Directed by Terry Loane, starring Niall Wright, John-Jo McNeill, Julie Walters, Ciaran Hinds, Adrian Dunbar, Gina McKee and Susan Lynch.

Belfast, 1970. As chaos gathers momentum, two boys become unlikely friends, then fugitives, blood brothers and bank robbers. Nine-year-old Jonjo (Wright) lives in a middle class area while "over the bridge" lives eight-year-old Mickybo (McNeill) and his very large family. The two meet when Jonjo gets caught up in one of Mickybo's many scrapes and then bond over 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' at the local cinema. Enthralled by the outlaw way, they soon find that events in their own lives have conspired against them and that the only option is to break for the border...

Mixing friendship across the divide, Irish humour, nostalgia and child actors, while avoiding making an audience feel as nauseous and cranky as the girl in 'The Exorcist', is no easy thing, but 'Mickybo and 'Me' is a treat from start to finish. Adapted from Owen McCafferty's play 'Mojo Mickybo', scriptwriter-director Loane gets the tone just right: that being a kid is a tough business and everything happens too quick to really enjoy it.

It helps, of course, that the casting is perfect, with Wright and McNeill brilliant in the lead roles and the script wisely putting the established actors in the background so that the duo can really shine. The youngsters are so natural that it feels as if a camera just happens to be following them around and their comic timing is so good that by the end you wish they were having adventures on the small screen every week. It's a film that will say just as much to adults as to children and should become just as valuable as any of Mickybo's treasures in the years to come.

Even if they weren't in it, Mickybo and Jonjo would definitely pay in to see it themselves - and that's saying something.

Harry Guerin