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      Released Oct 13, 2000 1 hr. 33 min. Drama List
      87% 45 Reviews Tomatometer 86% 5,000+ Ratings Audience Score James Gillespie (William Eadie) is 12 years old. The world he knew is changing. Haunted by a secret, he has become a stranger in his own family. He is drawn to the canal where he creates a world of his own. He finds an awkward tenderness with Margaret Anne (Leanne Mullen), a vulnerable 14 year old expressing a need for love in all the wrong ways, and befriends Kenny (John Miller), who possesses an unusual innocence in spite of the harsh surroundings. Read More Read Less

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      Critics Consensus

      Critics find Ratcatcher to be hauntingly beautiful, though its story is somewhat hard to stomach.

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      Audience Reviews

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      Jackson B Anyone giving this a negative review has surely never been poor. Or perhaps even alone. Beautiful cinema both moving and darkly funny. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/25/23 Full Review dave s Young James Gillespie (William Eadie) lives in an impoverished and squalid neighborhood in Glasgow with his parents and two sisters. Responsible for the drowning death of a friend, James lives with the guilt of his inaction, as well as the knowledge that he is destined to fall victim to the cycle of poverty in which he is immersed. Lynne Ramsay's Ratcatcher is an impressive feature-length debut for the Scottish director. Ramsay bypasses excessive dialogue in favor of stark imagery and sound to effectively establish an atmosphere of abject despair and suffering. From the horrific opening to scene to the tragic finale, Ratcatcher is relentless in its portrayal of lost hope and shattered dreams. As a footnote, for those who have trouble with the Glaswegian accent, subtitles are strongly recommended. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review andres s Wow, that intro is quite unsettling and disturbing, but also kind of beautiful in a haunting sort of way. Especially with the almost silent low rumbling white noise that can barely be heard and the way they slow motioned the whole scene of the boy wrapping himself in the curtain. Perhaps this is foreshadowing of what is going to happen to the boy? Maybe he's going to drown or die of suffocation. Holy shit, called it! That's so tragic and unfortunate. It was just two boys playing. It seems like his mother was trying to do her best to take care of him and it was just them two living together. That's so sad. His mother's going to be devastated when she finds out. Omg. Wow, right off the bat, the movie hits you with something so impactful and shocking. That must ruin and scar a kids life, and now he's keeping it a secret which is only going to more damage to him. Seems like James' father is seeing other women. Coming home late and clearly saying bye to another woman in the hallway. James is quite the troubled youth that seems to come from a poor upbringing and lower class. No wonder James has turned out the way he has, his father is a distant deadbeat who doesn't care about being a good father, especially towards him. Omg lmao! I love the way Kenny ties Snowball (his mouse) to the red balloon and lets it go. In a way, he's setting Snowball free, free from everything terrible this world has to offer. I thought that was great. Kenny is such a great character and so peculiarly funny. He's serves as the comedic relief that is much needed in the movie. Omg and the whole segment with Snowball floating through space and then lands on the moon where there's hundreds of other mice that have been set free. That was amazing, and hilarious. I love how James gets on the bus and sort of gets away from everything. Longing for a better life, he finds an escape from the poverty and all the bleakness that surrounds his life through this adventure that he takes outside of the city. That was a pretty sweet and candid moment when James is frolicking through the wheat fields. You can see this genuine happiness on his face - something he hasn't felt in what seems like a quite a while. What an unexpected twist ending with James drowning himself in the same river that Ryan drowned in. I guess James got what he wanted and is happier now that he can live in the paradise he created in his head with his family now moving into the new house. Wow, what a darkly bittersweet ending. That was so haunting how the end credits are basically a slowed down shot of James drowning while the names of the cast roll down. And that song at the end, my god it's so beautifully haunting. Beautifully shot! My god, it looks so good. Those shots of the river with the harpsichord-sounding instrument in the background are gorgeous. It's such a quiet, almost gentle meditative movie. Cinematically poetically haunting, something very unique that I've never quite experienced before. Politically aware and informative as well. A very raw and unflinching depiction about troubled youth in a troubled environment, what it means to grow up and lose innocence, the importance of family and a city going through political turmoil. It reminds me a lot of the movie ‘Kes'. Along with these things, the movie is also endearing, tender and surprisingly funny. Lynne Ramsay has created something truly remarkable and very special with this movie. This movie hit me like no other. I'd gladly watch it again. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review andrey k I'm happy to discover for myself such a talented director which Lynne Ramsay is. She continued the great English traditions of stories (later movies joined in, "Kes" comes to mind) depicting wretched urchins living in poor neighborhoods, leading a bleak hopeless life; a Dickens's touch is felt in this one. Cinematography is beyond reproach. I'm not sure how she managed to create such beautiful, even poetic shots in this filthy, vermin-stuffed piles of garbage, dirty streets and messed people. I couldn't agree more with someone say that she tells her stories in images rather than dialogue. It's a very difficult task, a practically lost virtue of modern cinema. I'll look forward to her future work. This her debut is a masterstroke. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Strong and beautifully shot debute feature by Ramsey.One of the most intersting and hauntingly told stories about childhood on screen. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review scott s A heart breaking film as we see a young boy go through the hell of poverty, and social class. It's a never ending battle of hope and reality. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Critics Reviews

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      Ed Potton Times (UK) It’s an incredible, contained turn by Eadie, verbally inarticulate but full of depth in expression and gesture. Rated: 5/5 Apr 12, 2024 Full Review Peter Bradshaw Guardian What is so striking and eerie about Ratcatcher is Ramsay’s brilliant way of rendering a trance-like, epiphanic child’s-eye-view of a hundred little things that present themselves to James’s senses. Rated: 4/5 Apr 11, 2024 Full Review Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly Rated: A Sep 7, 2011 Full Review David Lamble Bay Area Reporter Ratcatcher is a prime example of what film schools aspire to from their graduates -- life captured in a visual poetic language rendering James a universal slum-child Ulysses. Jul 15, 2023 Full Review David Harris Spectrum Culture It has been more than 20 years since the release of Lynne Ramsay’s beguiling 1999 debut, and the decades have done little to wither the poetic originality that clings to the film like a diaphanous shroud. Aug 16, 2022 Full Review Cole Smithey This is a won't-come-of-age story. Suffer. Rated: F Jan 30, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis James Gillespie (William Eadie) is 12 years old. The world he knew is changing. Haunted by a secret, he has become a stranger in his own family. He is drawn to the canal where he creates a world of his own. He finds an awkward tenderness with Margaret Anne (Leanne Mullen), a vulnerable 14 year old expressing a need for love in all the wrong ways, and befriends Kenny (John Miller), who possesses an unusual innocence in spite of the harsh surroundings.
      Lynne Ramsay
      Executive Producer
      Andrea Calderwood, Barbara McKissack, Sarah Radclyffe
      Lynne Ramsay
      Merchant-Ivory Productions [us], First Look
      Production Co
      Les Productions Lazennec, Holy Cow Films, BBC, Merchant Ivory Productions, Pathé Pictures Ltd., Arts Council of England, Le Studio Canal +
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Oct 13, 2000, Original
      Release Date (DVD)
      Sep 10, 2002
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      Sound Mix
      Surround, Dolby SR, Dolby Digital
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