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neumu
Thursday, October 30, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Sweet Sixteen cinematronic
  director

Ken Loach

cast

Martin Compston, Annmarie Fulton, William Ruane, Michelle Abercromby, Michelle Coulter, Gary McCormack

year

2002

rating rating cinematronic
  Continuing activist/director Ken Loach's string of powerful, socially relevant dramas, "Sweet Sixteen" stands as one of his best. It's a wrenching, completely credible tragedy about poisonous behavior passed on from generation to generation. Simultaneously, it's a cautionary rise-and-fall crime story that evokes memories of Depression-era movies with the Dead End Kids. In a Scottish seaside town, young Liam and his best buddy eschew school and hustle day and night to scam as much money as possible. Their petty schemes don't amount to much, and they manage to stay just ahead of the law. Now, Liam's 16th birthday is coming up, but he's more concerned about his mother's imminent release from prison after she finishes serving time for a crime committed by her abusive boyfriend. Determined to make a better life for his mum when she gets out of jail, Liam ups the ante by undermining the thuggish boyfriend and edging into risky business controlled by a local gang boss. Fledgling actor Martin Compston is achingly authentic as Liam, embodying the rashness, naïveté, arrogance and promise of youth. The rest of the ragged cast is just as good.  
cinematronic
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