Director Shane Meadows / 1996 / UK

This gangling portrait of a group of thieving losers is imbued with an infectious, laddish humour and writer/director/actor/producer Shane Meadows' genius for character observation. Male and Jumbo, best mates from Notting­ham, are not exactly the sharpest pencils in the box. The boys and their motley crew see them­selves as latterday highwaymen: dogfood, crab-sticks. bikes with missing wheels - they'll steal anything not nailed down.

Although the gang consider themselves mas­ter criminals, in reality they spend most of the time boozing, drugging and planning hare­brained heists. Their partners sit at home in front of the tube gossiping about the sexual prowess (or lack thereof) of the boys in their absence. When Male receives an ultimatum from his wife, he finds that extricating himself from his bungling buddies is far more difficult that he could imagine.

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