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The Young Offenders

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
the young offenders

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A pair of Irish lads go on the hunt for a lost shipment of cocaine in this goofy, loveably comedy road movie

In 2007, a boat carrying one-and-a-half tonnes of cocaine ran into trouble off the Cork coast, leading to the biggest drugs seizure in Irish history. The incident could’ve inspired a hard-hitting drama, Ireland’s answer to ‘Traffic’. But happily, first-time feature director Peter Foott isn’t remotely interested in the brutal realities of the illegal pharmaceutical industry. In ‘The Young Offenders’, the Cork coke catastrophe is merely the springboard for a lively, heartfelt, dumb-but-smart crime comedy.

Conor (Alex Murphy) and Jock (Chris Walley) are losers, scruffy teens whose principal interests include smoking fags, nicking bikes and dreaming of a better future. So when the news comes in of 61 bales of cocaine floating off the nearby coast, they set out to claim their fortune. Needless to say, the mission doesn’t go to plan.

There’s nothing particularly original about ‘The Young Offenders’: a dash of Ealing comedy here, a sprinkling of Shane Meadows there. The comedy can be a bit broad, and the indie-pop soundtrack is dodgy (Sultans of Ping? Really?). But the dialogue’s great (‘I’m going for a wilderpoo!’) and the performances make it sing: first-timers Murphy and Walley are innocently wonderful, and the relationship between Conor and his mum feels completely genuine. Packed with warmth and wit, this is a lovely lo-fi charmer.

Written by
Tom Huddleston

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 16 September 2016
  • Duration:83 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Peter Foott
  • Screenwriter:Peter Foott
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