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For Brendan Gleeson, His Role In 'Calvary' Was Mental Grind


Brendan Gleeson Kelly Reilly

Brendan Gleeson has admitted that he found it difficult to switch between normal life and the harrowed, good natures priest he portrays in the critically acclaimed Calvary.

CalvaryBrendan Gleeson and Kelly Rielly star in 'Calvary'

A good priest in a small town populated by people with dark thoughts, James Lavelle’s life is threatened during a confession. Of course, they’re anonymous things, confessions, and he spends what he believes to be the rest of his living days attempting to narrow down his would-be murderer. 

Continue reading: For Brendan Gleeson, His Role In 'Calvary' Was Mental Grind

A Week In Movies: SAG And Globe Nominations, The Stars Hit Europe, Big Sci-fi Trailers Debut...


Tom Cruise Leonardo Dicaprio Martin Freeman Channing Tatum Brendan Gleeson Jason Bateman

The Wolf Of Wall Street Logo

As we move properly into awards season, films are jostling to be the frontrunner. This week saw nominations announced by the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild, two key awards in the run-up to Oscar night. At the moment, the leading contenders are David O Russell's Abscam comedy-drama American Hustle and Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. But anything can happen, see the other contenders here.

The dark horse in the awards race is The Wolf of Wall Street, a late entry into contention. The film held its European premiere in Paris on Monday, attended by Leonardo Dicaprio, director Martin Scorsese and costar Jean Dujardin. Buzz is growing quickly for the film, which opens in most cinemas in January. Watch the latest trailer for Wolf Of Wall Street here!

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: SAG And Globe Nominations, The Stars Hit Europe, Big Sci-fi Trailers Debut...

Atmosphere and Brendan Gleeson Friday 23rd March 2012 Photocall for the release of 'The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists' at the new Odeon Cinema in Point Village

Atmosphere and Brendan Gleeson

The Raven Review


Very Good
An acerbic sense of humour and a gleefully grisly production style make this gothic thriller good fun to watch. It may be rather preposterous, but it's also a grippingly complex mystery populated by some terrific actors.

In the weeks before his inexplicable death in 1849, author Edgar Allan Poe (Cusack) finds himself at the centre of a series of murders in which a killer is recreating his stories in grotesque scenarios around Baltimore. Detective Fields (Evans) asks Edgar to help with the case, but he's distracted by his girlfriend Emily (Eve), whose harsh father (Gleeson) refuses to allow the couple to marry. As the murders get increasingly personal for Edgar, he realises that his own fate is entwined with the fiendishly clever killer, whoever he may be.

Continue reading: The Raven Review

Liam Cunningham and Brendan Gleeson - Liam Cunningham and Brendan Gleeson Saturday 11th February 2012 The Irish Film and Television Awards 2012 at the Dublin Convention Centre - Arrivals

Liam Cunningham and Brendan Gleeson

Brendan Gleeson Tuesday 7th February 2012 New York Premiere of 'Safe House' held at the SVA Theater - Arrivals

Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson

Albert Nobbs Trailer


Ever since the age of fifteen, Albert Nobbs has worked and lived in hotels. Thirty years later, he is a dedicated servant at Morrison's Hotel. He goes out of his way to make the guests feel at home and is generally well-liked.

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Brendan Gleeson and Old Billingsgate - Brendan Gleeson, London, England - The 2011 Moet British Independent Film Awards at Old Billingsgate Market. Sunday 4th December 2011

Brendan Gleeson and Old Billingsgate
Brendan Gleeson and Old Billingsgate
Brendan Gleeson and Old Billingsgate
Brendan Gleeson and Old Billingsgate
Brendan Gleeson and Old Billingsgate

Brendan Gleeson and Old Billingsgate Sunday 4th December 2011 The British Independent film awards 2011 at Old Billingsgate Market London, England

Brendan Gleeson and Old Billingsgate

The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists Trailer


The Pirate Captain has never won the Pirate of the Year award but this year he hopes to do so. He sets out with his crew - some are pirates, some are not, some are just fish he dressed up in a pirate hat - to beat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz. Along the way, he travels to places as diverse as Blood Island and Victorian London and joins forces with a young Charles Darwin. The Captain and his crew must also avoid Queen Elizabeth - who is determined to wipe out pirates from the seas.

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The Guard Trailer


Sergeant Gerry Boyle is a cop, working in a small town in County Galway, in the western part of Ireland, with a love of prostitutes, dropping acid on his days off and a dying mother. Whilst on the job, he doesn't follow the rulebook and he thinks that everyone he's met is an idiot.

