The Ballad of Billy McCrae (2021) Movie Review ‘Gritty Thriller’

The Ballad of Billy McCrae – Gritty Drama


Director: Chris Crow

Writer: Philip Palmer (Screenplay)

Starring: David Hayman, Ross O’Hennessy, Ian Virgo, Sianad Gregory, Christpoher Patrick Nolan, Gerald Tyler

Plot: Chris Blythe returns to his home town in Wales after losing a fortune in Canada. He falls in love with Elen, a volatile and charismatic woman. But Elen’s father Billy is a dangerous man and Chris finds himself torn between love and hate…

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Ballad of Billy McCrae starts when Chris (Virgo) returns to his hometown in Wales, getting a job at the local quarry working for the ruthless Billy McCrae (Hayman). Chris is warned to stay away from Billy’s daughter Elen (Gregory), a warning he doesn’t listen to, but unlike most men she starts seeing, Billy seems to embrace Chris.

As Chris starts to find himself getting closer to Billy, he starts to see the darker side behind his character, while Elen looks to escape the hold Billy has over her, will this all hit the boil point before things get out of hand.

Thoughts on The Ballad of Billy McCrae

Characters & Performances – Billy McCrae is a man that has struck fear into the town he has operated in for years, people who cross him usually end up in a bad place or beg him for forgiveness. He surprises most of people by taking Chris under his wing after he starts dating his daughter, but his true colours are always waiting to come to the surface. David Hayman does bring us a character that will strike fear into people, with each scene, even the ones where he might come off friendly. Chris is the man returning to his hometown after losing his fortune, he doesn’t follow the warnings about getting involved with Elen and ends up finding himself helping Billy improve his business model, until he wants to move away from the area. His past will get used to help both Billy and Elen as they look to move forward in life, caught in the middle of the battle between them. Ian Virgo does a great job here, bringing the confidence needed for the character, while hold the smarts back. Elen is the daughter of Billy, she has been trapped in the town, always being scared of what might happen if she tries to leave again, having her life monitored by him in every day life. Sianad Gregory does bring this character to life, with plenty of mystery about what is true about her life.

StoryThe story here follows a man returning to his hometown to try and get back on his feet after losing his fortune, only to find himself getting caught up working for a ruthless businessman and trying to balance dating his daughter too, only to see the things come crashing down around him. This is a crime thriller story that will get us seeing the world through the eyes of Chris, showing us how each interaction will create his ideas of characters, rather than letting him see the whole world he has entered. This is a story that will give us plenty of twists along the way, while giving us a fizzling story line going on around us.

ThemesThe Ballad of Billy McCrae is a thriller set in a small Welsh town that will be used to show how one person can have control over everyone in that town. This is a thriller that will keep us guessing as to what will happen with the relationship between Billy and Chris.

The Ballad of Billy McRae will be in UK Cinemas from 24th September 

Final Thoughts The Ballad of Billy McCrae is a tense thriller that keeps us on edge through the whole film.

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