The List Magazine's Best Scottish Films

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1.
The 39 Steps (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information. (86 mins.)
 
2.
Whisky Galore (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Scottish islanders try to plunder 50,000 cases of whisky from a stranded ship. (80 mins.)
 
3.
High and Dry (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An American businessman in Scotland is conned into shipping a valuable load of cargo to a Scottish island via a coal powered boat. (92 mins.)
 
4.
Brigadoon (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Two Americans on a hunting trip in Scotland become lost. They encounter a small village, not on the map, called Brigadoon, in which people harbor a mysterious secret, and behave as if they were still living two hundred years in the past. (108 mins.)
 
5.
Kidnapped (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
In Scotland in 1751, young David Balfour is shanghaied aboard a ship where he meets Jacobite rebel Alan Breck Stewart with whom he escapes to the Scottish Highlands, dodging the redcoats. (97 mins.)
 
6.
Tunes of Glory (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Major Jock Sinclair has been in this Highland regiment since he joined as a boy piper. During the Second World War... (107 mins.)
Director: Ronald Neame
 
7.
Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story of a Dog (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Scotland, 1865. An old shepherd and his little Skye Terrier Bobby go to Edinburgh. But when the shepherd dies of pneumonia... (87 mins.)
Director: Don Chaffey
 
8.
The Battle of Culloden (1964 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A reconstruction of the Battle of Culloden, the last battle to take place on British soil, as if modern TV cameras were present. (69 mins.)
Director: Peter Watkins
 
9.
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A headstrong young teacher in a private school in 1930s Edinburgh ignores the curriculum and influences her impressionable 12 year old charges with her over-romanticized world view. (116 mins.)
Director: Ronald Neame
 
10.
Macbeth (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A ruthlessly ambitious Scottish lord seizes the throne with the help of his scheming wife and a trio of witches. (140 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
 
11.
My Childhood (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The second part (My ain folk) of Bill Douglas' influential trilogy harks back to his impoverished upbringing in early-'40s Scotland... (46 mins.)
Director: Bill Douglas
 
12.
My Ain Folk (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Jamie and Tommy are separated by the death of their grandmother; Jamie with another relative and Tommy to a welfare home. Now Jamie is all alone and his life is not at all happy taken over by silence, rejection and violence. (55 mins.)
Director: Bill Douglas
 
13.
My Way Home (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Jamie leaves the children's home to live with his paternal grandmother. After working in a mine and in a tailor's shop... (71 mins.)
Director: Bill Douglas
 
14.
The Wicker Man (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed. Stranger still are the rites that take place there. (88 mins.)
Director: Robin Hardy
 
15.
That Sinking Feeling (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Ronnie, Wal, Andy and Vic are four bored, unemployed teens in dreary, rainy Glasgow. Ronnie comes up with a great idea... (93 mins.)
Director: Bill Forsyth
 
16.
Death Watch (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Roddy has a camera implanted in his brain. He is then hired by a television producer to film a documentary of terminally ill Katherine... (130 mins.)
 
17.
Gregory's Girl (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Gregory is a normal teen who is infatuated with a classmate. He must work to win her affection. (91 mins.)
Director: Bill Forsyth
 
18.
Local Hero (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An American oil company sends a man to Scotland to buy up an entire village where they want to build a refinery. But things don't go as expected. (111 mins.)
Director: Bill Forsyth
 
19.
Restless Natives (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Two Scottish friends become local folk heroes and tourist attractions when they start holding up tour buses with novelty items. (89 mins.)
Director: Michael Hoffman
 
20.
Highlander (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An immortal Scottish swordsman must confront the last of his immortal opponent, a murderously brutal barbarian who lusts for the fabled "Prize". (116 mins.)
Director: Russell Mulcahy
 
21.
Silent Scream (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
In London's seedy Soho district in 1963, Larry Winters (Iain Glen) murders a bartender with shocking violence... (85 mins.)
Director: David Hayman
 
22.
Being Human (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
One man must learn the meaning of courage across four lifetimes centuries apart. (122 mins.)
Director: Bill Forsyth
 
23.
Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life (1993 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
While trying to decide what Gregor Samsa wakes up as, Kafka's constantly being interrupted by knife-selling strangers... (23 mins.)
Director: Peter Capaldi
 
24.
Shallow Grave (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Three friends discover their new flatmate dead but loaded with cash. (89 mins.)
Director: Danny Boyle
 
25.
Rob Roy (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In 1713 Scotland, Rob Roy MacGregor is wronged by a nobleman and his nephew, becomes an outlaw in search of revenge while fleeing the Redcoats, and faces charges of being a Jacobite. (139 mins.)
 