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Brendan Gleeson Sunday 5th June 2011 Brendan Gleeson filming Safehouse Washington DC, USA

Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson

Brendan Gleeson Friday 27th May 2011 at the ITV studios London, England

Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson

Brendan Gleeson - Brendan Gleeson, Dublin, Ireland - 'Irish Film and Television Awards' at Convention Centre Dublin - Arrivals Saturday 12th February 2011

Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson

Brendan Gleeson - Friday 21st January 2011 at Sundance Film Festival Park City, Utah

Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Review


Excellent

Cranking up the action and emotion, JK Rowling's Harry Potter saga moves into the first half of its extended grand finale. It's a relatively harrowing film punctuated by real violence, and it cleverly starts weaving together both the plot and the relationships.

After the tragic events of the previous school year, Harry (Radcliffe) and his pals Ron and Hermoine (Grint and Watson) know that they can't go back to normal. Instead, they're on the run from Voldemort (Fiennes) and his fearsome Death Eaters. They also have an overwhelming task: collecting the horcruxes that Voldemort has hidden to ensure his immortality. But where to look? And when they find one, how do they destroy it? Then a rebel journalist (Ifans) tells them the story of the Deathly Hallows, which makes their quest even more urgent.

The plot has a very different structure, as our three heroes are propelled by startling events into increasingly uncertain situations. Persistently chased by the bad guys and unable to trust anyone, they are profoundly alone and constantly in danger. We strongly feel their lonely desperation all the way through the film, so when another nasty thing happens to push them further along, it's genuinely unsettling.

Although it feels far too long, Yates and Kloves thankfully mix the dark drama with lighter comedy, allowing the characters to grow organically. Over seven films the story has grown increasingly gloomy but, despite the relentless anxiety, this chapter has an insistent pace, which is helpful since pretty nightmarish things are happening. There's also some subtext in the political storyline, as the villains seize control first of the media and then the government.

By now, the three central actors have settled solidly into their roles, adding subtle edges in every scene. Intriguingly, Grint has emerged as the most complex performer, but all three are excellent. And the who's who of British acting talent around them is fantastic. Stand-outs this time are Nighy (as a slippery politician), Isaacs (as a disgraced baddie) and Mullan (as a vicious security guy). But several others get a chance to shine as well, and of course there's a lot more action to come in Part 2.

The Secret Of Kells Review


Excellent
Stunning imagery and an unusual story lift this far above the average animated feature. With its deeply Irish themes and an inventive approach to illustration, it's like an ancient folk tale storybook come to life. No wonder Oscar voters noticed it.

In a Medieval village called Kells, the young Brendan (voiced by McGuire) has never been outside the walls. His uncle (Gleeson) is the abbot, and is only concerned with building strong defences against the marauding Viking horde. But Brendan and the other monks have art and history on their minds, and find themselves entranced when Father Aidan (Lally) comes to visit, bringing his mysterious, legendary book. Aidan takes an interest in Brendan, sparking his creativity and curiosity to venture into the forest outside the walls, where he meets the mysterious Aisling (Mooney).

Continue reading: The Secret Of Kells Review

Green Zone Review


Extraordinary
Based on Rajiv Chandrasekaran's true account Imperial Life in the Emerald City, this film never pauses for breath throughout a story set in the weeks following the 2003 invasion of Baghdad. It's provocative, involving and utterly gripping.

Miller (Damon) is a military officer charged with locating weapons of mass destruction, but every site he visits is a dead end. When he voices doubts about the intelligence, he gets in trouble with the Pentagon chief (Kinnear).

On the other hand, the CIA director (Gleeson) is sympathetic, and encourages him to dig around. So with the help of a local translator (Abdalla), Miller dives in. And he's quickly caught between two factions in his own government as he searches for an Iraqi general (Naor) in hiding.

Continue reading: Green Zone Review

Brendan Gleeson Wednesday 10th March 2010 Irish Premiere of 'Perrier's Bounty' held at the Savoy Cinema Dublin Ireland

Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson

Brendan Gleeson Thursday 25th February 2010 New York premiere 'Green Zone' at AMC Loews Lincoln Square New York City, USA

Brendan Gleeson

Nora-Jane Noone and Brendan Gleeson Thursday 28th January 2010 Brendan Gleeson and Nora Jane Noone launched the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2010, where Brendan Gleeson was presented with a personalised bottle of Jameson Whiskey. Dublin, Ireland

Nora-jane Noone and Brendan Gleeson
Nora-jane Noone and Brendan Gleeson
Nora-jane Noone and Brendan Gleeson
Nora-jane Noone and Brendan Gleeson

Brendan Gleeson - Brendan Gleeson and wife Mary Gleeson Los Angeles, California - 67th Golden Globe awards 2010 held at The Beverly Hilton - Arrivals Sunday 17th January 2010

Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson

Brendan Gleeson Tuesday 3rd March 2009 'Ages of the Moon' world premiere at The Peacock Theatre Dublin, Ireland

Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson and Sam Shepard
Brendan Gleeson

Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson - Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson Friday 15th February 2008 at Dublin International Film Festival Dublin, Ireland

Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson
Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson
Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson
Colin Farrell
Colin Farrell

In Bruges Review


Excellent
The Bruges Chamber of Commerce should be delighted with at least part of Martin McDonagh's film In Bruges, as it provides an unprecedented and absolutely ravishing look at the architecture of this gorgeous Belgian town that appears to have been dropped into the 21st century from a pristine, fairy-tale version of the Middle Ages. They should be happy as a good number of people, after seeing the film, will be tempted to hop on the next flight to the little jewel box of a medieval village, all canals and pristinely preserved Gothic architecture. Such town boosters will be less delighted with other aspects of this dark-as-night comedy, in which a pair of hitmen hiding out in the town spend their time arguing over whether or not the town is, in fact, "a shithole." Later on, the guns come out, large quantities of blood are spilled, and a story that had been weaving a fairy-tale ambience up until that point turns into an entirely different kind of fairy tale -- one that doesn't exactly cater to tourists.

Writer/director McDonagh has dabbled in fairy tales before, in his grimly funny and ultraviolent stage plays like the Tarantino-esque The Lieutenant of Inishmore and, particularly, The Pillowman, which knocked Broadway audiences for a loop back in 2005 with its mix of bloody, Grimm-like Germanic storytelling and anonymous, Kafkaesque modernity. With his feature directorial debut (his short film, Six Shooter, won an Oscar in 2006), McDonagh takes his particular theatrical affinity for finding cockeyed laughs in horrendous situations and creates a precisely structured and knock-you-down hilarious comedy of violence with a film that (hopefully) announces a great new cinematic talent.

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Brendan Gleeson - Thursday 17th January 2008 at Sundance Film Festival Park City, Utah

Brendan Gleeson
Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson

Beowulf Review


OK
From the advent of sound with 1927's The Jazz Singer to the computer-generated effects breakthrough of 1989's The Abyss -- advancements in technology have had a major impact on cinematic storytelling, for better and worse. New technologies open up more cinematic experiences and new avenues for directors and actors to explore their craft. But it's easy to get caught up in the razzmatazz of the latest spectacle, instead of focusing on age-old, tried and true thematic substance. And that's exactly Beowulf's tragic flaw.

The Beowulf legend originates from a 700 A.D. oral tradition that was adapted in epic poem form by the English and into film form by director Robert Zemeckis -- using motion-captured live-action performances that are turned into a computer-generated light show. Much like the IMAX 3D screenings of Zemeckis' previous effort, The Polar Express, Beowulf's tale of a hero who comes to rid a Scandinavian village of its monster, while screaming his name every chance he gets, is more a showcase for RealD technology than an engaging film.

Continue reading: Beowulf Review

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Trailer


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Trailer

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Kingdom Of Heaven Review


OK
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a dead sucker for big-battle hero pictures, but these days, movies like this are released every month. And coming from Ridley Scott, who is one of the real standard-setters for flicks of this ilk, I'm going into Kingdom of Heaven with high expectations: I want a hero who tugs my heart strings, a love story that moves me to tears, a villain who makes me seethe with hate, and action that gets my pulse racing.

Judging from his body of work, Ridley Scott obviously likes a good hero story, too. But, sadly, this, his latest epic hero film, is without one key ingredient: the hero. And as he's the director and the producer of this disappointing monstrosity, he's got no one to blame but himself.

Continue reading: Kingdom Of Heaven Review

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire Review


Excellent

For the uninitiated, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the book where author J.K. Rowling finally went off her rocker, turning out a 734-page monster of a book (vs. 309 pages for #1) that made everyone wonder if any child could possibly have that kind of attention span.

Turns out they did: Book four is also where Rowling went from Big Hit to Mega Worldwide Sensation, and the Harry Potter series became a cultural touchstone. (This is also about the time that ultra-right wing groups started denouncing the series as demonic.)

And so, everything that is past is prologue: The first three films now feel like nothing more than window dressing for this one, a rich movie with expert plotting, clever humor, and a sophistication lacking in the earlier pictures. At the same time, it's fine for (older) kids, who'll root for Harry and Co. through his many scrapes in this edition.

