April 8th, 2005



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Ethics, being human and the soul come to the fore when a 7-year old finds a bag of Pounds just days before the currency is switched to Euros and learns what we are really made of.

Release Year: 2004

Rating: 7.0/10 (15,175 voted)

Critic's Score: 74/100

Director: Danny Boyle

Stars: Alex Etel, James Nesbitt, Daisy Donovan

The UK is about to switch its currency from Pounds to Euros, giving a gang a chance to rob the poorly-secured train loaded with money on its way to incineration. But, during the robbery, one of the big bags falls literally from the sky on Damian's playhouse, a 7-year old given to talking to saints. The boy then starts seeing what the world and the people around him are made of. Ethics, being human and the soul all come to the forefront in this film.

Alex Etel - Damian
Lewis McGibbon - Anthony
James Nesbitt - Ronnie
Daisy Donovan - Dorothy
Christopher Fulford - The Man
Pearce Quigley - Community Policeman
Jane Hogarth - Mum
Alun Armstrong - St Peter
Enzo Cilenti - St Francis
Nasser Memarzia - St Joseph
Kathryn Pogson - St Clare
Harry Kirkham - St Nicholas
Cornelius Macarthy - Gonzaga
Kolade Agboke - Ambrosio
Leslie Phillips - Leslie Phillips

Taglines: Can anyone be truly good?


Official Website: Fox Searchlight [United States] | Pathé [France] |

Release Date: 8 April 2005

Filming Locations: East Lancs Steam Railway, Bury, Greater Manchester, England, UK

Opening Weekend: $70,224 (USA) (13 March 2005) (5 Screens)

Gross: $6,583,149 (USA) (28 August 2005)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Instead of making cast and crew T-shirts, production donated the money to Water Aid, to build a well in Africa (like the family did in the film).

Factual errors: During the house-building sequence at the beginning of the film, the Moon is seen rising behind the house, but it moves upwards to the left. As the film is set in England (in the northern hemisphere), it should rise towards the right.

[first lines]
Damian Cunningham: [voiceover] The French have said au revoir to the franc, the Germans have said auf wiedersehen to the mark, and the Portuguese have said... whatever to their thing.

User Review

Shallow Grave through the eyes of children

Rating: 8/10

Tonight's screening of Danny Boyle's Millions at the Toronto International Film Festival was the film's world premiere. Boyle was in attendance along with the two young stars of the film, and he introduced what obviously is a project that he feels very dear about.

Two young brothers in Manchester come across a gym bag overflowing with cash, British pounds, days before the bank of England switches over to the Euro.

Damian (Alex Etel) is a young philanthropist who spends his time learning (and daydreaming) about the saints. He believes the money, which seems to have fallen from the heavens, is a gift from God and wants to use the money to help the poor, while his older brother Anthony (Lewis McGibbon) is a hot-blooded capitalist who is already thinking of exchange rates, inflation, and the cost of property. He uses the money to buy the affection of his new classmates.

There are obvious parallels to be drawn with Boyle's first film Shallow Grave, (reviewed here) which also tells the story of a group of friends who find a mysterious surplus of cash, and the morals of what to do with it.

Millions, however, is like a feel-good retelling of Shallow Grave through the eyes of children. It's sweet without being saccharine, and it's altogether enjoyable. I was incredibly refreshed to see a movie with a situation like this not make the characters look bad for wanting to keep money that isn't theirs. This isn't a film that chastises the greedy or denounces the almighty dollar; it's one that celebrates the chance to make a difference in one's own life, and the lives of others.

I particularly enjoyed the fantasy elements in which Damian seeks advice from various saints who appear to him in visions that blur the line between imagination and spiritual visitation.

Screened in the gorgeously ornate Elgin theatre, the film garnered a standing ovation, which may only have been for the benefit the two young stars of the film, but I couldn't help but get a little emotional to see the two of them, standing beside their director and surrounded by audience members, cry at the outburst of love and applause from a room full of strangers after such a tender and affectionate movie.


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