26.
Braveheart (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, Sir William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England. (178 mins.)
Director: Mel Gibson
 
27.
Breaking the Waves (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Oilman Jan is paralyzed in an accident. His wife, who prayed for his return, feels guilty; even more, when Jan urges her to have sex with another. (159 mins.)
Director: Lars Von Trier
 
28.
Small Faces (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Three teenage brothers, gang-member Bobby, troubled mama's boy Alan and self-assured prankster Lex, reside in a downtrodden section of Glasgow... (108 mins.)
 
29.
Trainspotting (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends. (94 mins.)
Director: Danny Boyle
 
30.
Behind the Lines (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Based on Pat Barker's novel of the same name, 'Regeneration' tells the story of soldiers of World War One sent to an asylum for emotional troubles... (114 mins.)
 
31.
Orphans (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Four siblings gathered together for their mother's funeral in Glasgow face individual torments over night during a tumultuous storm that rips the roof off the church. (101 mins.)
Director: Peter Mullan
 
32.
My Name Is Joe (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Two thirtysomethings, unemployed former alcoholic Joe and community health worker Sarah, start a romantic... (105 mins.)
Director: Ken Loach
 
33.
The Acid House (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Three twisted tales of abuse, drugs, displaced personalities and insect life by Scottish writer Irvine Welsh. (111 mins.)
Director: Paul McGuigan
 
34.
Ratcatcher (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An unabashed kid navigates the filthy world of 1973 Glasgow, preoccupying himself with the equally poor youth around him. (94 mins.)
Director: Lynne Ramsay
 
35.
One More Kiss (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
When Sarah Hopson realizes her successful high-rise New York lifestyle is devoid of meaning, she packs... (97 mins.)
Director: Vadim Jean
 
36.
Aberdeen (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Kaisa is a Scot, a successful London lawyer, who snorts coke and has one-night stands with strangers... (113 mins.)
 
37.
One Life Stand (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  
Trise Clarke, a loving but deluded single mother, unwittingly propels her 18-year-old son, John Paul,into a career as a male escort. (119 mins.)
 
38.
Complicity (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Cameron Colley is a young Scottish journalist, with an interest in exposing the wrongs committed by the rich and powerful... (99 mins.)
Director: Gavin Millar
 
39.
The House of Mirth (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A woman risks losing her chance of happiness with the only man she has ever loved. (135 mins.)
Director: Terence Davies
 
40.
Late Night Shopping (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Four young friends have tedious night jobs and meet every night after work in a café. Sean hasn't met his girlfriend in three weeks... (91 mins.)
Director: Saul Metzstein
 
41.
Mrs Brown (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Queen Victoria is deeply depressed after the death of her husband, disappearing from public. Her servant Brown... (101 mins.)
Director: John Madden
 
42.
Strictly Sinatra (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Small-time crooner find himself on the receiving end of the threatening attentions of a gangster, whose wife has fallen for the singer's Sinatra-like aura. (97 mins.)
Director: Peter Capaldi
 
43.
The Magdalene Sisters (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Three young Irish women struggle to maintain their spirits while they endure dehumanizing abuse as inmates of a Magdalene Sisters Asylum. (114 mins.)
Director: Peter Mullan
 
44.
Sweet Sixteen (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Determined to have a normal family life once his mother gets out of prison, a Scottish teenager from a tough background sets out to raise the money for a home. (106 mins.)
Director: Ken Loach
 
45.
Morvern Callar (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
After her beloved husband's suicide, a mourning supermarket worker and her best friend hit the road in Scotland, but find that grief is something that you can't run away from forever. (97 mins.)
Director: Lynne Ramsay
 
46.
Dog Soldiers (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A routine military exercise turns into a nightmare in the Scotland wilderness. (105 mins.)
Director: Neil Marshall
 
47.
Four Eyes (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Amazing comedy about a man going through life Quirky and brilliantly directed The best part played was a young unknown David Angus in the line up (75 mins.)
Director: Duncan Finnigan
 
48.
16 Years of Alcohol (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
16 years of alcohol is about a skinhead named Frankie; his violent childhood, alcoholism and his love for Ska. (102 mins.)
Director: Richard Jobson
 
49.
Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The good-hearted Harbour has spent his whole life trying to take care of his motherless and suicidal little brother... (111 mins.)
Director: Lone Scherfig
 
50.
Young Adam (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A young drifter working on a river barge disrupts his employers' lives while hiding the fact that he knows more about a dead woman found in the river than he admits. (98 mins.)
Director: David Mackenzie
 
51.
AfterLife (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
An ambitious Scottish journalist is torn between a high-profile career and caring for his younger sister who has Downs Syndrome. (100 mins.)
Director: Alison Peebles
 
52.
American Cousins (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Two American mafiosi, Gino and Settimo, take refuge in the Glasgow cafe owned by their Scottish/Italian cousin... (115 mins.)
Director: Don Coutts