Goblet of Fire finds Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) back for his fourth year at Hogwarts Academy. Things are getting heavier for the lad: He's having vivid dreams about Lord Voldemort being revived in the flesh. On top of that, the school is hosting the legendary Tri-Wizard Tournament, in which three aspiring magicians will compete to win a fancy blue cup (plus bragging rights), which brings two foreign schools -- one a collection of brutish Russian guys, another a group of breathless French fairy queens -- into Hogwarts for the term. While the tournament is meant for older kids, naturally the undersized Potter will find his way into the mix. On top of that, Harry's got some raging hormones, which has him swooning for fellow student Cho (Katie Leung), while Ron (Rupert Grint) tries in vain to suppress his budding love for Hermione (Emma Watson). This comes to a head of sorts during a formal dance, one of the film's most memorable scenes. And all the while, Voldemort inches closer to Harry.

Overall, the story is obviously and dramatically pared down from the book. Even I, a non-reader, could tell that there were huge gaps in the plot. Strangely, it doesn't really matter. All but the bare essentials have been stripped away, and even though it tops 2 1/2 hours, Goblet is a lean, mean, storytelling machine. There's rarely a dull moment (a stark contrast to some of the overblown earlier installments in the series), and it's amazingly easy to follow the serpentine plot. Partly this is because we've had three movies to get up to speed on the myriad characters of Potter, and even though Goblet introduces a good number of new faces, keeping track of them is a snap. The downside of this is that, aside from a little romance for the main three characters, there's not much time to develop our heroes further. But really, it isn't needed. They're fleshy enough as it is, and the film does give them a bit more structure to set up #5.

Speculation has been rampant about how director Mike Newell -- of Four Weddings and a Funeral fame -- would work out as the helmer of an action-oriented kid flick. Turns out, he's better than those who came before him. Not only does Newell have a good handle over the film's action showpieces, he knows how to deal with awkward romances and growing pains of the teen years. Maybe it's because he's the first British director to try his hand at this very British series?

Speaking of the action: The special effects in this installment are hands-down better than ever. There's probably not a single scene in Goblet of Fire that isn't manipulated with CGI in some way -- but you'll never notice. The effects are so good and so seamless that you seriously can't tell the difference (reality-wise) between Radcliffe and the giant, fire-breathing dragon staring him down.

And speaking of dragons: The film is scary, more so than the other three. As a case in point, the woman sitting in front of me, with two kids aged about six to eight, had to leave the theater after the first two minutes because the little ones were so frightened.

Altogether the film is just about right for what a Harry Potter movie ought to be. The story is consistently interesting but not too confusing, the dialogue is spot-on, and the film blends action and quiet moments perfectly. (Frankly, the film should win an Oscar for editing.)

But overall Goblet of Fire has succeeded in doing one big thing that the first three movies completely failed at: For the first time, I'm actually looking forward to the next in the series.

A little magic ought to fix that arm right up, no?

Mission: Impossible 2 Review


Good
Editor's Note: Rarely have two so divergent reviews for one movie crossed my desk on the same day. To wit, we present a unique experience for filmcritic.com -- something of a "He Said, He Said" -- two looks at Mission: Impossible 2, from two of our most vocal critics. -CN

James Brundage, the exuberant fan:

Continue reading: Mission: Impossible 2 Review

28 Days Later Review


Excellent
Although its title might lead you to believe that they actually made a sequel to the awful Sandra Bullock movie about alcoholism, 28 Days Later is anything but a journey through rehab. In fact, the disturbing, grotesque nature of the film makes rehab look like a peaceful picnic at the zoo... well, just as long as there aren't monkeys at that zoo.

The recipe for 28 Days Later is quite simple: half Outbreak, half Night of the Living Dead, and maybe a dash or two of Planet of the Apes. While the ingredients are familiar, thankfully, director Danny Boyle, who also helmed the bizarre Trainspotting, contributes his own unique seasonings, turning this acidic dish into a journey through hell-on-earth; it's one of the most frightening movies of the year.

Continue reading: 28 Days Later Review

The Village Review


Very Good
The Village comes to us with more manufactured hype than should be allowed by law. First the Sci-Fi Channel produces a "documentary" about its director, M. Night Shyamalan, called The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan, purporting to reveal all sorts of juicy dirt about the director. The week that The Village is set to open, Sci-Fi confesses it's all a hoax. Details of the plot have been minimal. No one will do press. No one will talk about the movie at all. Come screening week, security is tight at advance previews: Online press are strictly disallowed at the advances; instead we're shooed into a late Thursday-night showing, giving us mere hours to whip up a review just in time for the Friday crush of traffic. So here I sit, pushing midnight, ready to give you my thoughts on The Village.

