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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, moving and effective
There's a moment early on in John Carney's "On The Edge" that serves to self-assuredly define itself as the alternative to the tired, Hollywoodized coming-of-age genre. In a scene between Jonathan (Cillian Murphy) and his psychologist (Stephen Rea), a chidingly defiant Murphy declares there won't be any "Good Will Hunting" moments between doctor and patient. True to his...
Published on July 31, 2003 by Amazon Customer

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars WRONG MOVIE
I ordered on the edge with Cillian Murphy, about a mental ward.. The picture that is shown and the description is correct, but I received on the edge with ICE T, some shoot em up movie were ICE T is maybe a detective or who the hell knows. Very frustrating because I look at the left to the movie it is supposed to be, image is correct so movie should be too. instead I got...
Published 13 months ago by Erinlizwells


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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, moving and effective, July 31, 2003
By 
This review is from: On the Edge (DVD)
There's a moment early on in John Carney's "On The Edge" that serves to self-assuredly define itself as the alternative to the tired, Hollywoodized coming-of-age genre. In a scene between Jonathan (Cillian Murphy) and his psychologist (Stephen Rea), a chidingly defiant Murphy declares there won't be any "Good Will Hunting" moments between doctor and patient. True to his word as the movie is true to its central point about the fragility and the value of life, there aren't any. And the result is quite simply a breath of fresh air.
I won't bore you with plot points because I don't believe any self-respecting movie review should (hello Mr. Ebert). And anyway, like most good movies, "On The Edge" is the kind that should be watched with as little knowledge of the plot as possible so as to make its charm and impact that much more...charming and impactful.
Cillian Murphy (of "28 Days Later" fame) delivers a subtle, understated but no less brilliant performance as a young man quietly grappling with his fate, slowly coming to terms with the value and importance of his own life.
The script, often quirky and with a sometimes oddly upbeat feel for a movie that could have come off as an extreme downer, leaves plenty of room inbetween the lines for supporting actors Tricia Vessey and Jonathan Jackson to flex their more than capable acting muscles. Superlative acting vet Stephen Rea ("The Crying Game") is perfectly cast as a psychologist with baggage that's never so much stated as it is implied in his countenance.
But it's Cillian Murphy that carries the movie with the effortlessness of ease, and a presence and ability that belies his years. Seeing Murphy at work, it's easy to forget you're watching a movie, and I can't recall a time that I've been more moved or captivated by the depth of emotion and compassion expressed by an actor in a mere reaction shot. It's downright fascinating to watch him steal scenes without uttering a word or twitching a muscle. But thief he is, whether he knows it or not, and it's one of the many things that adds an extra notch of respectability to a movie already rife with it.
No less miraculous and awe-inspiring is director John Carney, who in addition to co-writing the script also scored the original music and sang lead vocal on the final song--something I haven't heard of being done since Sylvester Stallone crooned the theme song for his directorial debut "Paradise Alley" back when he was still respectable.
"On The Edge", although quite possibly a bit too emotionally heavy to watch time and time again, is without a doubt one of the best movies I have seen this year and is definitely worth a viewing.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't underestimate the little guys..., September 25, 2005
By 
Jennifer Lewis (South Carolina, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: On the Edge (DVD)
The movie may be generally thought of as a drama, but it has a lot of comedic elements. On the Edge has a beautiful way of dealing with serious issues such as mental health and emotional dependency.

All of the actors and actresses delivered outstanding performances; you would think that Cillian Murphy had been in movies his entire life. It's amazing that this film is virtually unheard of in the states.

Simply put, it's a fantastic film, and I'm glad that I purchased it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars jewels in the rough, December 5, 2005
By 
Fabulous Fiftys (Home to Brer Rabbit) - See all my reviews
This review is from: On the Edge (DVD)
At every turn during "On the Edge", you will be delighted and moved and horrified and amused when you discover the sheer jewels of dialogue and facial expressions and quirky but real human responses to the burdens they bear. They - the jewels of acting and writing and cinemetography - came so unexpectedly that each moment was as rich as the last. I'm so surprised both Cillian Murpny and Tricia Vessey aren't more prominent in the USA. They have enormous talent. "On The Edge" - because of the inestimable talent of its actors - is a warm, funny, tragic, lovely jewel in the rough - a rare find. The music is terrific too. Is there a soundtrack CD? I'd buy it tomorrow.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Showcases the true talent of Cillian Murphy, August 31, 2005
This review is from: On the Edge (DVD)
Cillian Murphy is not a new face to acting (well, at least, outside of Hollywood) and with this movie, you will understand what Mr. Murphy has in store in future films. He can truly act, even in a movie that may be slim of plot and writing. He takes what he is given and runs with it beautifully. He plays a suicidal young man who often contemplates what life holds for him as he stays in a mental institution. While there he meets two fellow troubled young people and through them he manages to find what life may be all about. A good cast, good soundtrack and an okay plot makes this film quite enjoyable.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly charming and thoughtful film!, October 25, 2002
This review is from: On the Edge [VHS] (VHS Tape)
What a great movie! I wholeheartedly agree with previous review extolling the virtues of this film's simplicity! The lead actor Cillian Murphy was excellent. I loved the story and setting and ....man I just loved this movie. There was a scene of the two lead characters standing against a blue ice cream truck with the guy holding bright orange creamsicles in his hands attempting to hug and console the sobbing girl. Wow! It doesnt do it justice me describing it....I will definitely look forward to more movies from this director and cast.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars worth watching once, September 28, 2007
By 
This review is from: On the Edge (DVD)
A very good film. While I never got the impression that the main character (a young teenage boy) was about to commit suicide, or shown any signs of commiting suicide (besides that car ride scene) his character was nonetheless quite impressive and very moving throughout the movie. While at the psychiatric hospital, he met a girl he fell in love with instantly, and he quickly found out why she was in the hospital too (which is what makes the movie so good).

