10 Scottish films to watch on St Andrews Day

This St Andrews Day, we’re celebrating all things Scotland with our top Scottish film and cinema picks. From Scottish directors, to films set in the Highlands and famous Scottish actors, this list takes you all the way from U to 18, giving you plenty of ideas for a themed film night this weekend.

Greyfriars Bobby

U, Contains no material likely to offend or harm

Greyfriars Bobby is a drama about a terrier named Bobby and the enduring friendship he forges with a tender-hearted shepherd known simply as Old Jock - unbroken even by the kindly old man's death.

Whisky Galore

U, Contains no material likely to offend or harm

Whisky Galore is a 1949 comedy drama about a group of Scottish Islanders who run out of whisky and try to collect the 50,000 cases of whisky from a nearby stranded ship. It was originally classified 'A' uncut for cinema release in 1949 (meaning children under 16 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian) and was subsequently classified 'PG' uncut for video release in 1989. The film has now been classified 'U' for cinema re-release and contains no material likely to offend or harm.

There is some brief pipe smoking by elderly men and sight of a cigarette in a young woman's mouth. However, the young woman's father voices immediate disapproval of this. The film holds little appeal to young children and the activity is not glamorised, nor conducted by role models whom children might want to emulate.


PG, Contains some scary scenes

Brave is an animated film about a young princess in ancient Scotland. After clashing with her mother about her future she enlists the help of a witch with dramatic consequences.


There are several scenes in which large fierce bears pose a threat to human characters. During a fight scene between the two 'bears', a Princess looks on helplessly. After the fight has ended with the death of one bear, the Princess believes she may have lost her mother but they are quickly reunited.

There are moments of mild rude behaviour, such as a Scotsman baring his behind by lifting his kilt. In another scene a group of clansmen walk away from the screen with bare behinds after using their kilts to create a climbing rope.

Sunshine on Leith

PG, Contains mild language, violence and sex references

Sunshine on Leith is a musical in which two friends return to Edinburgh after serving as soldiers in Afghanistan and find that life as civilians has its own difficulties.


There are occasional uses of 'bloody, 'bloody hell' and 'crap'.


During an anniversary party an ill-judged joke starts a bar brawl that includes a head-butt to a man's forehead and some punches that are not seen to make clear contact. The violence is quickly brought to a halt and several characters make it very clear that the fighting is unacceptable.


There are some mild sex references. One man says that sister cannot be expected to 'drop everything' to be with her boyfriend and the other replies 'that's exactly what I expect her to do'. In addition, a woman tells her friend that her brother will be too busy 'staring at your tits' to notice what she is saying. During a musical number a woman sings about losing her virginity and how her 'sex life is all history'. A couple are also seen sneaking into a toilet cubicle together. It is implied that they are going to have sex but this is never seen or heard.

The film also includes a scene in which a man collapses with a heart attack but he's quickly seen to be receiving medical help.

Gregory’s Girl

12, moderate nudity, moderate bad language, sex references

Gregory’s Girl is a Scottish comedy drama, from 1980, about a teenage boy who falls for a girl when she joins his school football team.


A group of teenage boys watch, from a distance and through a window, as a nurse removes her bra while getting changed in her bedroom. The breast nudity is brief and the boys leave quickly after they’ve seen her naked.


There are uses of ‘prick’ and one use of ‘wanker’. Milder bad language includes uses of 'bastards', 'bloody', 'piss off', 'sods' and 'shite'.


There are occasional sex references, as a teenage boy boasts about how his job as a window cleaner allows him to see 'tits, bum, fanny, the lot' and how he’s 'done it' numerous times. There is also some jokey discussion between male teachers about receiving love poems from their teenage pupils, while they eat cakes that are shaped suggestively like breasts. One teacher warns, 'You’ll get put away', but there’s no suggestion anything inappropriate is actually taking place between teachers and students.

There is also occasional sight of teenagers smoking.


12, infrequent strong language

Edie is a British drama in which an elderly widow decides to climb a mountain in the Scottish highlands.


There is infrequent strong language ('f**k'). Milder terms include 'arse', 'shit', 'shite', 'pissed' and 'crap'.

Mary Queen of Scots

15, strong violence, sex, sexual violence

Mary Queen Of Scots is a historical drama based on the life of Mary Stuart and her rivalry with Elizabeth I.


A frightened character is attacked by a group of men and stabbed repeatedly to death, resulting in bloody aftermath detail. A man is strangled, without strong visual detail. Men are shot or stabbed during a brief battle sequence, but there is no sight of blood.

A scene in which a man rapes a woman features mechanical thrusting detail and male rear nudity. In another scene, a man protests as a woman gropes his crotch under his trousers in an attempt to arouse him.


A man is briefly shown thrusting into a woman from behind. Another scene contains a sequence of below-frame oral sex.

A woman is repeatedly referred to as a whore, a strumpet and a harlot. A man is asked if he is a sodomite. The work as a whole does not condone discrimination.

The Wicker Man

15, Contains moderate horror, sex and nudity

The Wicker Man is a British horror film which tells the story of a policeman who is sent to investigate the disappearance of a young girl on a remote island where the locals practice a form of religion related to fertility.


Moderate horror includes undetailed sight of a man being burned alive.


Sex consists of a dimly-lit sequence, which reveals from a distance couples engaged in sexual activity. The lighting and distance conceal any details, the scene being presented in the context of a fertility ritual.


Nudity includes sight of a bare-breasted woman dancing provocatively alone in her room. There is no full frontal nudity at this point.

The film also contains some very mild bad language ('hell', 'damn'), non-sexualised nudity and mild sex references.


18, very strong language, strong sex, violence, hard drug use

Trainspotting is a 1996 drama in which a heroin addict attempts to reform himself.


There is very strong language ('c**t') and frequent strong language ('f**k').


Sex scenes include male and female nudity and sexual thrusting.


There are scenes of strong violence which include headbutts, kicks and punches. There is also use of pool cues, a broken glass, and a knife, the use of which results in bloody injury.


There are frequent scenes of drug misuse, including the detailed preparation and injecting of heroin. While characters express the pleasure they obtain from taking hard drugs, the negative and sometimes fatal consequences of the drug misuse are also shown.

Sweet Sixteen

18, Contains very strong language

Sweet Sixteen is a British drama about a Glaswegian teenager trying to help his mother after she is released from prison.


There is occasional use of very strong language ('c**t') and frequent strong language ('f**k', 'c**ksucker').

The protagonist sells heroin and there are references to drug-dealing throughout. Drugs are seen in bags but there is no actual drug-taking on screen. There are also scenes of moderate violence and references to sex toys.