1, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The result is a sometimes gritty, occasionally charming Highland hybrid, but the final balance feels slightly off-kilter.

    May 17, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Loach takes us through the mysteries of whisky making, exploring the subtle tastes and scents in ways that will have audiences wishing they had a dram at hand. But a glass also serves more symbolic purposes ...

    May 16, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • [Ken Loach] and his longtime screenwriter, Paul Laverty, find a good balance between drama and wacky character moments.

    May 3, 2013 | Full Review…
  • A fairy tale with its feet firmly on the ground.

    May 2, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Angels' Share

  • Sep 14, 2014
    Considerably lighter than the typical Ken Loach fare, "The Angels' Share" is an accessible yarn more in line with director Bill Forsyth's gentle comedies. Robbie (novice actor Paul Brannigan) is a Glasgow lad in recurrent trouble with the law. He has noble ambitions despite his violent streak, and aims to reform as he and his girlfriend prepare to welcome a child. But for now, he's sentenced to a hefty chunk of community service with a small troupe of other shifty but likable youths. After their good-hearted coordinator takes them on an extracurricular tour of a distillery, Robbie is turned onto the elite world of whiskey tasting. Accepted as a knowledgeable upstart in this privileged circle, he enlists his new delinquent friends for a get-rich scheme that could lead them all to a better life. The class-struggle subtext keeps "The Angels' Share" from being a mere caper film, and the whiskey discussions are interesting. Now, if only Loach had resisted using the utterly worn-out "500 Miles" in the soundtrack. Is there anyone who can still bear to hear this song?
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2014
    Maybe it is just me, but I was completely bored. I only made it about 40 min in, and I had to turn it off.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 29, 2013
    I believe this is a my first Ken Loach film, but even before this, when hearing upon his techniques of withholding certain key moments in the script so the actors' reactions feel more natural, filming everything in order so the actors experience everything as they would in real life, infusing social commentary involving the working class in his films, naturalistic acting, etc. I'm definitely a fan of that and this movie I think succeeds in doing that, I found the acting in the film to be completely natural and organic, almost as if he just decided to let the actors shoot the shit and just act as they would if they really hanging out. It really helps the story feel more authentic and natural, there's only few parts of the film that feel truly scripted, and that's when the group are about to take the whiskey from the cask. I thought it got a little too silly for my own tastes, considering what the film had been. I didn't really have a problem with it, as the film is really well-made and the acting is really good, but it felt like something out of a completely different movie. But I found the story to be really good and surprisingly touching, it's easy to root for Robbie as he's very much trying to make a change in his life in order to give his son a different life to his own. The social commentary comes in the treatment of people that have already served their time and the prejudices they face when trying to integrate themselves back into the community or the hardships they face when applying for jobs. And in most cases, the crimes these people commit are relatively minor. So, in a way, it's an indictment on the system that incarcerates you in order to get you to rehabilitate yourself, but will discriminate you even if you've really made a change. The process of distilling is certainly very metaphoric for the changes the characters are trying to make. So I really liked this movie, strong story and believable acting make this a very good movie.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Aug 31, 2013
    Directors C Super Reviewer

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