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Bloody Sunday

89 customer reviews

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(Apr 22, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

With breathtaking verisimilitude, Bloody Sunday posits an immediate, you-are-there re-creation of Ireland's most controversial contemporary tragedy. From dusk to dawn, the events of January 30, 1972, are presented in convincing verité fashion; by employing rapid fade-to-black transitions, director Paul Greengrass approaches two perspectives with equal anticipation of potential disaster, based on facts as reported in Don Mullan's politically influential book Eyewitness Bloody Sunday. Ivan Cooper (James Nesbitt) is, ironically, a Protestant Member of Parliament, leading a peaceful but tensely expectant civil rights march through the Catholic "bogside" of the city of Derry, in protest of the British practice of internment without trial. He watches in horror as his throng of unarmed protesters splinters against British paramilitaries who impulsively open fire. No question where Greengrass's sympathies lie (heard but not seen, the first shots are British), but despite charges of inaccuracy and bias, Bloody Sunday will likely stand as the definitive cinematic representation of that horrible day when deadly confusion reigned supreme. (U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" plays over the closing credits; any other choice would have been blasphemous.) --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • History Retold--interviews with the cast
  • Ivan Cooper Remembers

Product Details

  • Actors: James Nesbitt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Nicholas Farrell, Allan Gildea, Gerard Crossan
  • Directors: Paul Greengrass
  • Writers: Paul Greengrass
  • Producers: Arthur Lappin, Don Mullan, Jim Sheridan, Keith Evans, Mark Redhead
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2003
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008DDHZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,202 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bloody Sunday" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Michael Crane on April 27, 2003
Format: DVD
"Bloody Sunday" is a remarkable and powerful film; a rare breed of film that makes you wonder why such a gem goes so unrecognized by moviegoers. This is such a well-done and important film that has the ability to re-create history with pure authenticity. One of the best things I did last week was purchase this DVD. As soon as I started it, I knew there was no turning back.
I had never heard of the event itself (here's my age showing again). Never even learned about it in high school. As a matter of fact, I'm learning there's LOTS of things I never learned in high school, but back to the movie. "Bloody Sunday" is a documentary-like film that re-creates what transpired on Sunday, January 30th, 1972. In a Civil Rights demonstration in Northern Ireland, British troops opened fire on protesters when things were getting hairy, which would eventually lead to 27 wounded and 13 dead. This was a tragedy that struck a major blow to the Civil Rights movement, and to Ireland and Britain as well.
From what I understand, this is still a very controversial topic, even today. Nobody is still 100% sure of what exactly happened. Both sides are still debating and offering their versions of what really went down. I don't know much about the event, as I said in the beginning of this review. What I do know is that this film was done in a very realistic and authentic way, and I believe that what happened on that tragic day might've gone down the way it did in the film, or very close to it. I also believe that the movie shows both sides, not just one.
This film was done entirely hand-held, meaning not once did the filmmakers use a dolly or camera stands. The end result is that it gives it the raw and realistic feel that it needs to be affective. There is no story or plot in the movie.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 21, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
An emotionally crushing recreation of the infamous January 30, 1972 clash between British troops and Irish protesters in the town of Derry, which led to the deaths of dozens of civilian marchers. "Clash" is perhaps too strong a word -- this film (as well as several abortive inquiries) makes a strong case that the testosterone-amped British "para" soldiers simply went berserk and shot people at random, in hopes of "teaching them a lesson they'd never forget." The distinction between IRA warmongers and the civilian civil rights movement was apparently lost of the embattled English, but their actions at Derry helped lock the Catholic-Protestant feud into place right up to the present day. Filmically, this is an impressive work: the documentary-style handheld camera work, which seems a bit mannered and distracting in the first part of the film, pays off handsomely when the violence starts -- the fear and chaos of the event is made palpable in a suprisingly visceral manner... it's like a punch to the gut when the shooting starts.... and then it worsens and keeps on going for what seems like an eternity. Regardless of what you think of the filmmaker's political slant, the skill with which they built this film's dramatic impact is undeniable. Viewers will have to make up their own minds about what they believe actually happened that day, but this film proides a convincing argument on behalf of the civilian victims. Highly recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L Gontzes on November 12, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Set up like a documentary, Bloody Sunday, brings to the screen the true story of the 1972 massacre in Derry, Northern Ireland, by the British forces and the cover-up that followed.

James Nesbitt, Tim Pigott-Smith, and the rest of the cast, have truly outdone themselves with their performances, which are exceptional to say the least!

Very well written and very well presented, the movie does a great job of describing the complexity of Northern Ireland.

The setting, the plot, the dialogues and the music are all wonderful!

In short, Bloody Sunday is a movie definitely worth watching and one to seriously consider adding to your movie collection!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By steven on March 8, 2005
Format: DVD
From the moment the opening credits begin (with a haunting and brooding score punctuated by nervous military radio banter) to the sombre closing credits (with a fine live version of u2 performing Sunday, Bloody Sunday) this picture, dramatising the unfortunate events of 30 January 1972, in Londonderry, N. Ireland grips you and--slowly, surely--winds the tension up like a spring.

Whilst I will avoid recounting the events of that terrible day (the previous reviews do that very well) and will avoid commenting on its historical accurateness (there's certain to be inaccuracies cited in this telling by historians, and, truth be told, the British do not represent well at all here [seeming so hateful and criminal as to be, at times, difficult to believe--but, maybe that's the point) I will say that the film feels amazingly real-that is, it is utterly convincing. Through a documentary styled presentation showcasing amazing and sharp acting performances, you are drawn in completely-you believe you are there.

Technically, this DVD is beautiful. The picture is presented in a gorgeous anamorphic 16x9 transfer with solid blacks and crisp and tight (if intentionally muted) colours. The audio is likewise full and punchy. You will notice that there are two feature audio track options: 1. A `Domestic' audio track (which is, in fact, a U.S. mix (domestic would mean the U.K., the film's place of origin), and 2. A U.K. release mix. The difference between the two is that the U.K. track has a much more spacious and pronounced ambient/surround mix, whereas the `domestic' mix reduces much of the ambience in favour of a louder (centred) dialogue track (most likely to aid the N. American audiences not conversant with the Irish accents and varying dialects featured so prominently in the film.)

I cannot recommend this film too highly. It is a fine example of what art can aspire to when embedded with a strong and passionate message.
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