Scotland on Film

Sunshine on Leith
Sunshine on Leith

This list includes a diverse selection of films that celebrate Scottish storytelling and film history. In some of the titles Scotland's nature and monuments have been the inspiration for their visual styles, while others are directed by influential Scottish filmmakers or feature renowned acting talent.

Brave

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration90 mins

Brave(2012)

Bringing the beauty of the Scottish Highlands to life, this is fairytale animation at its best.

This mythical story set in the Medieval times, sees a rebellious princess named Merida going against her mother’s wishes of getting married by taking her fate into her own hands and unleashing a spell across the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

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The Illusionist

CertPG

Age group7+

Duration77 mins

The Illusionist(2010)

An old-fashioned illusionist - master of rabbit in a hat and card tricks - searches France and Scotland for an audience, in this beautiful animation.

This moving animation, originally written by French comedian and filmmaker Jacques Tati, sees an ageing illusionist travelling across Europe. Hoping to find an audience for his tricks, one of the key places he visits is Scotland, meeting several comedic characters along the way.

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The Water Horse: Legend Of The Deep

CertPG

Age group7–16

Duration107 mins

The Water Horse: Legend Of The Deep(2007)

A likeable family movie set in the early 1940s, when World War II is raging and in a remote corner of Scotland, young Angus finds a mysterious egg...

The mysterious and mythical Lochness Monster is discovered and brought up by a young boy and his family in this charming film about friendship and growing up.

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Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle

CertPG

Age group7–11

Duration87 mins

Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle(2007)

This original fantasy movie is an interesting mix of strange old myths and tough present day life on the Isle of Skye.

Set in the Isle of Skye, off Scotland’s west coast, this unique Gaelic-language drama explores the significance of myths and sharing histories within families and cultures.

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Greyfriars Bobby

CertU

Age group7+

Duration87 mins

Greyfriars Bobby(1960)

This charming Scotland based tale - based on a true story - shows why dogs really are man's best friend.

A film about kindness and friendship, this touching Disney film centres the special bond between an old shepherd and a loyal dog. Based on a true story and set in Scotland, this charming film celebrates unity and community.

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Whisky Galore

CertPG

Age group7+

Duration82 mins

Whisky Galore(1949)

Near-perfect Ealing comedy about the effects of whisky rationing on a far-flung Scottish island.

A classic Scottish film set in a fictional island called Todday, this tale takes place in post-World War Two, resulting in the tight rationing of whisky. This hilarious narrative is based on a true story and has a subtle anti-authoritarian theme.

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Mary Queen of Scots

Cert15

Age group16+

Duration124 mins

Mary Queen of Scots(2018)

Stylish period-drama which examines the relationship between Mary Queen of Scots and her cousin Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century.

This is an accessible introduction to possibly one of the best-known figures in Scotland’s royal history, and a crucial moment in British history, which also explores themes of gender and sexuality.

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Sunshine On Leith

CertPG

Age group11+

Duration100 mins

Sunshine On Leith(2013)

A feel-good musical about a solider returning home from the war, set to the songs of Scottish band The Proclaimers.

This uplifting musical is adapted from a hit stage show about two friends, Davy and Ally, returning to society after serving in Afghanistan and having to navigate the pressure of love and life in Edinburgh.

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What We Did On Our Holiday

Cert12

Age group11–14

Duration91 mins

What We Did On Our Holiday(2014)

Funny family comedy from the makers of Outnumbered.

A family of five go on a trip to Scotland to celebrate their eccentric granddad’s birthday. This warm film explores family relationships and sensitively deals with difficult issues.

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The Angels' Share

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration97 mins

The Angels' Share(2012)

A warm, funny caper about a petty criminal who, prevented from finding conventional work, decides to start a whisky distillery.

Directed by British filmmaker Ken Loach, this film is set in Glasgow and features a cast of first-time actors. Focusing on a low-income family, this is a lighthearted film about community.

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Sunset Song

Cert15

Age group16+

Duration133 mins

Sunset Song(2015)

Adaptation of a classic Scottish novel about a young farmer girl's coming of age at the beginning of the 20th century.

This big screen adaptation of the renowned Scottish book portrays a promising young girl working in a farm located in Aberdeenshire under her father’s harsh ruling. Set at the beginning of World War One, this is a valuable story that explores themes of love and death.

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The Wicker Man

Cert15

Age group16+

Duration84 mins

The Wicker Man (1973)

A God-fearing policeman travels to a remote Scottish island and uncovers a fanatical pagan cult in this British horror classic.

This off-the-wall tale takes place in a remote Hebridean island off Scotland. When a police officer is sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a young girl, he becomes aware of a shocking secret kept by the island’s eccentric inhabitants.

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Wild Rose

Cert15

Age group16+

Duration100 mins

Wild Rose(2018)

A young woman struggles to balance the responsibilities of motherhood with her dream of becoming a country singer.

This inspiring musical drama sees a young single mother returning home to Glasgow with the motivation to make her dream of becoming a Scottish country singer come true!

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Ratcatcher

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration94 mins

Ratcatcher(1999)

Dark, unique portrait of Glasgow in the 1970s, about a boy who blames himself after his friend drowns in a canal.

This is the debut feature from celebrated Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay. Set in Glasgow in the early 70s, the film explores how poor housing conditions and re-development affects the lives of a young boy and his family.

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Skyfall

Cert12

Age group11+

Duration137 mins

Skyfall(2012)

Daniel Craig's third outing as 007 is as action-packed as ever and Bond fans won't be disappointed.

This addition to the famous franchise sees James Bond making a stop in Skyfall, the Bond family estate in the Scottish Highlands and where one the film’s most iconic scenes takes place in.

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Macbeth

Cert15

Age group16+

Duration113 mins

Macbeth(2015)

Bloody and brutal adaptation of Shakepeare’s tragedy about a man consumed by ambition and desire for the throne.

Filmed across Scotland and England, most notably in Quiraing in Skye, this visually stunning adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most influential tragedies tells the story of a duke of Scotland who murderously ascends the throne.

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