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Fish Tank (2009)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  11 September 2009 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 44,826 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 110 user | 244 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

Everything changes for 15-year-old Mia when her mum brings home a new boyfriend.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rebecca Griffiths ...
Sydney Mary Nash ...
Carrie-Ann Savill ...
Tyler's Friend
Toyin Ogidi ...
Tyler's Friend
Grant Wild ...
Keeley's Dad
Sarah Bayes ...
Charlotte Collins ...
Tall Dancing Girl
Kirsty Smith ...
Dancing Girl
Chelsea Chase ...
Dancing Girl
Brooke Hobby ...
Dancing Girl
Billy's Brother


Mia, an aggressive fifteen-year-old girl, lives on an Essex estate with her tarty mother, Joanne, and precocious little sister Tyler. She has been thrown out of school and is awaiting admission to a referrals unit and spends her days aimlessly. She begins an uneasy friendship with Joanne's slick boyfriend, Connor, who encourages her one interest, dancing. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Live, love and give as good as you get.




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

11 September 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Akvarij  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£103,180 (UK) (11 September 2009)


$373,060 (USA) (7 May 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Katie Jarvis, who plays Mia, had never acted before this film. A casting director spotted her having a fight with her boyfriend at a train station and offered her the role. See more »


When Mia takes the alcohol bottle from the woman at one of the parties, it is almost empty. Later, Mia is seen drinking from the bottle in her mother's bedroom and the bottle is half full. See more »


[first lines]
[Mia calls Keeley using a cellphone]
Keeley: [from an answering machine] Hey, it's Keeley. Leave me a message.
Mia: Keeley, it's me. What's going on? I've left like three messages. I said sorry, didn't I? You know what I'm like. I was pissed off. Ring me back, you bitch.
See more »


Broadway Jungle
Performed by Toots & The Maytals
Written by Toots Hibbert (as Frederic "Toots" Hibbert)
Published by Maxwood Music
Under under licence from Prince Buster Music, Inc
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Full Tank
22 January 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Mia Williams (phenomenal coming out by Katie Jarvis) is a foul-mouthed street-bred 15 year old girl with an aspiration to become a dancer. However living in a decrepit neighbourhood with her alcoholic mother and badmouthing sister does not allow her to dream too extravagantly. Alienated from fellow mates she only finds solace in an abandoned house dancing away to beats from her CD player. Days pass with minor occurrences shaping the mundane paths of Mia. In search of a meaning to her life she attempts to rescue horses or enters a dance competition. But nothing seems to have as much impact as the unhealthy chemistry that forms between Mia and her mother's new boyfriend Connor (breakthrough performance by the man everyone loves to hate Michael Fassbender).

"Fish Tank" made by up-and-comer Andrea Arnold is probably my favourite Cannes movie in an unbelievably strong competition of 2009. Despite not being entirely refreshing and starting off slightly sophomoric ala "Kids" it quickly gets into gear strolling towards being a very emotional hard-hitting movie, which manages to present a strong story with never falling into typical dramatic traps. At times it has moments of pointless behaviour resulting from emotional trappings of the characters with one key nonsensical sequence standing out. Since the action of heroine was so pointless and idiotic it would be easy to falter and trap yourself, but the actions have such intense psychological meaning to them that I was immediately putting my hands together for a ostentatious clap.

As mentioned above the script tangles together the obvious with the surprising cooking up a well-made gourmet dish, which is bound to please both viewers as well as critics. The slight touches of ingenuity are especially pleasing, but at the same time the level of emotionality and character-building allows any viewer to suck into the squalor on screen. Thankfully also Arnold manages to escape any cop-outs during the movie, although several options chosen do pose slight questions about their reality and adequateness to the general plot.

Adding to that absolutely spot on acting by Fassbender and Jarvis, which actually allows the viewer to feel the growing sexual tension, but simultaneously grasps the awkwardness of this relationship, the movie is bound to be an instant classic. Absolutely perfect during most of the duration I did have a couple of minor issues with several scenes, which seemed to hit false notes here and again. This especially goes for the interaction with her mother and sister, that felt like scratching a chalkboard in the final scene. Thankfully however the movie was highlighted by two tremendous lead performances, hence any minor friction in the background goes relatively unnoticed.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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