Why all the misdirection from Shyamalan? Well, here's the truth: The Village isn't a really a traditional suspense flick at all. The first full hour is largely comprised of a romance - or various romances - between its stars. Joaquin Phoenix is a quiet lad named Lucius living in an 1897 village formed in a clearing in the woods in Pennsylvania, where some 30 or so folks reside. Bryce Dallas Howard (the girl who looks like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill) plays his eventual girlfriend, Ivy, the blind daughter of the town's leader of sorts, Edward (William Hurt). Lucius and Ivy take a long while to fall in love - meanwhile we slowly learn about the village. Here, they grow their own vegetables, they do a mean square dance, and then there's the matter of the monsters in the woods.

Continue reading: The Village Review

Lake Placid Review


OK
It's crocodile season, opening the hunting period on an animal that has been woefully underused in the horror movie litany to date. But unlike most horror/thriller pics, this one features a script by David E. Kelley, best known as the creator of TV's Ally McBeal.

So there's some promise here. But does this monster movie rise above recent crap like Anaconda or Jaws 3-D? A little. It's better than Anaconda, anyway.

Continue reading: Lake Placid Review

Cold Mountain Review


Weak
Masterpiece Theater meets Mayberry in Anthony Minghella's Cold Mountain, a stodgy and superfluous adaptation of Charles Frazier's Civil War romance novel that's every bit as unconvincing as it's meant to be epic. Frigid and detached to the point of numbness, the passionless period piece is too staged, too dry, and too silly to matter, though Minghella earns bonus points for staying consistently dishonest and uneven from start to finish.

Minghella tells Mountain in two parts that fail to complement each other. In one, wounded Civil War soldier Inman (Jude Law) reaches his breaking point on Virginia's blood-soaked battlefields and decides he can't spend another day without his true love, Ada (Nicole Kidman). So he puts down his rifle and begins the long walk back to Cold Mountain, N.C. Meanwhile, back home, Ada struggles to maintain her father's house after the man passes away in a disgustingly symbolic rainstorm. She accepts help from the town tomboy (Renée Zellweger) and learns a thing or two about patience, hope, and independence in the face of danger.

Continue reading: Cold Mountain Review

Kingdom Of Heaven Review


OK
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a dead sucker for big-battle hero pictures, but these days, movies like this are released every month. And coming from Ridley Scott, who is one of the real standard-setters for flicks of this ilk, I'm going into Kingdom of Heaven with high expectations: I want a hero who tugs my heart strings, a love story that moves me to tears, a villain who makes me seethe with hate, and action that gets my pulse racing.

Judging from his body of work, Ridley Scott obviously likes a good hero story, too. But, sadly, this, his latest epic hero film, is without one key ingredient: the hero. And as he's the director and the producer of this disappointing monstrosity, he's got no one to blame but himself.

Continue reading: Kingdom Of Heaven Review

Breakfast On Pluto Review


Excellent
Neil Jordan doesn't make bad movies. Even if the story isn't spectacular (The Good Thief), the visuals are always stunning and the acting is consistently so striking that you're never bored by what you see. There are times that cultural patterns remain unclear (The Crying Game) and you'll feel lost in the muddle of figuring out exactly what's going on, but the trick is to just watch without dissecting. You're guaranteed to walk out stimulated by the events that occurred.

The same holds true for his latest, Breakfast on Pluto, starring the ever-impressive chameleon Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later, Batman Begins) as an orphaned transvestite in Ireland during the 1960s and '70s. After seeing brief passages of his playful struggle to maintain his identity from one boarding school to the next in working class suburbia, we're swept up in the journey of Patrick, a.k.a. "Kitten," as he heads to the wilds of London in search of the mother who left him behind.

Continue reading: Breakfast On Pluto Review

The General Review


Good
It was a critical darling but I can't figure out why. Based on a true story, Gleeson plays the lovable oaf of an Irish folk hero and two-bit gangster Martin Cahill. The bulk of the film involves a couple of "daring" robberies Cahill and his working-class gang pulled off and the heat the police, the IRA, and the UVF bring down on him. Cahill as a character is a bizzare one, notably due to the two women he keeps and an eccentric personality, to say the least. But the film is flat, partially owing to its well over 2-hour running time but mainly due to the ultra-thick Irish accents, poor sound quality, and the fact the Gleeson spends most of the movie with his hand covering his face. Large chunks of The General are completely incomprehensible. And I'm not about to watch it again.

