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Five Minutes of Heaven
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From the Oscar®-nominated director of DOWNFALL, the BAFTA-winning screenwriter of OMAGH and star Liam Neeson comes a startling new thriller inspired by true events: In 1975, 17-year-old Irish-Protestant Alistair Little assassinated 19-year-old Catholic Jim Griffin in his Ulster home. The murder was witnessed by Griffin s 11-year-old brother Joe. Thirty years later, Little (Neeson) has been rehabilitated and released from prison, while Joe Griffin (James Nesbitt of BLOODY SUNDAY and JECKYLL) remains traumatized and bitter. But when a television talk show decides to bring them together for a live on-air reconciliation, two men haunted by one moment must come face-to-face with their own worlds of pain, violence and vengeance. Anamaria Marinca of 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS & 2 DAYS co-stars in this must-see drama that dares to explore both sides of Northern Ireland s troubled past as it comes to terms with its still uncertain future.
4 stars. Neeson and Nesbitt hammer it home. --David Fear, Time Out New York
Well performed and thought provoking...A new cinematic twist on a devastating period. --Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
Top Customer Reviews
Guy Hibbert wrote this excruciatingly visceral screenplay and Oliver Hirschbiegel directs a first rate cast. Though Liam Neeson is billed as the star, the film belongs to the powerful acting by James Nesbitt as the vengeful Joe Griffen. The cinematography is dark and dank like the atmosphere in both the warring fog of 1975 and the attempt at reconciliation in 2008. There are subtle pieces of thoughtful enhancement, such as the use of the Mozart 'Requiem' in the near hidden score. In all, this is a moving film about truth and reconciliation that deserves the attention of us all, especially in this time of random acts of terrorism and their possible imprint on our minds and on society. Grady Harp, January 10
Two men collide, and then 33 years later collide again. Some serious sparks ensue. Who was right? Who lost the most? Who owes what to whom?
If you're reading these reviews, I'd advise you to stop now and get this film. This is fine film making with a pungent theme. Watch it for its powerful and beautiful tale of loss and recovery. Watch it for two great actors giving superlative performances. Watch it recreate a terrifying yet frightfully close world where hell was always around the corner and ever on the TV. And watch it for what it has to say about the problems, the not easily fixed challenges, we face in the world today....
This is a fine depiction of how gangs and religious and political conflicts get started, it is a superb depiction of the "collateral damage" that affects "bystanders" to the end of their days, and it ends absolutely brilliantly with a typically strong but never-the-less very moving closure by BOTH of the main actors.
Highly recommended to those who wish to think about cause and effect and the psychological dimensions of intra-community violence.
The key event is the murder of a young Catholic man by a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force, a Protestant, pro-British group. There was "nothing personal" about the murder; it was part of "The Troubles." The killer was only fifteen when he joined the UVF. Thirty-three years later a film production team sets up a meeting between the killer (who served twelve years in prison) and the victim's brother. The brother was about twelve when he witnessed the murder and narrowly escaped death himself.
To say much more would be to spoil this outstanding film. Liam Neeson is solid as the adult killer. James Nesbit is excellent as the jittery, weak-willed, revenge-hungry adult brother. Anamaria Marinca almost steals the show in a small role as a gofer for the film production team to whom the brother confides his true feelings.
I must say this film may not be for everyone. Sometimes the pacing is very slow. Viewers may have a hard time accepting that the killer is projected as a stronger character than the victim's brother. And the bit about the mother of the victim's reaction to the killing stretches credibility.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
More of a documentary than a movie, but I expected that. Liam Neeson is a wonderful actor, but the movie did lag in certain parts. Still an interesting commentary on life.Published 3 months ago by Yessenia Perez
Old movie. Seemed low budget. Slow pace. Usual Neeson action. Disappointed.Published 3 months ago by Mark A. Bauer
NOT AS AS GOOD AS I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE BUT STILL A GOOD MOVIEPublished 4 months ago by ROY CARTWRIGHT
MAGNIFICENT historical fiction film (especially good for family holiday viewing) about the Troubles in the 1970s Ireland and afterward; HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for teens and adults on... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Valerie Mehlig Curry