Sorry We Missed You

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Sorry We Missed You
Sorry We Missed You.jpg
Film poster
Directed byKen Loach
Written byPaul Laverty
Produced byRebecca O'Brien
  • Kris Hitchen
  • Debbie Honeywood
  • Rhys Stone
  • Katie Proctor
CinematographyRobbie Ryan
Edited byJonathan Morris
Music byGeorge Fenton
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 16 May 2019 (2019-05-16) (Cannes)
  • 23 October 2019 (2019-10-23) (France)
  • 30 October 2019 (2019-10-30) (Belgium)
  • 1 November 2019 (2019-11-01) (United Kingdom)
Running time
100 minutes
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Belgium
Box office£6.3 million

Sorry We Missed You is a 2019 drama film written by Paul Laverty and directed by Ken Loach.[1][2]

Principal photography began in Newcastle upon Tyne and the surrounding areas in September 2018.[1][2][3] It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.[4] Despite having a broken arm in a sling, the 82-year-old Loach appeared at Cannes to promote the film and announce that it would be his final film to compete at the festival.[5] At the 10th Magritte Awards, Sorry We Missed You received the Magritte Award for Best Foreign Film in Coproduction.[6] At the 13th Gaudí Awards, it won the Gaudí Award for Best European Film.[7]


Ricky Turner and his family have been fighting an uphill struggle against debt since the 2008 financial crash.

With no education or professional training, Ricky is given an opportunity when he is hired to run a franchise as a self-employed delivery driver under the supervision of Maloney, a tough, no-nonsense employer. In order to afford a van for the job, Ricky convinces his wife Abbie to sell the family car, even though she uses it in her work as a home care nurse.

The stress of the new job proves to be too great for Ricky. He is always under pressure to make his deliveries in time and is fined if he is late or makes mistakes. Abbie also finds her work much more demanding without a car and frequently feels upset by the lack of time she is allowed to spend with her patients due to her demanding schedule.

During this period, Ricky's rebellious son Seb skips school and often gets into trouble with his use of graffiti. Following a fight with his parents, Seb angrily tags over the family portraits during the night. When Ricky can't find the keys to his van the next morning, he blames Seb. Though Seb denies any wrongdoing, Ricky hits him in an ensuring argument. Liza Jane, Seb's younger sister, later tearfully admits that she hid the keys as she blames Ricky's job for the family's problems.

Back at work, Ricky is robbed and brutally assaulted while making deliveries. While Ricky is in the waiting room at hospital, a furious Maloney phones him and explains that he is facing fines of over £1,000 as his barcode scanner. While Seb finally warms up and re-joins the family, a desperate and greviously injured Ricky drives off to work in tears as his family begs him to not leave.


  • Kris Hitchen as Ricky Turner
  • Debbie Honeywood as Abby Turner
  • Rhys Stone as Seb Turner
  • Katie Proctor as Liza Jane Turner
  • Ross Brewster as Maloney
  • Charlie Richmond as Henry
  • Julian Ions as Freddie
  • Sheila Dunkerley as Rosie
  • Maxie Peters as Robert
  • Christopher John Slater as Ben
  • Heather Wood as Mollie
  • Alberto Dumba as Harpoon
  • Natalia Stonebanks as Roz
  • Jordan Collard as Dodge
  • Dave Turner as Magpie
  • Stephen Clegg as Policeman
  • Darren Jones as Council worker
  • Nikki Marshall as Traffic warden
  • Linda E Greenwood as Driver
  • Linda Wright as A&E receptionist
  • Mary Shearer as Woman at Door


The film grossed £6.3 million.[8][9]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 88% based on 155 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads "Sorry We Missed You may strike some as tending toward the righteously didactic, but director Ken Loach's passionate approach remains effective."[10] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 83 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[11]

David Rooney in The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film "is an expertly judged and profoundly humane movie, made without frills or fuss but startlingly direct in its emotional depiction of the tough stuff that is the fiber of so many ordinary lives."[12]

Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian believed it was superior to Loach's previous film I, Daniel Blake (2016), which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes.[13][14] Bradshaw wrote: "it is more dramatically varied and digested, with more light and shade in its narrative progress and more for the cast to do collectively. I was hit in the solar plexus by this movie, wiped out by the simple honesty and integrity of the performances."[13] The review in The Times praised the performance of newcomer Debbie Honeywood as Abbie, who was cast after a talent search of non-professionals. Contributor Kevin Maher believed the film should have concentrated on her character instead of Ricky, Abbie's husband.[15]

Geoffrey Macnab wrote in The Independent that Loach's film "captures brilliantly the alienation and existential anguish that its main characters feel. There is nothing they can do to help themselves. The more they fight to change their circumstances, the worse those circumstances become."[16] Macnab commented that Loach and his screenwriter Laverty "pursue their story to its logical conclusion, ending the film in a way that is both ingenious and devastating."[16]

Owen Gleiberman of Variety writes: "Loach stages all of this with supreme confidence and flow" leading to "a fraught, touching, and galvanizing movie."[14] Raphael Abrahams, in his review for the Financial Times, states: "In the end credits he [Loach] gives thanks to those drivers whose testimony informed the film but who wished to remain anonymous. He is their much-needed voice and remains that of our moral conscience."[17]

Trevor Johnston of British film publication Sight & Sound wrote "While Sorry We Missed You may not be as sentimentally affecting as I, Daniel Blake, it delivers a more nuanced, troubling and provocative state-of-the-nation address. As such, it’s surely among Loach and Laverty’s most sinewy efforts."[18]


  1. ^ a b Wiseman, Andreas (11 September 2018). "Ken Loach Begins Shoot On Drama 'Sorry We Missed You', eOne To Release in UK". Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Ken Loach's 'Sorry We Missed You' begins shoot, eOne to release in UK". Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  3. ^ Mitchell, Robert (11 September 2018). "New Ken Loach Film, 'Sorry We Missed You,' Picked Up by eOne for U.K." Variet. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Cannes festival 2019: full list of films". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  5. ^ Sight and Sound, Volume 29 (Issue 7), July 2019, page 25
  6. ^ Dricot, Lucy (1 February 2020). "Découvrez le palmarès complet de la 10e cérémonie des Magritte du cinéma" (in French). RTBF. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  7. ^ Silvestre, Juan (22 March 2021). "Premios Gaudí 2021: todos los ganadores". Fotogramas.
  8. ^ "Sorry We Missed You". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Sorry We Missed You". The Numbers. IMDb. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Sorry We Missed You (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  11. ^ "Sorry We Missed You Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  12. ^ Rooney, David (16 May 2019). "'Sorry We Missed You': Film Review (Cannes 2019)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  13. ^ a b Bradshaw, Peter (16 May 2019). "Sorry We Missed You review – Ken Loach's superb swipe at zero-hours Britain". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  14. ^ a b Gleiberman, Owen (16 May 2019). "Cannes Film Review: Ken Loach's 'Sorry We Missed You'". Variety. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  15. ^ Maher, Kevin (17 May 2019). "Review: Sorry We Missed You at the Cannes Film Festival". The Times. Retrieved 17 May 2019. (subscription required)
  16. ^ a b Macnab, Geoffrey (17 May 2019). "Sorry We Missed You, Cannes 2019, review: Ken Loach makes everyday problems seem the stuff of epic drama". The Independent. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  17. ^ Abrahams, Raphael (17 May 2019). "Cannes: Ken Loach's Sorry We Missed You — a piercing drama about a zero-hours-contract driver". Financial Times. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  18. ^ Johnston, Trevor (31 October 2019). "Sorry We Missed You review: Ken Loach counts the cost of striving in austerity Britain". Sight & Sound. Retrieved 11 November 2019.

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