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 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
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
Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon
4 Star Empire Rating
Love Me Till Monday
3 Star Empire Rating
Bastards
3 Star Empire Rating
Tammy
2 Star Empire Rating
Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie
1 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating
Calvary
5 Star Empire Rating
Wake In Fright
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
Film Studies 101: Ten Movie Formats That Shook The World
The pre-digital innovations that formed modern cinema

Exodus: Gods And Kings: Ridley Scott's Trailer Breakdown
The director talks us through his enormous Biblical epic

Jay Baruchel Talks How To Train Your Dragon 2
From The Human Centipede to the origin of 'Useless reptile'

Spotify Playlist: Now That's What I Call... Richard Linklater!
The Boyhood director has a soundtrack for life

Empire At EIFF 2014: Elijah Wood Q&A
See highlights of our Edinburgh chat with the actor

The Empire Podcast #118: Keira Knightley And Dean DeBlois Interviews
The Begin Again star and How To Train Your Dragon 2 director pop in for a chat

Watch: Industrial Light & Magic's Greatest Hits
From Star Wars to Transformers, we run through some of the best individual moments from the special effects masters

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

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 12 issues of Empire for just £18!
Special 25th anniversary offer for one month only! 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)