In My Country Review


Bad
South Africa's 1995 Truth and Reconciliation Hearings - which sought to resolve the animosity between blacks and white Afrikaners after the fall of apartheid by having victimized blacks confront their white tormentors, who in turn would be granted amnesty by publicly admitting to, apologizing for, and proving that they were ordered to carry out, their hateful actions - may one day spawn a great movie. In My Country, John Boorman's lazy and ludicrous film about the Hearings, isn't it. A prime example of why it's dangerous to concoct fictional narratives in order to tell historically important stories, Boorman's latest is awkward and ungainly, a dramatically forced and stilted tale of interracial reconciliation bereft of any rhythm and even less subtlety. With the wildly inconsistent director working more in the vein of his legendary disaster Exorcist II: The Heretic than his neo-noir masterpiece Point Blank, it's the kind of well-intentioned, but wholly unsuccessful, misfire that makes one desperately pine for a thorough documentary on its real-life subject.

Inauspiciously beginning with a clunky montage of sun-dappled vistas and police brutality newsreel footage set to rousing (but still slightly heartbreaking) African singing, In My Country focuses on Anna Malan (Juliette Binoche), an Afrikaner journalist and poet whose white father and brother disapprove of her interest in the Hearings ("Remember where you're from, Anna," racist Dad ominously warns). While covering the event, she meets Langston Whitfield (Samuel L. Jackson), a Washington Post reporter opposed to the Hearings' disinterest in persecuting the country's heinous, government-sponsored white criminals. The two quarrel over the effectiveness and justness of the Hearings' guiding principle of "Ubuntu" (an African belief in forgiveness over punishment), but their horror and sadness over the proceedings' testimonials - many of which have been recreated, word-for-gut-wrenching word, by the filmmakers - helps them eventually bridge their initial ideological differences and, in the case of Anna, learn to reconcile herself to her family's own nasty role in apartheid. After some boneheaded flirting, the two attempt to heal the country's racial divisions themselves through lovemaking, all while Anna's cheery African-American sidekick Dumi (Menzi Ngubane) gleefully confirms the hoariest of stereotypes by breaking into jubilant song and dance at every available turn (including in court).

Continue reading: In My Country Review

Harrison's Flowers Review


Excellent
In Elie Chouraqui's compelling new film Harrison's Flowers, the life of a war photojournalist doesn't just contain hints of peril; it's depicted as a task tantamount to serving as a soldier on the front lines of war. In this case, the parallel isn't constructed as a metaphor -- it's offered as stark reality.

Set at the beginning of the 1990s, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Harrison Floyd (David Straithairn) has reached a pinnacle. He is revered by professional associates and enjoys the unconditional love of his wife, Sarah (Andie MacDowell), and their two young children. He appears on his way to career burnout though, a point hammered home at an awards banquet, when he presents the Pulitzer Prize to his best friend and fellow photojournalist Yeager (Elias Koteas). That night, Harrison is confronted by an angry, young photographer, Kyle (Adrien Brody), who tears into the man for taking the path of least resistance to find fame, while his journalist brethren are literally dying for their work on personal assignments in dangerous territories.

Continue reading: Harrison's Flowers Review

I Went Down Review


Very Good
Rather typical Irish caper fare, with Gleeson and McDonald making an unlikely pair of rather hapless leg men, sent to fetch a guy on the run for the local gangster boss. Gleeson's veteran (yet bumbling) criminal and McDonald's victim of circumstance make for some amusing and memorable moments, but the circuitous plot is so roundabout that one scene rarely seems to have any bearing on the previous one. Plot-wise, the movie has a lot to learn, but some of its comic moments are simply priceless.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence Review


Good
I remember sitting in a movie theater at the tender age of 14, watching a little film called D.A.R.Y.L., about a boy with a computer brain trying to cope with modern society and questions of emotion and identity. D.A.R.Y.L. was not some overblown, 2 1/2-hour ordeal. It was 99 breezy minutes of fun fun fun!

A.I. Artificial Intelligence is, too my deep dismay, neither breezy nor particularly fun. The level of anticipation of the film, of course, would be impossible to effectively sate, but A.I. just doesn't cut it. It doesn't even come close.

Continue reading: A.I. Artificial Intelligence Review

In My Country Review


OK

A fictional narrative created to encompass several storiesthat personify the nation-altering emotional crux of South Africa's Truthand Reconciliation hearings, "In My Country" accomplishes itsgoal -- but does so largely through obvious plot devices.

JulietteBinoche and Samuel L. Jackson give strong, movingperformances as two journalists -- one Afrikaner, one African-American-- covering the gut-wrenching testimony as the oppressed came face-to-facewith their oppressors during these historical early-1990s committees, heldall over the upended nation as it transitioned from apartheid to democracy.But it's too obvious that their characters are designed to represent (orat least be acquainted with) particular points of view that must come toa symbolic accord for the country's race issues to be resolved.

