Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star'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
Watermark
3 Star Empire Rating
They Came Together
3 Star Empire Rating
Attila Marcel
3 Star Empire Rating
Life Of Crime
3 Star Empire Rating
Island Of Lemurs: Madagascar
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
Video Interviews: The Stars And Directors Talk As Above, So Below
We talked to Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman and company about their underground horror…

The Future Of Film: All Big Blockbusters Will Be Shot At 48 FPS
Our month-long series begins discussing the innovations that will shape cinema

Video Interviews: Chloe Grace Moretz And Jamie Blackley Talk If I Stay
The stars, director R.J. Cutler and co-star Joshua Leonard talk YA adaptations

Gillian Robespierre And Jenny Slate Talk Obvious Child
Director and star on their acclaimed rom-com

The Empire Podcast #126: Jon Hamm Talks Million Dollar Arm, Mad Men And Beards
Plus Richard Ayoade pops in to talk about directing The Double

15 Of The Weirdest TV Cameos Of All Time
From Michael Palin in Home And Away to Ian McKellen in Corrie

Updated: The 36 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

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  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)