The Angels' Share

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The Angels' Share

Ken Loach (2012)

15 Certificate


Our Score
It's been billed as Scotland's answer to The Full Monty, but this story of a young criminal who develops a taste for fine malt whisky doesn't quite have that film's underdog appeal or Everyman quality, though it picked up the Jury Prize at the 2012 Cannes film festival. The main character, Robbie (newcomer Paul Brannigan), is a volatile troublemaker who viciously assaults an innocent man, a crime that sits uneasily with the gentle, Ealing-style comedy that follows. While doing community service for his crime, Robbie meets supervisor Harry (John Henshaw), who takes him to a distillery, setting in train a plan to siphon some bottles from a cask of extremely rare whisky. Brannigan is an engaging lead and Henshaw offers light relief, but director Ken Loach, famous for his social realism, and regular writer Paul Laverty struggle to find a balance between the film's comic and serious elements. Indeed, it's telling that the best scenes are those showing Robbie's troubled home life and not the tourist-board depictions of the improbable Highland heist.


An unemployed man with a criminal record is put on community service just as his son is born, and resolves to make a better life for his family. Befriending three fellow offenders facing an equally uncertain future, they decide to make a fresh start by stealing a cask of valuable whisky. Ken Loach's comedy drama, starring Paul Brannigan and John Henshaw.

Cast & Crew

Robbie Emerson Paul Brannigan
Harry John Henshaw
Albert Gary Maitland
Mo Jasmine Riggins
Rhino William Ruane
Thaddeus Roger Allam
Leonie Siobhan Reilly
Director Ken Loach
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: E1 EntertainmentGuidance: Violence, swearing. Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 1 Jun 2012
Drama Comedy