Young Adam

Released 2004


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Young Adam

Movie Summary

David Mackenzie
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Young Adam is a 2003 British film written and directed by David Mackenzie based on the novel of the same name by Alexander Trocchi. Set in Scotland, the film tells the story of Joe, (Ewan McGregor) a young drifter who works on a barge on the River Clyde. When Joe pulls the body of a naked young woman out of the river, it is revealed through flashbacks that he was a friend of the young woman, named Cathie Dimly. Joe lives on the barge with Les and Ella Gault and their young son Jim. Eventually it is revealed that Joe and Ella are having an affair and regularly steal away from Les to have sex. When Ella and Les decide that they want to live a normal life in the suburbs, Joe decides to move away. He discovers that Daniel Gordon, a plumber that was dating Cathie, has been tried for her murder. Joe must then make the decision about whether to confess his knowledge regarding the murder, or let an innocent man be put to death. Also starring Tilda Swinton, Peter Mullan, and Emily Mortimer, Young Adam was highly regarded amongst critics.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Variety Derek Elley

    All of the promise that was evident in Scottish helmer David Mackenzie's flawed freshman feature, "The Last Great Wilderness" (2002), is richly achieved in his second pic, Young Ad...

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Manohla Dargis

    Mackenzie has greatly tempered the story's brutality the old-fashioned way: He puts an appealing, sympathetic star at the center and surrounds him with beautiful visuals, with a da...

  • 60

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    The narrative scheme, the brooding period atmosphere, the understated score (by David Byrne) and the precision of the acting also make the story seem more interesting than it is.

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Crime, Thrillers