Neds (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes


Neds (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Neds Photos

Movie Info

John McGill is a promising student at a tough Glasgow school who, despite a family background of alcoholism and abuse, looks set to sail into university and a bright future beyond. That is, until things begin to go wrong at school and John, like his older brother before him, slips into the heady and dangerous world of Glasgow's gangland.

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Conor McCarron
as John McGill, Age 14
Mhairi Anderson
as Elizabeth
Gregg Forrest
as John McGill (age 10)
Peter Mullan
as Mr. McGill
Greg Forrest
as John McGill, Age 10
Joe Szula
as Benny McGill
Gary Lewis
as Mr. Russell
Marianna Palka
as Aunt Beth
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Critic Reviews for Neds

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (14)

The casting is good throughout, but McCarron makes the movie.

June 17, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…

A stringent street psychodrama in which brutality is an infection and every male is a carrier.

May 13, 2011 | Full Review…

First-timer McCarron is never less than convincing as a baby-faced brute who can elicit a stranger's sympathy as easily as he can inflict devastating comeuppance.

May 12, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Neds opens with the sort of celebratory moment that makes you think for a moment that things might be all right.

April 28, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

This angry film is a forceful slice of life, clearly indebted to the realism of Ken Loach, in whose My Name Is Joe Mullan starred, and to whose Kes it nods.

January 26, 2011 | Full Review…

It's arguably too long and there's a touch of self-mythologising but with compelling flashes of rage and nauseous black comedy, and some brilliant and bizarre images...

January 21, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Neds


A rough and tumble tale of how a bright boy can fall from grace through no obvious fault of his own, forced to go it alone in an environment where gangs of dead-end, aimless boys rule the streets. I thought the hero, John, was inconsistently characterized, but overall, for a movie with an evident message, I thought this was very good, and it even got away with a surreal twist toward the end. Solid, down-in-the-dirt, believable film-making.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

A young Scot descends from intellectualism to the brutality of street gangs in the early 70s. I think there's no doubt that there's a sense of realism to this portrayal of street life in Scotland. But what motivates the protagonist as he oscillates between his two identities - street tough and bright student - remains a mystery throughout the film. It creates an uneven quality to the character and the film as a whole. However, the performance by Conor McCarron is fantastic, and some of the details, like Mr. McGil's "I want you down here" screams and the scenes of violence, scream verisimilitude. The story avoids cliches by creating a sense of ambivalence on John's part. Overall, watching Neds is an intense and ultimately rewarding experience even if one never quite gets to know what makes these characters tick or where they're going after the film is over.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Even after graduating primary school with all sorts of honors and awards, young John McGill(Greg Forrest) finds moving on to the next level no easy task, what with Canta(Gary Milligan) threatening him with bodily harm. Well, that's what big brothers are for, especially one as feared as John's brother Benny(Joe Szula) who takes care of the problem very efficiently. Sadly, John's headmaster thinks he will follow in his brother's footsteps, deciding not to place him in the top class like he feels he deserves. In any case, it takes John just a few months to prove him wrong. As a teenager, John(Conor McCarron) continues to get good grades on the way to university. And then... With his latest film, "Neds," Peter Mullan(he also has a small role as John's abusive father) takes his fimmaking to another level visually to complement the power of his words, with an ending that is more metaphorical than anything else. In fact, there are no speeches in this exploration of the working class teen culture of 1970's Glasgow. The central question is if somebody as smart as John cannot escape, then is there any hope for anybody else?(In an early scene, I get the feeling that his Aunt Beth(Marianna Palka) was wondering if she could smuggle him in her suitcase back to America.) As somebody who is vulnerable, John is corrupted by the allure of violence and power when hanging out with other kids in his neighborhood, without measuring the consequences. At the same time, the teachers here show little interest except keeping order.(To be honest, they teach Latin which I've never gotten close to learning.) There are signs of change over time, but none come close to challenging the local class order.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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