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Veronica Guerin

4.5 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Ireland's most beloved and tragic contemporary hero/martyr gets the Hollywood treatment in the fact-based thriller "Veronica Guerin", an average film made recommendable for a fine performance by Cate Blanchett in the title role. The life, work, and assassination of the slain Irish journalist is respectfully chronicled in this gritty, streetwise biopic by director Joel Schumacher, beginning with her 1996 murder (by Irish gangsters) and flashing back to her diligent efforts, begun in 1994, to expose the drug trade that plagued Ireland for most of the decade. Blanchett is flawless in a role that combines passion, courage, and recklessness in a way that doesn't sugar-coat Guerin's character or imbue her with artificial heroics. Unfortunately, Schumacher (who makes room for an unbilled Colin Farrell cameo) and a naggingly unsophisticated screenplay turn Guerin's complex story into a conventionally accessible thriller that sometimes seems too good to be true, which is ironic given that Guerin's story was fictionalized in the marginally better 2000 film "When the Sky Falls", starring Joan Allen. Recommendable for Blanchett's performance and two memorably villainous roles for Ciar?°n Hinds and Gerald McSorley, "Veronica Guerin" is an adequate tribute that could and should have been exceptional. "--Jeff Shannon"

Product Details

  • Actors: Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Brenda Fricker, Ciarán Hinds, Gerard McSorley
  • Directors: Joel Schumacher
  • Writers: Carol Doyle, Mary Agnes Donoghue
  • Producers: Chad Oman, Eli Richbourg, James Flynn, Jerry Bruckheimer, Mike Stenson
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS ES), French (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Walt Disney Video - Mill Creek
  • DVD Release Date: March 16, 2004
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000189LE2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,262 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Veronica Guerin" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Calhoun on March 30, 2004
Format: DVD
Just when the media excessively highlights the wrongdoings of unscrupulous journalists (i.e. Jayson Blair at The New York Times) it is redeeming to know that the entire profession isn't completely stripped of its integrity and morals. In the case of Veronica Guerin the public can have some of their faith restored that there are journalists out there who care to uncover the truth for the benefit of the public's well being. I remember hearing about the execution-style killing of Veronica Guerin on the evening news and my heart ached for this senseless killing. Now with the aid of this film individuals can learn the story behind the life and career of Veronica that ultimately led to her premature death.
After witnessing the horrific effects of heroin use on teenagers and children in a rundown housing complex veteran reporter Veronica Guerin decides to refocus her attention on the prevalence of crime in Dublin. Outraged that nobody is covering the drug trade she jumps headfirst into this underground economy and doesn't hesitate to immediately make some powerful enemies. Cruising around in her bright red car through the Dublin streets Veronica fails to back down even after her life is repeatedly threatened and she is brutally attacked. Even the pleading of her family and her work colleagues fail to change her mind.
It is encouraging to know that the efforts of Veronica Guerin were not in vain. Her journalistic accounts of Dublin's drug trade and her subsequent unsympathetic murder has resulted in the passing of several laws such as stripping the assets of suspected drug dealers. However, after watching this film I can't help to wonder about the nameless other journalists who have been similarly slain while in the line of duty. Without these brave souls it is discomforting to think of the stories that would not be covered.
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Format: DVD
CATE BLANCHETT is a marvelous actress, one whose dexterity in playing any kind of role (e.g. THE GIFT), will one day elevate her to the Meryl Streep class of actress.
Cate's overwhelming portrayal of journalist Veronica Guerin is nothing but brilliant, and she was sadly overlooked by Oscar, who usually eats up this kind of performance. Even though she won no award, Blanchett infuses Veronica Guerin with a smoldering passion, a strong sense of commitment and perseverance, and a loving mother and wife, whose actions endanger all of them, but she sticks to it. Cate has so many moments of excellence, one can't really elucidate on them without going on and on; suffice to say, Cate is magnificent.
Director Joel Schumacher leaves his action film techniques behind and crafts an envigorating yet sad film. Blanchett is supported by a tremendous cast: Gerard McSorney as John Gilligan is one of the most vile characters on celluloid and McSorney's performance is frightening and powerful. The scene where he attacks Veronica and beats her to a pulp is one of the most disturbing scenes I've witnessed in a long time. Ciaran Hinds (SUM OF ALL FEARS) is brilliant as Veronica's informant and eventual executioner. One can see how he is torn and yet remains selfish enough to save his own hide.
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Format: DVD
It's Rated-R for strong violence and language, but I strongly recommend that high school and college journalism teachers show this film to their students. As a high school journalism teacher, I saw the opportunity to show students a true story about a journalist. That truth-seeking journalists can make a difference. However, I had no idea that after five times watching the movie, I would cry during the whole 15 minute ending each and every time. Through her journalistic techniques and "finding the truth," she did ultimately pay the price for those antics. But the reason why I was so moved with this movie, was the fact that "she" and her "actions" moved the Irish government to change things. So many people rallied to her and for "her" after her death because she fought the people no one else would fight. She sought the truth exposing those who needed to be in the spotlight for their wrongdoings. Two of the most powerful images in this movie, 1) the children playing with the used drug syringes left on the streets and 2) the funeral procession - you would have thought a diplomat had been laid to rest that day, but instead an honest-seeking journalist who was trying to do her job. My newspaper students sat hypnotized by the television for three days while watching this film. They were moved just as I at the end. It brought a lot of discussion afterwards, too.
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Format: DVD
Veronica Guerin, an Irish journalist and a woman of courage, was murdered in June 1996, at the age of 36, while conducting an investigative expose of drug lords in Dublin. Apparently Ms. Guerin's interrogatory tactics, investigative techniques and determination threatened her subjects more than the local police. She was shot dead at the wheel of her car by a hired killer on a motorcycle as a result of her persistence in discovering and writing the truth.

Director Joel Schumacher's somber and factual bio-film portrays a woman who was determined to rid Dublin's streets of the pervasive drug dealing and heroin consumption so lethal to the city's youth. Ms. Guerin was repeatedly warned by her colleagues, underworld contacts and drug kingpins to back-off. She was shot in the leg and beaten in the line of duty. Her husband and young son were threatened and yet she persisted. Whether she was too reckless, too obsessed, is for the viewer to determine. However, her murder galvanized the Irish people to take to the streets and march against the criminal drug trade. Within a week of Ms. Guerin's death, during an emergency session of Parliament, the government passed a law to freeze the assets of suspected drug barons. The Irish Constitution was amended so that authorities could pursue drug-traffickers more aggressively. A Criminal Assets Bureau was created, as a result of her writing, (and her death), which has been aggressively confiscating money and property suspected of coming from criminal activities. Ireland's first witness protection program was formed to encourage informers to come forward. Her murderer was brought to trial, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Cate Blanchett's gritty performance as Veronica Guerin is outstanding and she is the backbone of the film.
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