Sorry We Missed You review: "Another powerful rallying cry from Ken Loach"

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GamesRadar+ Verdict

Cut from the same cloth as I, Daniel Blake, Loach’s latest is a powerful state-of-the-nation dispatch.

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A companion piece to Palme d’Or winner I, Daniel Blake, which condemned the bureaucracy of Britain’s broken benefits system, Sorry We Missed You is Ken Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty’s righteous indictment of the gig economy which leaves working-class families overworked and underpaid.

Loach has again unearthed a cast of impressive unknowns, who disappear into their roles so completely it’s hard to tell where their performances end. Dad Ricky (Kris Hitchens) is a former construction worker who takes a job delivering parcels. Rather than become an employee, he’s ‘onboarded’ with no benefits and must adhere to strict targets or face severe penalties. Mum Abbie (Debbie Honeywood), meanwhile, faces her own injustice: as a careworker on a zero-hours contract she’s paid for her time with her patients, but not for the lengthy journeys to and from appointments. Add to this rebellious son Seb (Rhys Stone), and the result is a family barely holding it together. 

Loach and Laverty pull no punches in their depiction of a system rigged  for the benefit of those at the top of  the food chain. Gradually tightening the screws on Ricky and Abbie, this  is an unvarnished snapshot of the unsustainable expectations placed  on the contemporary working class.  It’s enraging to watch; a few moments of welcome, uplifting humour offer  the only relief from the suffocating, pressure-cooker mood. 

Some of the family’s setbacks – particularly those involving errant  son Seb – veer into melodrama, with one too many dinner-table shouting matches. But otherwise this is another powerful rallying cry for the oppressed from one of British cinema’s most important voices. 

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Jordan Farley

I'm the News Editor at Total Film magazine, running the opening pages of every issue where you can read exclusive interviews and see first-look images from the biggest films. I was previously the Community Editor at sci-fi, fantasy and horror movie bible SFX. You'll find my name on news, reviews, and interviews covering every type of movie, from the latest French arthouse release to the biggest Hollywood blockbuster. My work has also featured in Official PlayStation Magazine and Edge. Outside of my day job, I'm a FromSoft fanatic (proudest achievement: beating Malenia solo) and a TV connoisseur (translation: I'll watch anything).