He also met other people who he seemed to get along with quite well, though throughout the film he had a psychiatrist trying to help him, though honestly, I never got the impression the boy even needed help. He seemed more like a regular kid with a few problems that could have easily been solved just by having someone get close to him and talk, and sending him to a mental hospital was a bit extreme. That's the impression I got throughout the film because for the most part, his character was quite normal.

His acting was really good though. You cared about which direction his life was taking whenever he encountered that girl, and you wanted to see what happened when he was about to get into major fights with people at bars or bowling alleys. A movie well worth watching.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding anguish..., February 5, 2007
By 
snakecatcher2000 (Cedar Park, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: On the Edge (DVD)
Cillian Murphy, Tricia Vessey and Jonathan Jackson are very convincing in their roles as tormented souls who have failed to achieve the precarious balance that most humans find that keeps them most of the time away from the brink of desolation that young people find themselves peering over, as shown so well by the lens in the last sequence of "On the Edge". What brings them to this "brink" - and what saves them from it - are the mysteries that those who delve in the dark, murky waters of human depression and mental health find. This movie has explored, and not so deeply as to crush the viewer in morbid thought, these things and provided both tragedy and hope, all in a beautifully written and well-performed script.

While Stephen Rea is anything but dynamic in his role, his seemingly single dimension is actually a statement to the fact that far more often than not, there is nothing that can be done but to give these folks a little time to decide to try to live -- another day.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edgy, August 18, 2005
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This review is from: On the Edge (DVD)
Daring, humourous, and extremely emotional body of work about people and life. Murphy, Rhea, Vessey, and Jackson deliver a beautiful performance. You have to watch for yourself. Keeps you wondering enough about the lives of these characters to keep you watching. Had me teary eyed at the end, though I may be slightly biased b/c I love (thus far) the work Cillian Murphy does in general. Nice Soundtrack.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful movie, June 18, 2005
By 
Helena* (Bangkok, Thailand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: On the Edge (DVD)
'On The Edge' is an absolutely amazing movie... It has this perfect mix of melancholy and humor that is so touching and beautiful. It completely respects the real depth, pain and hopelessness of its characters, while providing a subtle sense of hope for viewers battling their own hopelessness. Cillian Murphy is charismatic and seductive in his role, totally flawless. I love this movie. Nothing shallow, superficial, hollywood or forced about this movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We've all been "on the edge" at times..., August 25, 2009
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This review is from: On the Edge (DVD)
Every once in a while, a film comes along with a common subject that is fashioned differently and feels like a breath of fresh air. 2001 Irish film "On the Edge" is one of these movies.

The adorable Cillian Murphy, (Batman Begins), stars as Jonathan, a young man with a carefree, non-committal attitude towards life. He has just lost his father and, after a night of debauchery, tries to commit suicide by driving his car off of a cliff with his father's ashes in the back seat. Keeping with the light humor displayed throughout the story, though, Jonathan lives and his only wound is a broken pinky finger. Because he tried to kill himself, he is offered the choice of a prison sentence or admission to a mental hospital. He chooses the mental hospital.

At the hospital, which Jonathan clearly states he is treating as a vacation and nothing more, he is coached along by a psychologist, Dr. Figure, played by Stephen Rea, who ends up helping him deeply despite his first impression of the doctor. Jonathan attends a group therapy session and ends up making friends with Toby, (Jonathan Jackson), another young man with a dark secret and Rachel, (Tricia Vassey), whom Jonathan immediately fancies but who creeps him out a bit with her turn-on of blood.

Over the course of the film, you can see how the bonds between these three people are deepened, with Dr. Figure fleshing out the picture and helping Jonathan despite his protests. Toby harbors a crush on Rachel, which becomes more apparent when he writes a poem for her. Jonathan defends Toby when he almost ends up in a violent fight at a bowling alley and Jonathan almost ends up paying for it. This will be the first time that Dr. Figure steps in an tries to teach Jonathan that he needs to start valuing his own life, too. Jonathan will learn that lesson by the end of the film, though, when his love for Rachel grows and, after a tragic circumstance, her parents take her out of the hospital. Jonathan is miserable and worried and in the end, Dr. Figure helps him to achieve the one thing he desparately needs to do.

The acting in this film is rich, especially from Jonathan Jackson who is an American actor but flew to Ireland to make this film and took on the accent in an uncanny fashion. Cillian Murphy is excellent as always, as is Stephen Rea, and the story is interesting enough to keep your attention. It is sort of like "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" meets a young adult drama, but without a lot of the melodramatic acting that usually comes along with it. Plus, the soundtrack is a nice boost, starting out right up front with "1979" by the Smashing Pumpkins and includes "Alright" by Supergrass, "Please Forgive Me" by David Gray, and "Is She Weird?" by the Pixies, among other great songs.

If you were impressed with Cillian Murphy's performance as the Scarecrow in Batman Begins, you should definitely check out this film. And even if you have no idea who he is, this is a charming film that takes place in psycho-therapy but doesn't make the whole film about that concept. It is more of a focus on human behavior and relationships and what leads us to do what we do.
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On the Edge
On the Edge by John Carney (DVD - 2002)
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