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Sorry We Missed You

Movie review by
Danny Brogan, Common Sense Media
Sorry We Missed You Movie Poster Image
Bleak drama about the gig economy has strong language.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 101 minutes

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Hard work and the importance of family. Characters strive to better themselves, but at what cost? Shines a light on social issues, rather than providing an answer for how to fix them.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ricky is hardworking and persevering. His sole purpose is to provide a better life for his family. He can be quick-tempered and is arguably selfish in what he expects from his wife. Abbie is kind and selfless, often going beyond the call of duty for the elderly clients she looks after. Ricky and Abbie's son, Seb, is selfish and involved in petty crime, which causes divisions within the family. Seb's sister, Lisa Jane, is sweet and smart and does what she can to help her family. The father-and-son relationship between Ricky and Seb is particularly strained.

Violence

Two fights break out, but both are prevented from escalating. Character grabs someone by the throat. A teen is hit across the face. Character is robbed and violently attacked, resulting in a bloody face, swollen eye, damaged arm, and potential broken ribs. They also have a bottle of urine poured on them. Arguments throughout.

Sex

Kissing. Character tries to persuade their spouse to have sex.

Language

Frequent strong language throughout: "s--t," "pissing," "bloody," "wanker," "bollocks," "crappy," "bastard," "pr--ks," "piss," "arse," "git," "a--hole," "d--khead," "twat," and variants of "f--k." One use of "c--t." Character is called a "pervert."

Consumerism

Apple, Amazon, and Samsung are referenced in negative terms.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Character drinks three beers when stressed, which contributes to an altercation.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sorry We Missed You is a depressing yet compelling Ken Loach (I, Daniel Blake, Kes) drama about the pitfalls of the gig economy. Expect lots of strong language, including multiple use of "f--k," "s--t," "bastard," and "d--khead." "C--t" is used once. There's sporadic violence: In one scene, a character is attacked, robbed, and has a bottle of urine poured over him. He's left with a bruised and bloody face, a swollen eye, a damaged arm, and suspected broken ribs. A fight between father and son threatens to break out, but they're quickly separated. Later, though, the father does hit his son across the face after drinking three beers. A character is grabbed by the throat after an argument. Themes of hard work and the importance of family are central to the movie. The movie's primary purpose is highlighting how unfair and hopeless certain working conditions can be for people.

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What's the story?

In SORRY WE MISSED YOU, family man Ricky Turner (Kris Hitchen) starts a job as a delivery man with the promise that he'll be his own boss and will soon have enough money to buy his family a house. But as the reality of the job hits home and fees and fines mount up, Ricky's hopes of providing a better life come crashing down, and he's left in a never-ending downward spiral.

Is it any good?

He may be in his 80s, but British filmmaker Ken Loach still has plenty to say about social ills; this time he focuses on gig-economy jobs and, once again, he doesn't pull any punches. Sorry We Missed You is a bleak ride from start to finish -- quite literally, as Ricky takes his white van across the northeast of England, delivering the packages that we order on a daily basis. The largely unknown cast's performances may not be the most polished, but that only adds to the realism, which is key to the movie -- Loach drums home that this is happening, again quite literally, on our doorsteps.

Unlike other Loach films, there's not so much a climax, just a continuous road to despair, although Ricky's wife Abbie's (Debbie Honeywood) emotional tirade in the hospital is something of a release -- not just for her, but for the audience too. There are moments of light relief -- a family eating take out, a father and daughter bonding in the countryside -- but these are short-lived. A Ken Loach movie is never going to be laugh-a-minute stroll in the park. But, as with so many of his films, Sorry We Missed You provides a megaphone to a section of society whose voice is rarely heard.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the strong language in Sorry We Missed You. Did it make the characters seem more human and the film more realistic? Did the dialogue in general seem believable to you? Why or why not?

  • What do you think the movie is saying about society? Does it affect the way you think about delivery services such as Amazon?

  • Which characters did you sympathize most with, and why? Can you understand the characters' behavior?

  • What is Ricky's motivation? How does he demonstrate perseverance? Why is this a valuable character strength?

  • What did you think of Ricky's boss, Maloney? Did you have any sympathy for him?

Movie details

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