'71

2014

Action / Drama / Thriller / War

262
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 97%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 85%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 40873

Synopsis


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March 06, 2015 at 05:26 AM

Director

Cast

Jack O'Connell as Gary Hook
Charlie Murphy as Brigid
Sean Harris as Captain Sandy Browning
Paul Anderson as Sergeant Leslie Lewis
720p 1080p
755.86 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 7 / 67
1.44 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 5 / 30

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Theo Robertson 8 / 10

A Good Thriller But The Convoluted Contrived Plotting Stops It From Being An Instant Classic

New recruit Gary Hook finds his battalion shipped to Northern Ireland in the Autumn of 1971 . Bidding farewell to his brother who is in care Gary promises him he'll stay safe . However on his first call out in Belfast he finds himself trapped in a republican ghetto . As events unfold he comes across an undercover Military Reaction Force ( MRF ) and they decide Gary might have seen too much for him to be allowed to live

Sorry if I've perhaps given away too much in that plot summary but there is something a little bit misleading about the marketing campaign of this movie . Watching the trailer I instantly had this nailed as a reworking of Anabasis by Greek writer Xenophon from a couple of thousand years ago and which Walter Hill made a career out of reworking via films like THE WARRIORS . For a segment there is an aspect of this to '71 but that's not the whole story and is effectively a conspiracy thriller rather than a straightforward one about a man trapped behind enemy lines

This is a pity because the thriller elements work superbly and my fingernails were much shorter after I left the cinema than they were when I went in . There was also a scene that literally caused me to jump out of my seat and you'll know the scene I'm talking about when you see this movie . You can see why critics and many of the comments on this page are raving about this movie . It's a low budget thriller made by a first time director Yann Demange and yet has great commercial appeal and to coin cinematic cliché had this audience member held in a vice like grip

Where the film doesn't work so well is the conspiracy line in " conspiracy thriller " . Gary you see might have seen something so the MRF unit led by Captain Browning have to get rid of him . Browning it seems has his fingers in every paramilitary pie in Belfast and uses his connections in the republican heartland to find and eliminate Gary . This is the film's major failing - we just have to accept Browning's collusion with all sides and yet there's no logic and motivation for having him to do this . Some people might say it's not beyond the realms of impossibility for military intelligence to have done this in real life but the problem with documenting the Troubles is that rumour , hearsay and myth quickly becomes if not accepted fact then a repeated meme that will never go away . There's also another fault to the plotting where Gary escapes the nationalist Falls Road , finds himself in the loyalist Shankill and because of a plot twist finds himself back in the Falls Road again . In reality there's only a distance of half a mile between the two locations but it's highly unlikely in the era it's set Gary wouldn't have bumped in to an Army or RUC patrol . The implausibility is compounded that the film draws attention to the fact that entrances to these tribal enclaves are guarded by paramilitaries

This is a pity because everything else about the film works brilliantly . It has a great sense of time and place and it's only going on to Wikipedia that I found out the notorious Divis flats area no longer exists . I was willing to bet my life that the pivotal heart stopping scene towards the end was shot there on location . The cast are uniformly superb especially the prolific and constantly overlooked Sean Harris as Browning . It also makes a point now long forgotten that the Official and Provisional wings of the IRA were far from allies . That said bare in mind this is still a fictional work and not a documentary

In summary this might well be the very best film to feature The Troubles , a subject that has never lent itself to satisfying cinema . It's underlying problem is that it tries to be a little bit too complex and bring in a major subplot about the murky world of army spooks when in fact the story might have actually worked better by keeping faith in the premise of a British soldier lost in West Belfast in 1971 and it's this that stops the film becoming something of an instant classic it's being heralded as from some quarters . Nevertheless I give it 8/10

Reviewed by Alex Heaton (azanti0029) 9 / 10

A superb debut from this team - Brilliant piece of film making

Set against the complex backdrop of the beginnings of Northern Ireland in 71 but before Bloody Sunday really turned the tide in the favour of the IRA in 72 this is an extremely well made taught piece of drama. With an assured performance by rising star Jack O'Connell in the lead, he plays a young soldier Gary Hook recently deployed to Northern Ireland who finds himself out of his dept when going on his first patrol thanks to the incompetence of his CO (Sam Reid) - Separated from his unit and lost in a city he doesn't know he's forced in a fight for survival as its hard to tell who is friend and who is foe in this extremely well written piece of drama. The writer here has taken care not to paint one side entirely good or bad and that is how it was. Wounded and armed with nothing but a knife Hook has enemies closing in from all sides as the film draws to a bloody climax.

I don't want to be accused of gushing praise, but there is much to compliment the whole team involved here, from the tones of the production design, beautifully capturing the mood feel and look of the 1970's in drab pastels and the grey of urban decay. The editing, directing, lighting is all bang on the money but greatest of all is the casting, for it is not only O'Connell who shines here, but the younger members of the cast almost upstage him with their brilliant performances. Two stand outs of the younger cast were Corey McKinley (Listed rather almost like an extra on here as 'Loyalist Child which seems a little unfair) and Barry Keoghan - The former is clearly a star in the making with his ballsy performance while Keoghan with almost no lines makes an amazing impact with simple looks conveying the struggles of emotion he feels inside when it comes to committing to a path of violence. Veterans Sean Harris brings his creepy presence to the duplicitous under cover unit commander but it is an energetic performance by O'Connell that brings it all together. Let us hope we do not loose him to Hollywood entirely. The film also takes time to give Hooks character some context, so we have some idea of his own life and attachments back home. A man almost without a family but not without people who are depending on him, this is a true depicting for many whom join the army, an alternative to spending life on the dole.

This film is living proof that we can make thrilling and exciting cinema in the UK but still leave some room for Social Commentary within the context of a great story - an excellent thriller which hints at the dark path that was to follow in Northern Ireland for many years. Strongly recommended.

Reviewed by toberwino 6 / 10

The curate's egg

I felt this was a film about N Ireland made for audiences outside N Ireland. As with many films portraying my home country, most of the accents made me cringe. Also, the effect of a burning car or bus at the end of ever street was overdone. As for the pints of Guinness served like pints of bitter ..... Life was bad during the troubles, but not that bad. The film didn't gloss over the life of a squaddie, being required to do things and be places they probably had no understanding of. The quote about army life, which seems to be used in most media discussions, "the rich telling the stupid to shoot the poor" sums it up well. The portrayal of the role of special ops and their relationship with all sides in the conflict would probably be educational for those with a limited knowledge of N Ireland's history over the past 40 years. I'm glad I saw this movie but I have little inclination to watch it again.

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