66 user 128 critic

The Angels' Share (2012)

R | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 1 June 2012 (UK)
2:17 | Trailer
Narrowly avoiding jail, new dad Robbie vows to turn over a new leaf. A visit to a whisky distillery inspires him and his mates to seek a way out of their hopeless lives.


Ken Loach


Paul Laverty (screenplay)
7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Brannigan ... Robbie
Siobhan Reilly ... Leonie
John Henshaw John Henshaw ... Harry
Gary Maitland Gary Maitland ... Albert
William Ruane ... Rhino
Jasmin Riggins ... Mo (as Jasmine Riggins)
Scott Dymond Scott Dymond ... Willy
Scott Kyle Scott Kyle ... Clancy
Neil Leiper Neil Leiper ... Sniper
James Casey ... Dougie
Caz Dunlop Caz Dunlop ... Caz
Gilbert Martin Gilbert Martin ... Matt
Stewart Preston Stewart Preston ... Sheriff
Vincent Friell ... Procurator Fiscal
Kirstin Murray Kirstin Murray ... Defence Lawyer


This bitter sweet comedy follows protagonist Robbie as he sneaks into the maternity hospital to visit his young girlfriend Leonie and hold his newborn son Luke for the first time. Overwhelmed by the moment, he swears that Luke will not have the same tragic life he has had. Escaping a prison sentence by the skin of his teeth, he's given one last chance......While serving a community service order, he meets Rhino, Albert and Mo who, like him, find it impossible to find work because of their criminal records. Little did Robbie imagine how turning to drink might change their lives - not cheap fortified wine, but the best malt whiskies in the world. Will it be 'slopping out' for the next twenty years, or a new future with 'Uisge Beatha' the 'Water of Life?' Only the angels know........ Written by Rebecca O'Brien, producer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Four friends. One mission. Lots of spirit. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The title refers to an expression that describes the portion of a whisky's volume that is lost to evaporation during the ageing process. See more »


When toasting the birth of Robbie's child and Robbie dislikes the whisky, Harry calls him a Philippine. Whilst the usual saying is "philistine", Harry, ever polite and moderate, is softening the criticism by using a light-hearted sound-alike alternative. See more »


Mairi: Now every year about 2% of the spirit is actually lost. It just disappears and evaporates into thin air. Gone forever. It's what we call the "angels' share".
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Alternate Versions

UK cinema- and DVD versions have eight uses of the strongest profanity removed in order to obtain a 15 classification. The Blu-ray is uncut and rated 18. See more »


References Braveheart (1995) See more »


Some Chords
Performed by Deadmau5
Licensed courtesy of Virgin Records Limited
Written by Deadmau5 (as Joel Zimmerman)
Published by EMI Music Publishing Limited
See more »

User Reviews

Growing up in tough working class Glasgow and then finding nirvana in Scotch Whisky
22 February 2014 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Angels' Share (2012)

A deceptively simple movie that builds slowly and is mixture of outrageous fun and touching social commentary.

The main young man, Robbie (Paul Brannigan), has been convicted of a violent crime and is trying to get his life together. His girlfriend is about to have his baby, his old rival is out to get him, and he can't get a job. He also has to do community service, which leads him to the main plot—a growing love of whiskey, a gift with his nose, and an eventual plot to steal some of the rarest of the liquid.

It's this last part that dominates the second half of the movie, and it's fun, for sure, but also a little contrived compared to the first half which has a gritty realism to it. Brannigan, and all his supporting actors, is really good. If you don't know Scottish movies, be prepared for some major swearing by everyone. And the Netflix version of the movie has the subtitles on because the accent makes a lot of the movie hard to hear. (I think you'd be better off without them, however, and just get most of it without the distraction of reading.)

You might be able to read into the serious parts of the movie and see a valid commentary about the strength of community service, and about the rough life on the streets of Glasgow. But this is more the hard nails backdrop to make the clever, and rather fun (almost joyous) secondary plot shine brighter. It works. The movie pulls it together seamlessly (maybe a hair too seamlessly by the end, as you'll see).

So, yes, an enjoyable surprise.

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Official Sites:

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UK | France | Belgium | Italy



Release Date:

1 June 2012 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Angels' Share See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,837, 14 April 2013

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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