Fifty Dead Men Walking (15)

Film

Thrillers

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Apr 7 2009

Kari Skogland’s conventional action-thriller of the life of late-’80s Belfast IRA volunteer and Special Branch informer (‘tout’) Martin McGartland would make for superior TV viewing. But its lack of political nous and cinematic ambition makes it seem small on the big screen.

Viewing events in flashback from an assassination attempt on an on-the-run McGartland in 1999, Skogland races around the streets of Catholic West Belfast tracing the induction and corruption of the cocky young fence and petty criminal (an impressive Jim Sturgess) as he’s nurtured by ageing, lonely Special Branch runner Fergus (an inappropriately effete Ben Kingsley), recruited by IRA squad leader Mikey (a fearsome Tom Collins) and wooed by local sweetheart Lara (Natalie Press in starry-eyed Sissy Spacek mode).

The title comes from a line in McGartland’s autobiography about the number of innocent lives from all sides of the divide his duplicity may have saved. It’s an isolating, crushing irony that Skogland’s movie seeks to exploit as an avenue of impartiality that in the event seems trivial or sophist. She does engineer an atmosphere of verismo – the locations, cultural accoutrements and accents seem accurate enough – but their credibility is undermined by the historical conflations and a seduction by the spectacle of violence. On the plus side is Sturgess’s sympathetic playing, a number of persuasive cameos and some well-mounted, tense widescreen action sequences.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Apr 10, 2009

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
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Christina

My fiance and I rented this film a few days ago and we're both glad we did. I normally confer with TONY about any film I see but didn't this time. David, were you so put off by the music that you actually rated this film equally with the colossal waste of time that was the "The Blind Side"? Really? I will make sure to second guess your reviews in the future.

Dwane Pipe

while i was giving my husban a good thumping we was so exited aout the film, i was left scared about the poor littlw girl luck my hsband has premature ejaculation

Dwane Pipe

while i was giving my husban a good thumping we was so exited aout the film, i was left scared about the poor littlw girl luck my hsband has premature ejaculation

adam

The film was very well made and I thought that the portrayal of each side was very fair. As for the cast, very well thought through, although Rose McGowen's accent needed a little more work. Previous comments saying that there was no need for the film to be made in my opinion are bull for lack of a better word, this film is just as important as anything else that happened. It may not be completely accurate but it is close enough to the truth that it lets you see the BIG change that has taken place in N,Ireland. yes there may still be paramilitries in force but is it as bad as it used to be? sorry for my rant but I thought the film was well made, was well worth making and was as close to the truth than most of us will ever know.

adam

The film was very well made and I thought that the portrayal of each side was very fair. As for the cast, very well thought through, although Rose McGowen's accent needed a little more work. Previous comments saying that there was no need for the film to be made in my opinion are bull for lack of a better word, this film is just as important as anything else that happened. It may not be completely accurate but it is close enough to the truth that it lets you see the BIG change that has taken place in N,Ireland. yes there may still be paramilitries in force but is it as bad as it used to be? sorry for my rant but I thought the film was well made, was well worth making and was as close to the truth than most of us will ever know.