She comes from an enlightened perspective about equality,but her rich, white family is nervous about living in the new South Africa-- and of course they have skeletons in their closets that soon come tolight. He has a huge chip on his shoulder about race relations, havinggrown up seeing America's Civil Rights movement pave the way for more equalitybefore the country developed a collective sense of denial about the lingeringdiscrimination still ingrained in its culture.

Continue reading: In My Country Review

Cold Mountain Review


Weak

From the very first words of its opening voice-over, inwhich a detectable trace of Aussie inflection invades Nicole Kidman's affectedSouthern accent, there's something amiss with "Cold Mountain,"a two-and-a-half-hour Civil War epic built around a lackluster love story,written and directed by an Englishman, starring half a dozen British actorsand shot in Romania.

Sweeping in scope, the picture's earnest intentions, periodatmosphere and cinematic beauty are above reproach as it portrays brutal,bloody, brother-against-brother battlefields and a North Carolina home-fronthamlet where prim, city-bred newcomer Ada Monroe (Nicole Kidman) waitsfor the return of her soldier sweetheart while struggling to survive onher dead father's farm.

And yet, the emotional investment in the characters issomething less than sweeping. The passionless decorum of Ada's first-reelcourtship by the adoring but reticent Inman (Jude Law), the declarationof war which cuts short their time together, and the questionable castingof Kidman -- who at 36 is too old to be credible as a bashful unmarriedbelle in 1864 Dixie -- result in a lack of validity and vitality that isn'tremedied until the invigorating second-act arrival of Renee Zellweger.

Continue reading: Cold Mountain Review

28 Days Later Review


Good

The eerily and utterly empty streets of a looted London in the early scenes of "28 Days Later" are a perfectly chilling primer for the gritty neo-B-movie horror to follow in this incisive, underground-styled revival of the zombie flick genre.

Seen through the eyes of Jim (Cillian Murphy), an injured bicycle messenger who has just awoken from a coma in a deserted hospital, it seems as if he's the last person alive as he stumbles alone down street after echoing street in stolen scrubs and tennis shoes, bellowing "Helllloooo!" and getting no response except from frightened pigeons.

But he's not alone. Oh, boy is he not alone.

Continue reading: 28 Days Later Review

M:i-2 Review


Weak

How did John Woo turn so quickly from the action movie almighty into a self-perpetuating cliché?

Once upon a time, the Hong Kong director of such guns-blazing genre high marks as "Hard Boiled" and "The Killer" (in Hollywood he's made "Broken Arrow" and "Face/Off") went to amazing lengths to create shoot-outs and fight sequences that were as precise, poetic and visually striking as a ballet.

Once upon a time, if John Woo had two enemies race toward each other on motorcycles, then jump off the bikes and collide in mid-air, it would have seemed like the coolest fight scene intro ever.

Continue reading: M:i-2 Review

Gangs Of New York Review


Good

In the opening moments of Martin Scorsese's American history epic "Gangs of New York," a galvanized band of 19th Century Irish immigrants, armed to the teeth with axes and swords, emerges from a catacomb hideout beneath an abandoned brewery and kick open a shabby wooden door to reveal an amazing sight: the vast, almost frontier-like streets of lower Manhattan, circa 1846, brought to life in such exacting detail that you can almost smell the horse plop on the muddy roads.

This single shot does wonders for establishing the heavy, gritty, treacherous atmosphere of the muscle-ruled Five Points area in which the film is set. It's a place where falsely accused people are hung by crooked cops to set examples for petty criminals and where fire brigades duke it out in front of burning buildings to determine who gets to fight the fire.

Leading the pack of Irish bruisers is the stouthearted Priest Vallon (Liam Neeson), who is subsequently killed in the ensuing violent, snow-bloodying street battle by William Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis) -- leader of The Natives, an vicious anti-immigrant gang, who leaves Vallon's young son, Amsterdam, one angry orphan.

Continue reading: Gangs Of New York Review

Troy Review


OK

For moviegoers anxious to see Brat Pitt, Orlando Bloom and Eric Bana oiled up and sweaty in various states of undress, Hollywood's handsome, aggrandized, $200-million-plus swords-and-sandals epic "Troy" has a lot to offer -- a whole lot to offer.

For those seeking a "Gladiator"-style, thinking-person's summer action movie, the film is on shakier ground -- and for folks more interested in watching the Trojan War of Homer's "Iliad" brought to life, brace yourselves for disappointment.

Screenwriter David Benioff ("25th Hour") takes many, many liberties with his source material, some of which are creative and shrewd, like using the mistaken-identity battlefield death of Achilles' look-alike cousin to imply how legends of the warrior's immortality spread in this version of the story which is devoid of gods, demigods and such mythology.

