A detective fantasy / family drama where a love of words helps a father reconnect with a missing son.


Carl Hunter





Complete credited cast:
Bill Nighy ... Alan
Sam Riley ... Peter
Alice Lowe ... Sue
Jenny Agutter ... Margaret
Tim McInnerny ... Arthur
John Westley ... Official
Oliver Sindcup Oliver Sindcup ... Young Peter
Louis Healy Louis Healy ... Jack
Ella-Grace Gregoire ... Rachel
Alan Williams ... Desk Officer
Eithne Browne Eithne Browne ... Waitress
Alexei Sayle ... Bill


Alan is a stylish tailor with moves as sharp as his suits. He has spent years searching tirelessly for his missing son Michael who stormed out over a game of scrabble. With a body to identify and his family torn apart, Alan must repair the relationship with his youngest son Peter and solve the mystery of an online player who he thinks could be Michael, so he can finally move on and reunite his family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

independent film | See All (1) »


Sometimes it's hard to find the right words. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Arthur gets upset during the Scrabble game because he wanted to play the word 'Anadyomene' but the rules of Scrabble would prohibit this word as it is a proper noun (a name). See more »


This movie takes places in the UK; UK Scrabble players will note the following inaccuracies:

A character in the movie says that there are 101 two-letters words playable in Scrabble, but the UK list of playable Scrabble words has had 120 or more two-letter words since at least 2003. There was a time when the North Amercan list of playable Scrabble words had exactly 101 playable two-letter words; it is now up to 107. (The UK list is up to 127.)

(Side note: ZO is playable in the UK but not in North America.)

The term "bingo" for playing all seven letters on one's rack in one term is primarily a North American usage; "bonus" is used more often in the UK. See more »


Alan: I've been playing you for weeks, haven't I?
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Sometimes Always Never
Written by Edwyn Collins and Sean Read
Performed by Edwyn Collins, Sean Read and Chay Heney
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User Reviews

23 July 2019 | by claremills-60644See all my reviews

If it wasn't for the presence of mobile phones and computer games you'd think that this was set in the 60's ! Bill Nighy is sparsely twinkly, just enough to make me stay in my seat for the entire film. A good cast, an intriguing storyline, almost a period piece. I think Bill must have it in his contract for every piece he does to wear a good coat. (Apart from Dads Army).

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

12 June 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sometimes Always Never See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,599, 14 June 2020

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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