At last, a sportsman the British can be proud of...

Bowling. Could it ever be sexy? Could it ever be dangerous?

If you are called Cliff Starkey and live in Torquay, yes it is.

Bowling is Cliff's passion and the one thing that kept him from slipping into the bad when he was a kid. Currently working for his uncle in a small firm of decorators in the small seas-side town, Cliff's wild style of playing catches the eye of an American talent scout who is trying to find a sport- *any* sport- a Brit can actually excel in.

Having been spotted, Cliff begins the process of turning into a star, with sponsorship, luxury and pampering, developing the sort of 'bad buy' image Colin Farrell has been trying to cultivate for the last year or so. His highly promotional, show-time image severely upsets the more traditional bowling set at Torquay's premier bowling club, bringing him into loggerheads with the one man who could prevent him from bowling for England against the quite scary Australian team in the world championships. His tantrums beginning to ostracise the people he cares most about, Cliff has to learn to balance success with loyalty, and in order to win the day he has to work as a team with his nemesis.

Along with 'Calendar Girls' this is one of two smash-hit films that emerged this year that go to prove what England does best in film: light-hearted, feel-good comedy. Putting aside his more well-known alter-ego of Denis Penis, Paul Kaye is the local lad making good, proving that to be a really *great* sportsman, you need to have a heart, the love of good friends, and true belief in yourself.

'Blackball' is a very British film that is as funny as it is magical. It is one of those little bits of filmic sunshine in a cynical world that makes you feel glad to be human. Uplifting and fun, come and enjoy a British sporting triumph with us in the Uniplex this evening!

Rotten Tomatoes Score:



Comedy, Drama, Sport


Tim Firth


Mel Smith


Paul Kaye, James Cromwell, Alice Evans, Johnny Vegas, Vince Vaughn


96 minutes








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