Small Engine Repair Review

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Country and Western songs provide the inspiration for this downbeat tale of a Northern Irish loser and his mechanic friend.


Inspired by countless Country and Western songs, Niall Heery’s debut feature is an assemblage of clichés and caricatures. Yet, by keeping things downbeat and pragmatic, he succeeds in getting some extra mileage out of an old story.

Forced to crash at buddy Steven Mackintosh’s backwater garage, Iain Glen summons some doughty charm as the Northern Irish loser determined to make it as a singer despite being dumped by his girlfriend and pursued by the thug he once sent to jail. But his triumph over adversity is less intriguing than Mackintosh’s battle with demons that have caused him to fail as a mechanic, a father and a friend.

By keeping the mood downbeat, director Niall Heery squeezes some extra mileage out of a cliche-ridden idea.