A universal story of friendship and rebellion set to an electrifying 1990s rave soundtrack, Beats is a bittersweet coming-of-age story from Scottish director Brian Welsh, executive produced by Steven Soderbergh.
Set in 1994, it’s adapted from Kieran Hurley’s stage play and hinges on the Tory government’s crackdown on rave culture that year.
Against that background, Beats showcases the unlikely friendship between West Lothian teens Spanner (Lorn Macdonald) and Johnno (Cristian Ortega). The first is living with his criminal brother, the other is facing a move to a new town with his family and his potential new stepfather, who happens to be a cop. On their last night out, the two friends steal cash from Spanner's brother and journey into an underworld of anarchy, freedom and collision with the forces of law and order.
Shot in luminous black-and-white and counterpointing the drabness of their surroundings with the vivid delights of club culture, Beats is a rollicking buddy movie with a Trainspotting-esque spirit – both exuberant and nihilistic – that will give Generation X-ers a vivid trip down memory lane.