Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Kevin McKidd
Susan Lynch
Jim Carter.
Directors
Richard Jobson.
Screenwriters
Richard Jobson.
Running Time
101 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Ida
4 Star Empire Rating
Night Will Fall
4 Star Empire Rating
Grand Piano
3 Star Empire Rating
20,000 Days On Earth
4 Star Empire Rating
Manuscripts Don't Burn
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating

16 Years of Alcohol
A personalised elegy about family, homeland and the strength required to turn around a wasted life.


submit to reddit


Plot
As a kid in Edinburgh, Frankie (McKidd) is disappointed with his dad when the old boy is caught having an affair. By the time he's a teenager, Frankie has become an alcoholic and vicious gang leader. But the discovery of love offers him a chance to clean up and get his life back on track.


Review
Poacher turns gamekeeper here as former film critic Richard Jobson makes his directorial debut. But Jobson is no ordinary hack: at various times he's been singer with punk band The Skids, a published poet and novelist, and a movie producer.

Jobson's first film as writer-director not only fuses his own talents, but also the best of Scottish cinema's recent output. It has Trainspotting's sharp ear for music and energetic eye for youthful excess, Small Faces' spot-on recreation of the recent past, and Ratcatcher's poetic sense of childhood pain remembered from afar.

Ultimately, however, it emerges in its own right as a personalised elegy about family, homeland and the strength required to turn around a wasted life. Even in its most violent moments, 16 Years Of Alcohol is suffused with visual poetry. 'Gritty' is not a word that applies here.

The film's trenchant insight into a culture that venerates the garrulous drunk goes hand in hand with a closer study of the complex individual character of Frankie. McKidd is simply awesome in his portrayal of a young man turning to booze, drugs or muggings in order to put some feeling into his desensitised life. He grasps the literary quality of Jobson's material and turns in a powerfully affecting performance.


Verdict
Occasionally Jobson makes the predictable first-timer's mistakes (a tendency to over-egg the stylistic and pretention puddings, to name but two), but it's clear that here is a striking nascent talent. Scottish cinema has found another compelling voice.


Reviewed by Alan Morrison

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Future Of Film: Your Favourite Movie WIll Be Crowdfunded
Click here to donate

The Empire Podcast #128: Interviews With Sir Roger Moore And George MacKay
Plus we say goodbye to Richard Kiel and the British Expendables are assembled...

Shut Up, World! Gary Busey Is Talking!
Strap yourselves in and meet a true Hollywood original.

Classic Feature: Gods Among Us - Paul Newman
A cat so cool he makes Steve McQueen look geeky.

The Future Of Film: There’ll Be An Oscar For Performance Capture
And the Academy Award goes to...

The Boxtrolls Interviews: The Cast And Crew On Laika's Latest
Sir Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning and more talk stop-motion

How We Made The Boxtrolls
Directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable talk us through the challenges of bringing Laika’s latest to life

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)