Continue reading: Troy Review

The Village Review


OK

Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan is well aware that many fans now go into his spine-tingling thrillers hoping to out-smart him, dissecting every scene for advance clues to his celebrated plot twists. In "The Village," he plays into this expectation, leaving trace insinuations everywhere, most of which provide the film with curious touches of character while leading viewers with over-active imaginations in completely the wrong direction.

One actor in this latest unnerving endeavor is most blessed by this technique (although not necessarily a source of false leads herself). The delicate, expressively supple Bryce Dallas Howard (the offspring of director Ron Howard) makes a mesmerizing debut as young woman with a secret, supernatural gift for seeing people's auras -- but little else.

She plays freckled, crimson-haired Ivy, the plucky, spirited, near-blind, daughter of the head elder (William Hurt) in a 19th-century community strangely and willfully content in the isolation forced upon its tiny populace by petrifying mythical creatures that haunt the surrounding woods.

Continue reading: The Village Review

Dark Blue Review


Terrible

"Dark Blue" is a movie that asks you to believe that during the worst hours of the riots following the Rodney King beating verdict, the brass of the Los Angeles Police Department -- and a gallery full of reporters -- would have nothing better to do than hold a speech-intensive promotion ceremony for a handful of detectives.

It's a police corruption drama in which high-ranking officers are crooked for crooked's sake and not because they have anything to gain from their vice. Its imagined grittiness is polished to a Hollywood high gloss. Its hard-edged dialogue, intended to be disturbingly frank and nonchalant about corruption and use of excessive police force, has had all its shock value re-written and over-rehearsed right out of it. And its story is stamped from a well-worn template, built around a hard-drinking rogue cop (Kurt Russell) with marital problems, a violent streak and an Academy-fresh partner (Scott Speedman) who has yet to lose his ideals on the harsh streets of South Central.

The film opens with a graphically ruthless convenience store robbery (four people are brutally murdered) that is juxtaposed, for the sake of neon-sign irony, with a police hearing at which Speedman is being let off the hook for a fatal shooting only three weeks after joining the force as Russell's partner. Following a round of drinks and pats on the back with higher-ups that include Speedman's powerful, corrupt uncle (Brendan Gleeson), the jaded veteran and his protege are assigned to investigate the robbery. More specifically they're told to pin it on two black petty criminals, even as they discover, through unlikely clues, that there was more to the crime than meets the eye.

Continue reading: Dark Blue Review

The Tailor Of Panama Review


Good

It's easy to see why Pierce Brosnan took the role of the duplicitous, predatory MI6 agent in "The Tailor of Panama." This guy is the anti-Bond, and infinitely more interesting as a character than the cinema idol version of 007.

Andy Osnard is similarly handsome, worldly, cocky and domineering. But he's also dark and flawed, ruthless, mean and corrupt. He's blackmailer, a cheat, a self-serving rogue and a disgrace as a spy -- which is why he's been drummed out of a prestigious position and dumped into a bottom-rung embassy assignment in Central America.

But Osnard has no intention of taking this lying down. Within 24 hours of his arrival, he's planted the seeds of a fictitious rebel uprising in a complex ruse make himself look like a master espionage agent underestimated by the home office.

Continue reading: The Tailor Of Panama Review

Harrison's Flowers Review


Weak

"Harrison's Flowers" is a terrible title for a war movie, but it is ironically indicative of the kind of clumsy narrative missteps that plague what is otherwise a powerfully realistic depiction of the horrors of war in 1991 Yugoslavia.

Its traumatic, up-close, street-by-street guerilla warfare scenes trump the battle-scarred authenticity of slicker recent combat flicks like "Black Hawk Down" and "We Were Soldiers," in part because you can't help but feel closer to the danger. The film's characters are not soldiers, they're civilians -- Western newspaper photographers risking their lives to find one of their own who may already be dead.

The catalyst for the quest is the unexpected and incredibly ill-advised arrival in Croatia of Sarah (Andie MacDowell), the man's wife, who refuses to believe reports of her husband's demise. "Something would have broken inside me if he were dead," she declares before leaving her kids with their uncle and jumping on a plane.

Continue reading: Harrison's Flowers Review

Brendan Gleeson

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Brendan Gleeson

Date of birth

29th March, 1955

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male

Height

1.88


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Brendan Gleeson Movies

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Hampstead Trailer

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Live By Night Movie Review

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Live By Night Trailer

Live By Night Trailer

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Assassin's Creed Trailer

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Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...

In the Heart of the Sea Movie Review

In the Heart of the Sea Movie Review

With a huge budget and a relatively small story, this is an intriguingly offbeat blockbuster...

In The Heart Of The Sea Trailer

In The Heart Of The Sea Trailer

In The Heart Of The Sea is the true seaman's tale based on the last...

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