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Based on 15 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 3 )
  • 75
    San Francisco Chronicle

    An imperfect but intensely human movie that ponders the aftershock of violence, could have been an exercise in overacted sappiness. Instead, it's as hard and uncompromising as remorse. show more

  • 20
    Joe Neumaier New York Daily News

    Early scenes set up the tragedy, but the majority of Oliver Hirschbiegel's movie is set in a TV studio where the two eventually face each other, and the tension, unfortunately, quickly becomes stagey. show more

  • 50
    Kirk Honeycutt The Hollywood Reporter

    Based on a true story -- that never happened. That might explain why the film circles and circles its subject but never strikes dramatic pay dirt. show more

  • 75
    Lou Lumenick New York Post

    The title of the overlong Fifty Dead Men Walking refers to lives saved by Sturgess' character, who is still in hiding years later. show more

  • 75
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    On balance, it's a good movie but not a great one. Probably the only reason it's getting North American distribution is because of the involvement of Liam Neeson. show more

  • 75
    Joe Williams St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    A director whose breakthrough was the story of a madman's last stand has exceeded that feat with the story of an angry man's next step. show more

  • 63
    Ty Burr Boston Globe

    Five Minutes of Heaven’reduces Northern Ireland’s troubles to a gimmick, but it’s an interesting gimmick, and the two men hoisted on its petard work at vivid cross-purposes. If nothing else, the film’s worth seeing as a demonstration of opposing acting techniques. show more

  • 80
    David Fear Time Out New York

    When violence eventually rears its ugly head again, the effect is as anticlimactic as the movie’s title is misleading. Brief bliss is a red herring; there’s only a lifetime of pain left in such acts’ wakes. show more

  • 67
    Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly

    A forceful Neeson and an even more intense Nesbitt (Bloody Sunday) both show their stuff and obscure the unrelieved pain endured by the men they portray. show more

  • 80
    Dennis Harvey Variety

    Powerhouse performances by Liam Neeson and James Nesbit make this an intense, ultimately moving tale. show more

  • July 31, 2010 punkzapperstar
    Report This User

    This movie uniquely captured the simplistic, yet tragic, familiarities of gang violence not only in Northern Ireland, but how humans all over the world are simply stupid animals, and that we harbour hatred - hatred that is perpetuated by daily practices and manifested deeper and deeper over time. In this movie, the hatred is perpetuated by the mother instilling the persistant question of "why" didn't the child who witnessed the murder of his brother, why didn't he do anything? This bothered him throughout life, enough to get his "five minuted of heaven" live on air, in a televised broadcast for all eyes to see the perpetual violence that continues to plague humans everywhere in similar ethnic and religious situations all over the planet. Humans are essentially stupid animals, and there are no prospects for hope within our species. Warfare and fear will always reign.

  • October 08, 2009 Margaret Opine
    Report This User

    4*..."5MINUTES" had potential but just a few lines in the script could have made it great but instead the script ends up with a script that made it a B movie for sappy and cliche reasons. The writer's manual says watch those cliches closer than verb conjugations. Characters can speak "bad English' but for godsake don't have the characters going sappy in a movie that cost nearly $40 on a date. Hypothetical, not a spoiler: It' s like a father refusing to pull the trigger on a home invader because he doesn't want to kill someone in front of his kids ...who, by the way, is about to kill his kids. It's like one of those decisio-making kind of things life! And, I tell was a great decision to make in the movie. I don't like the context on how that decision was presented. It was way HBO Lifetime style. LIAM never disappoint, not really. He can just walk down the street with those long legs and the audience will pay attention. We did think we were in Bellfast, Ireland. That part was real enough. But there was something vital missing in the script and so it gets one mark down. --Margaret Opine

  • August 22, 2009 AB VEN
    Report This User

    A highly intelligent - superbly acted - and beautifully crafted dialog addressing the psychological burdens of guilt; whether active or passive. This is a truly profound film, much in the tradition of Grand Illusion.

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