“ Well worth watching.
“ Although the characters can seem one-dimensional, I found the acting riveting and the story well-paced; hardly a dull moment.
“ You may be shocked and appalled by some of the scenes but it is worth watching and was one of the best films of 2003.
“ Aidan Quinn along with the young cast of untrained Irish lads leaves you with a performance that is both compelling and breathtaking.
“ Tentatively only now is the cinema beginning to address the issue, firstly with Peter Mullan's "The Magdalene Sisters", which wavered between broad comedy and tragedy to disconcerting effect and now with Aisling Walsh's superb "Song for a Raggy Boy", an altogether bleaker affair; indeed at times this is virtually unwatchable so intense is the brutality it depicts.
“ Salivating Priests who skulk in the shadows waiting for the boys to do wrong, along with the old cliche of the one picked on boy overcoming all odds to persuade the teacher to stay, is a little bit too neatly packaged for a film that did not need to end on a high.