Box art for Local Hero

Local Hero

comedy, drama


Peter Riegert and Burt Lancaster star in Bill Forsyth's whimsical comedy of an oil company's attempted buyout of a Scottish seaport.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    100%
  • Audience Score
    88%

common sense

ON for kids age 12
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
1 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
0 out of 5

A poignant, funny tale of a simpler life.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has the feel of a fairy tale, but there are some odd moments that may bother some kids. Happer hires a "therapist" for a bizarre "abuse therapy." Danny saves a rabbit that is then cooked and served to Danny and McIntyre by Gordon.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how McIntyre's life in Houston is cluttered but empty. What does McIntyre list as the requirements for an excellent life in Houston? Do the villagers agree with him, since all but Ben are anxious to sell? Why does the girl with the punk outfit say that she likes McIntyre? Why didn't Ben want to sell? Why, when McIntyre calls the village pay phone at the end of the film, does no one answer?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    100%
    reviews counted: 9
    see all Local Hero reviews
  • Audience

    88%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh:

- Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com, Monday, May 14, 2007

Fresh: The thematics are rather cloying, but the mood -- profoundly relaxed, bemused -- eventually conquers.

- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Friday, September 3, 2010

Fresh: A heartwarming and whimsical comedy of manners.

- Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

A taste of the quaint life of rural Scotland back in the early 80s when the oil giants were still considered a necessary evil. This really is a British classic with memorable characters and a signature theme tune in Mark Knopfler's synth score.

- RossCollinsUK, Wednesday, March 9, 2011

4 stars

I really cannot praise Local Hero enough; it is simply one of the best films ever made and certainly, without any shadow of doubt, my number one favourite movie of all time. Fans of Ealing Comedy will relate to this film instantly. The humour is extremely subtle, going for the quirkiness of human behaviour rather than prefabricated belly-laughs. For example, the two farmers arguing which is the better vehicle for transporting winter lambs, Massarati or Rolls Royce. And the African preacher who has to explain that he's "not Scottish either" but still has the surname McPhearson. At first glance, the story of Local Hero is hardly one which would engage fevered interest. A big Texan oil company wants to buy a huge chunk of Scottish coastline and a representative is flown over to close the deal. Chosen because it's thought he is of Scottish origin, McIntyre (Peter Riegert) complains to a colleague that he could do the deal over the wires in an afternoon and that his parents chose the surname when they got off the boat from Hungary because they thought it sounded American. But what grabs the attention and is the fundamental beauty to the film is "Mac's" journey from a materialistic Texan yuppie to one who falls in love with the simple things of life and by the film's end, when Mac returns home, has been changed forever by his trip. Mac plays his part very well from a character who depends on his expensive suits, his Porsche, quad hi-fi and personal health insurance to one who collects shells on a Scottish beach and drinks 40 year-old malt whisky in the bosom of the small community that he suddenly finds himself a part of. Burt Lancaster plays the wonderfully eccentric oil company CEO who is more concerned with dicovering a comet of his own than making millions of dollars. Then of course there is Denis Lawson as the estate agent / taxi driver / hotelier, Peter Capaldi as the bungling company trainee and Jenny Seagrove who prefers being underwater to life on land, along with all the various yokels and locals that give this film its very unique charm. And the plot twist? A fabulously subtle one-liner that gives the whole thing away. But of course, one cannot talk about this movie without mentioning the soundtrack. Many years ago I felt compelled to watch this movie because (being a big Dire Straits fan at the time) i had the soundtrack and was instantly hooked. Mark Knopfler does sterling work in adding musical flavour to the film. Lazy acoustic guitars match perfectly the breath-taking scenary that the director, Bill Forsyth, has captured of the Scottish Highlands. Overall, I would have no hesitation in recommending this film to people. Every recommendation I've made has been met with the same response: a gem of a movie that simply cannot be ignored. Local Hero will be my own personal number one for ever!

- matertenebraum, Thursday, February 10, 2011

3 stars

Not a bad flick. We watch a fast moving Texas oil man slow down and appreciate the world around him when visiting Scotland on business and it tries to remind us that we need to slow down as well and take a good look at the things we think are the most important things in our lives. The acting is solid and the music helps set the mood and speed of the flick perfectly.

- superclerk25, Thursday, March 25, 2010