116 user 107 critic

Young Adam (2003)

NC-17 | | Crime, Drama | 26 September 2003 (UK)
2:07 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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.


7 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hallam Foe (2007)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Hallam's talent for spying on people reveals his darkest fears-and his most peculiar desires. Driven to expose the true cause of his mother's death, he instead finds himself searching the rooftops of the city for love.

Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: Jamie Bell, Ruth Milne, John Paul Lawler
Asylum (2005)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A woman becomes very curious about one of her psychiatrist husband's inmates, a man who was found guilty in the murder and disfigurement of his former wife.

Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: Natasha Richardson, Sean Harris, Marton Csokas
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Two men meet up, while travelling north on separate missions. Charlie wants to catch up with the man who has stolen his wife, while Vicente is trying to escape a contract castration. After ... See full summary »

Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: Alastair Mackenzie, Jonny Phillips, Ewan Stewart
Perfect Sense (2011)
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A chef and a scientist fall in love as an epidemic begins to rob people of their sensory perceptions.

Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Eva Green, Lauren Tempany
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two feuding rock stars get handcuffed together for 24 hours at a music festival where they are both due to perform.

Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: Luke Treadaway, Natalia Tena, Rebecca Benson
Incendiary (2008)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A woman's life is forever changed when tragedy strikes at a soccer match.

Director: Sharon Maguire
Stars: Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor, Matthew Macfadyen
Nora (2000)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In 1904, in Dublin, James Joyce chats up Nora Barnacle, a hotel maid recently come from Galway. She enchants him with her frank, direct and uninhibited manner, and before long, he's ... See full summary »

Director: Pat Murphy
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Susan Lynch, Andrew Scott
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As a young girl in Japan, Nagiko's father paints characters on her face, and her aunt reads to her from "The Pillow Book", the diary of a 10th-century lady-in-waiting. Nagiko grows up, ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Vivian Wu, Ewan McGregor, Yoshi Oida
Spread (2009)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A sex comedy centered on a serial womanizer and his jilted lover.

Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Anne Heche, Margarita Levieva
Starred Up (2013)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Eric Love (O'Connell) is a 19 year old teenager who is so violent he has been 'Starred Up' (Moved to Adult prison) where he finds his father Neville (Mendelsohn) who Eric hasn't seen since ... See full summary »

Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: Jack O'Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A private eye shadows a female serial killer of men all over the U.S. without her knowing as he, strangely enough, occasionally acts as her guardian angel.

Director: Stephan Elliott
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Ashley Judd, Patrick Bergin
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: James Bryce


Cast overview, first billed only:
Therese Bradley ...
Ewan Stewart ...
Daniel Gordon
Pauline Turner ...
Alan Cooke ...
Bob M'bussi
Freight Supervisor
Andrew Neil ...
Arnold Brown ...
Bowler Hat Man
Meg Fraser ...
Stall Woman


Joe, a rootless young drifter, finds work on a barge travelling between Glasgow and Edinburgh, owned by Les and his wife Ella. One afternoon they discover the corpse of a young woman floating in the water. Accident? Suicide? Murder? As the police investigate and suspect is arrested, we discover that Joe knows more than he is letting on. Gradually we learn of Joe's past relationship with the dead woman. Meanwhile an unspoken attraction develops between Joe and Ella, heightening the claustrophobic tensions in the confined space of the barge. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

26 September 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El joven Adán  »

Box Office


£4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£228,692 (UK) (26 September 2003)


$767,240 (USA) (13 August 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ewan McGregor's nude scenes were originally going to be cut from the U.S. release, but after McGregor objected, the full-frontal nude scenes were put back in. See more »


In a wide shot of the skyline of Glasgow from Kelvingrove Park, the Glasgow Tower can be seen on the horizon. The tower wasn't built until 2000. See more »


Les Gault: What'd you do that for?
Joe Taylor: I had no use for it.
Les Gault: Must be worth something, though.
Joe Taylor: Not to me.
See more »


References L'Atalante (1934) See more »


Written & Performed by David Byrne
Published by Moldy Fig Music (BMI)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A jewel at the coal face
13 August 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Dark, bleak and brooding, Young Adam is a film charged with unexploded tension throughout. Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton are superb in the lead roles, conveying much in unspoken guilt as barge hand McGregor engages in an ill-advised affair with his boss's wife. The body of a dead woman appearing in the Clyde leads to a trail of unravelling that leaves a queasy feeling in the stomach right to the very end of the film (and only then do we realise the significance of the title).

Set in 1950s Glasgow this sombre recreation is a testament to Scottish art house film making (even if they did have to go abroad for much of the funding). The raw sexuality in the grittiest of surroundings is transformed by aesthetic cinematography into explosive beauty as we explore the innermost drives of the characters and work through their dilemmas with them.

23 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Films set in Scotland always miserable? alconway
young adam? burkestephanie
these actors disappointed me mariantheitalian
The Extended Scene..... Ewansgirl144
r vs. nc-17 BunuelCronenberg
Soundtrack Bluenymph21
Discuss Young Adam (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: