The Informant (1997) Poster


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The best of its kind, so far
gottfrid19 August 2003
This is arguably the best film there is about the troubles in Northern Ireland. Unlike films like Michael Collins, or In The Name of The Father, in this movie the IRA members are not shown as the romantic quasi-heroes they are thought to have been ages ago, they are shown as what they really are now: terrorists, capable of destroying the lives of not only their enemies, but also of many irish families who try to follow the normal course of their lives. The informant of the title is an ex-IRA assassin who makes a deal with the police, and gives the name of his employers. He and his family are then considered traitors of the "irish" cause, even though his wife, being more influenced by anti-brit propaganda, was against the so-called betrayal from the start. But she fails to escape the turmoil that follows: the poor girl is even raped by an IRA ganglord, as some kind of punishment for their betrayal, in a scene that certainly does away with the romanticism that can be expected from such a theme. This is certainly a view of the subject never shown in recent films about the Northern Ireland troubles. At the end of the day, unlike other similar films, there is no "moderate" faction of the IRA to solve things up, no Daniel Day-Lewis type guy to save the day, but only the feeling that things go on unsolved...
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Taut and effective look at people trapped in their history
Craig Anthony11 May 2001
I stumbled onto this on Showtime on a rainy night and expected little of it. To my surprise I was drawn into the plight of those trapped in the vicious stand-off of "The Troubles".

The movie conveys powerfully the oppressiveness of the weight of history that sustains the hatreds and the impossible dilemmas faced by people trying to navigate between the opposing forces.

The acting is generally excellent, particularly Maria Lennon as the wife torn between her husband and her loyalties. Anthony Brophy is superb as the trapped husband. The only weak link is Timothy Dalton who chews a bit too much of the scenery as the detective reeling in the unwilling informant.

The lengthy nude scene of Simone Bendix as Cary Elwes' lover is not "essential to the plot" but Simone is so stunning it would be churlish to complain.

Taut and effective. Give it a look.
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Stereotypes, but well played ones
longshot_dk23 August 2003
Well I am in the middle of doing my thesis for my masters degree in history and my subject is the IRA. Now, this film, although it is quite good, beats around the stereotype picture I sometimes read about the English government would like to project as part of the criminalisation of the IRA. Hereby not defending any of the involved parts, I just find it sad to see, how narrowminded the irish basically are portrayed while the archtype of chivalry is of course english (and notice the stupid scotsman in the end of the movie). This could be something out of an english propaganda film!

If you look away from this, the movie is wellwritten and well played. there is a lot of human expressions of love and hate, and it all fits nicely together. I enjoyed the film, but thought that it just as well could have been a mobster movie...there were so many things that were wrong but still, it was nice... 5/10
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is informing the right thing to do?
Micky B6 June 2005
This movie is by far the best of its kind. It is the most accurate description of the troubles in Northern Ireland i have seen. Unlike "Michael Collins" and other such movie's, The Informant did not idolise the I.R.A yet showed them for their true selves. Criminals, terrorists... But the movie didn't only focus on violence. It focus'd on a family, trying to get away from it all, trying to turn over a new leaf and start over. but to do so, the man of the family must "Inform" the R.U.C of names of the I.R.A members. In doing so he brings trouble on his family. Shame to his name, being a former I.R.A member, the lead of this movie really played his character to full potential.

I would have to rate this movie 9 out of 10.
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Good Film, Shame About the........
fab-2813 April 2005
This film depicts the work of the IRA with no sentimentality or romanticism and for that I commend it.

The storyline is convincingly written. The acting is very good all round but I would give an outstanding mention to Maria Lennon whose work I had never seen before and Timothy Dalton from who this is just one more excellent performance. The one downside were a couple of the accents, including (and maybe most noticeably) Dalton's. Accents have never been his strong point! That said, he lends the role the same toughness yet humanity that he has to several other characters in his career, Bond included - all-round believability.

There is a twist that I found disappointing but I won't spoil it for those who have not seen it and may be thinking of doing so.
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Unsettling film
mar924 June 2001
The makers of this film threw plenty into the mix of a deceptively simple story of a reluctant IRA man (Anthony Brophy) forced to turn supergrass when caught redhanded carrying out a rocket attack on a judge. There are enough bits and pieces thrown in here about the 800-year history of the troubles to give a decent idea of the big picture, even to those like myself who aren't all that familiar with Irish history. We see a bit of the historical background, the current English, Loyalist and IRA positions, how hatred is perpetuated through the next generation, how the innocent as always are victimised the most. It's a heady mix in a gritty and disturbing film, and to their credit, the film makers quite rightly decided not to resolve their story, just like the Troubles themselves. One quibble. Despite good performances, it's a bit hard to accept the central characters being as old as they're supposed to be. Ginger (have I spelt that right?) is meant to have have spent a total of 10 years in prison and we assume his wife has spent an equal time doing it tough raising the kids. It's a bit to believe this when they are played by young spunks Brophy and Maria Lennon.
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Highly recommended!!!!
DOstr124 June 2001
Engrossing, suspenseful, honest drama: the best film on "the troubles" ever made.

Put this up against the other IRA movies of recent years, and they pale by comparison.

A visceral experience of the tortured Irish landscape; characters of great depth and complexity.

An even-handed look at both sides of the coin, Protestant and Catholic. What goes on there is, after all, a tragedy for everyone.

This is a movie all should see.
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Don't Get Fooled
andy00724 October 1998
Don't get fooled by the seemingly interesting plot, the movie lacks any action whatsoever. The plot also turns out to lack any depth. In addition, the movie is very inconclusive. The only highlight of the movie was Timothy Dalton's Inspector Rennie. My vote: 1
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absolute crap
a-lawson-118 February 2006
pretty rubbish. Timothy Dalton's Irish accent is laughable. The portrayal of the English soldier as some sort of hero is utter crap and after reading other peoples comments on this film its pretty clear that they are motivated by their political beliefs rather than how bad the quality of acting really is. In terms of the conflict in n.i, no one has their hands clean. By portraying the I.R.A as thugs and then the British soldiers and R.U.C special branch as the good guys takes away any impartiality and leaves you with the same unionist crap about how the British were impartial upholders of the law in Ireland and the nationalists were all terrorists.
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clefstick-115 May 2005
Unusually accurate telling of the novel with completely rational deletions. Superb acting and screenplay from a terrific novel. I love The Pogues but their music here is topically relevant but distracting and out of tone with the rest of the least to non-Irish fans of The Pogues music who may not share associations with this music. It's one of those cases where everything is terrific and one element, wonderful on its own, pulls down the rest by its presence. I recommend for students of screen writing contrasting the script with the novel. Nicholas Meyer is a keen master of screen writing and his other adaptations and films he has directed are a textbook study.
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A familiar plot
pbalos8 August 2000
we've seen this story before in different variations, however overall this isn't bad. Some good acting especially (and as usual ) by Dalton.One is able to identify easily with this version because it's the most recent, but still nothing can quite surpass the excellent 1935 film.All'n all, it's worth seeing.
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this isn't a great movie
pulp1506 March 2001
Predictable story. Acting isn't very good but I've seen worse.

Timothy Dalton has done better. The fade-ins and -outs were really annoying. I regret buying the DVD.
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A harsh look at Northern Ireland in the early 80's
junglegeorge4531 May 2006
A compelling plot line and good acting from Timothy Dalton, somewhat hampered by his on-again-off-again Irish accent, with superb efforts from Carey Elwes, Maria Lennon and Anthony Brophy, make this film a must see for anyone with an interest in "The Troubles".

Although the plot tends to be somewhat heavy handed in its depiction of the English being the good guys, the storyline does a great job leading us through the torment of one man's decision to tout and the ripple effect this causes on everyone he's known. Maria Lennon plays the tortured wife exceptionally well and allows us to imagine the how painful living in Northern Ireland in the early 1980s must have been.

Were it not for the bias of the plot line being so one-sided I would have given this film a 9 out of 10.
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Fairly accurate portrayal of life in 1990's Belfast
dredd19812 January 2005
This film is something of a mixed bag! As a fan of Timothys work I was eager to watch this film just to see Tim Dalton,and not so much for the "Troubles" storyline which,and lets face it,Hollywood has done an abysmal job of bringing to the big screen. Dodgy accents aside,this is a fairly accurate film which shows the IRA as the thugs they are,murdering police officers and shooting children. I thought Timothys performance was pretty good,although the accent needed a bit of work. Cary Elwes was thoroughly annoying as the army lt trying to befriend "gingy", who was equally irritating because he constantly had that "i picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue" look on his face. If you want to see a fairly accurate portrayal of the terrorism that existed in Northern Ireland in the 1990's warts and all,watch this movie! If you want to cling to the belief that the IRA are heroes fighting for truth,justice and a pint of Guinness instead of being the murderers and drug dealers they really are, then my advice is to get real!
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