Five Minutes of Heaven


Action / Drama / Thriller


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November 21, 2014 at 01:50 AM


Liam Neeson as Alistair Little: 2008
James Nesbitt as Joe Griffin: 2008
Anamaria Marinca as Vika: 2008
Richard Dormer as Michael: 2008
700.24 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 29 min
P/S 8 / 22

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Spikeopath 8 / 10

My five minutes of heaven, how can that not be good for me?

An estimated 3720 people were killed as a result of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

This film is a fiction inspired by two men who bear the legacy of one of those killings.......

That is the opening salvo from the makers of Five Minutes of Heaven, I would personally like to add, since no other reviewer here has said it thus far, that the two protagonists never met in real life.

Five Minutes of Heaven was first screened at the Sundance festival in 2009 and won awards for Directing {Oliver Hirschbiegel} and for screen writing {Guy Hibbert}. It stars Liam Neeson as Alistair Little and James Nesbitt as Joe Griffen. The story is about how a young wannabe hero of the Ulster Volunteer Force {Little} gunned down the brother of Joe Griffen {Nesbitt}, purely because he was of Catholic religion, all witnessed by young soccer ball kicking Joe out on the pavement in front of the Griffen house. After the build up and execution of the crime, we forward to the future after Little has served 12 years prison for the murder, and here we now have a television company led meeting between the two after the Good Friday Peace Agreement.

It's only now that the film really kicks in as a powerful piece that has something to say. Too many third rate productions caricature their characters in films involving the British/Irish troubles, but the makers here are keen to avoid that-hence the appearance of Neeson, who wouldn't have come cheap one feels. Both Nesbitt {ranking along side George Best as most talented thing to come out of Northern Ireland} and Neeson then shift gears to ram home the point of the story. This is about forgiveness, pertinent questions about if that is possible under the most trying of circumstances. Would you be able to move on? And at what cost? Both sides of the coin are deftly rubbed by Hirschbiegel and his terrific cast.

It would be stupid of me to not say the piece has problems since it clearly isn't perfect. Both sides of the families involved are not formed at all, and that is without a doubt a very big misstep. Probably a victim of course of the TV movie production value and the sadly inept running time afforded it. But that annoyance aside, and in the context of the final product.....well it works out rather well I feel. There's some smart points of reference in there, note the young Little handling his gun amongst a sea of childhood toys, while there's a dolly out shot involving a church that nails that particular scene with maximum poignancy. But really, as is normally the way in this type of production, it lives or dies by its ending, and the question is answered as to if the actors involved have involved us enough to actually carry it off?

We are OK here, because we got Nesbitt and Neeson, point made, acted accordingly, yep, see this if you can. 8/10

Reviewed by UncleTantra 10 / 10

The film that could help to end terrorism

Tonight I saw one of the best films I've seen in years. You might have to search for this one to find it, because it's probably not going to show up in your local multiplex, but if you can find it, you're in for a moving experience.

"Five Minutes Of Heaven" won the Directing award for Oliver Hirschbiegel and the World Cinema Screen writing Award for Guy Hibbert at the most recent Sundance Film Festival, and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. That, and the fact that Liam Neeson is in it, were the reasons I decided to watch it. I didn't even know what it was about.

It's about violence, and how violence shatters lives, and about how the shattering does not stop when the violence stops. Set in Northern Ireland, it is nothing more, nor less, than the meeting, 25 years later, between the man (Neeson) who in his youth murdered a Catholic for nothing more than being Catholic, and the murdered man's brother (portrayed so powerfully as to bring the audience I saw it with to tears more than once by James Nesbitt). As a child, he watched his brother murdered, and then was blamed by his own mother for killing him because he did nothing to stop it. He was nine.

Both men are shattered, 25 years later. One is seeking redemption and resolution by meeting the brother of the man he killed, and the other is seeking only revenge. I cannot spoil the film for anyone by saying more. All I can say is that this film would bring the Dalai Lama to tears, or Yasser Arafat. It's that powerful, and that well done.

This is the film that young people whose culture is pushing them into terrorism should be shown, before it's too late for them. And this is the film that those who feel no compassion for the terrorists should be shown, before it's too late for them, too.

Reviewed by Fergal O'Shea 7 / 10

A very good film, I enjoyed it and it tells a story that needs to be told

Its probably pertinent I mention that I'd watch Liam Neeson reading the phone book - and walk away content. Having said that this is a story that needs to be told. People delude themselves if they think the formal end of a conflict ends the collateral damage thats a product of conflict.

The two primary characters are very engaging; The emotion expressed and the reasons for it are carefully and sympathetically explained. There is a gentleness to the story amid the unforgiving violence. In no other historical or fictional portrayal have I heard so simply but properly explained why people got involved in violence in the six counties of Ireland.

I found it "cute" to hear Neeson speaking in his own accent for once.

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