Angels’ Share DVD Review

     Actors: Paul Brannigan, John Henshaw
  • Director: Ken Loach
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: December 10, 2013
  • Run Time: 101 minutes



            Kitchen sink realism has been a staple of filmmaking for Ken Loach’s impressive career as a director, most notably with the coming-of-age film, Kes. That realism has been carried over into his latest dramedy, Angels’ Share. What starts as a somewhat lighthearted drama about the struggles working-class life in the United Kingdom eventually turns into a heist film which is part comedy of errors. The manner in which the comedy and drama blend together without ever overpowering each other is the mark of a truly gifted filmmaker, making Angels’ Share far more engaging than your typical comedy and more entertaining than the average drama.


            The film’s protagonist is a former thug named Robbie (Paul Brannigan), who is attempting a life without crime due to the pregnancy of his girlfriend. Preparing to be a father leaves Robbie with a new outlook on life, though that does little to get rid of the trouble which has already wormed its way into his life. With the help of a kindly supervisor while doing his community service, Robbie becomes interested in the world of whiskey tasting. Along with three fellow social miscreants, Mo, Albert and Rhino, Robbie learns as much as he can about the distilling of whiskey.


    During this process they discover a lost cask of legendary Malt Mill whiskey thought to be nearly priceless. Utilizing the skills that they have developed after years of bad behavior, Robbie and his crew of screw-ups set out to steal some of the beloved whiskey. Although he returns to the life of crime, Robbie’s outlook and reasons for doing it have changed. This isn’t a film of black-and-white morality, especially with a protagonist prone to indulging in his bad temper, but there is a bit of stark truth buried within the comedy of Loach’s film.


    The DVD special features include a few deleted scenes and a trailer.


    Entertainment Value: 8/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 8/10

    Historical Significance: 7.5/10

    Disc Features: 5/10

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