The Nephew (1998) Poster


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Neat story and script
bren-85 May 2003
This is a neat little story that gives a new twist to the returning Irish diaspora. Although it an entertaining and somewhat lightweight yarn, it does ask a few questions of the main characters and their attitudes to love and hate. A fine performance from Donal McCann as you would expect. And Pierce Brosnan is good not only as the protective father nursing his inner pain but also as the producer of the film. He could easily rest on his 007 laurels but instead he likes to use his box-office clout to help make movies that might not otherwise be made. Yes, the film is easy to watch but no less deserving because of it.
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Unexpectedly genuine
lizlucas11 December 2002
It is a touching movie about characters with cultural differences which are instrumental in the resolution of unspoken injustices. The scenery of Ireland is breathtaking and the pace of the film is soothing. Pierce Brosnan is to be commended for bringing out the nature of his people and how their sentiments merge with the beauty of his native land.
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A Film To Fall In Love With
desertsunflower9914 April 2006
A spirited young man from New York, Chad (played by Hill Harper, very worth your notice), takes a trip to an island off the coast of Ireland. This after the death of his only remaining parent, to fulfill a promise to meet his estranged uncle: he is a local man full of his own ideas about how life should be lived, for himself as well as others.

They embark on a personal journey full of challenges, surprises, family secrets and an uncertainty as to whether or not they will ever find common ground.

All of the main characters have been convincingly developed and they each have something conceivable and worthy to offer. This may not have been a super-high budget film but the acting is superb. Pierce Brosnan (one of the producers) gives a generous and compelling performance as the conflicted, village bar owner trying to balance parenthood and an amended life from behind the stone wall of a guarded heart. Veteran actor, Donal McCann, in one of his final performances, adds an authentic and credible edge as our protagonist's uncle. Sinead Cusak, Phelim Drew, Niall Tobin, Lorraine Pilkington and Aislin McGuckin also deliver command performances as the villagers that are comprised of both the kindred and not-so-kindred spirits in Chad's new world.

The soundtrack is a compilation of beautiful Irish ballads, old soul and rock as well as various and sundry other scores that lend a tight musical canvas against which this story is painted. It was disappointing to learn that there are no plans to make this soundtrack into an album that could be purchased.

What keeps me coming back to this sweet and gallant movie is its soulfulness and honesty. The map of the human heart is ultimately universal and the characters in this story endeavor to draw their own lines to determine what defines friendship, family and honor.

This is a wonderful, interesting and thoughtfully structured comfort film. It begs to be watched from your favorite easy chair on a cozy day - with feet up, your favorite afghan and a warm cup of tea and favorite cookies nearby.
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A wonderfully touching little "sleeper"
George Parker18 March 2001
"The Nephew" is about a young American man who, following the death of his mother, returns to her homeland, Ireland, to meet his kindred and instead opens a closet full of skeletons. A wonderful mix of humor, romance, drama, music, and scenic beauty, layered over a compelling story of family issues which need to be laid to rest. Those who give this little "sleeper" a chance are not likely to be disappointed.
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Great Movie!
Sissel15 September 1998
This movie is just excellent. The best drama movie I've ever seen. It is full of emotions, and this movie is not a typically Hollywood movie!! It has great actors, such as my favorite Pierce Brosnan and Hill Harper. I loved the movie, one of the best with Brosnan. Looking forward to Grey Owl...
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A pretty good movie
Neek-Neek19 August 2001
Warning: Spoilers
I first saw this film on Showtime and I thought it was interesting enough. The story about a grouchy Irishman Tony Eagan(Donal McCann)who learns his sister Karen who had left Ireland for the America after a falling out with him died leaving behind a son who comes to Ireland with her ashes to honor her last request. He soon learns to his surprise that her son Chad Washington(Hill Harper) is a black man. His presence ends up bringing back old rivaly and revealing some family secrets. I really liked the interaction Chad had with most of the Irish folks especially his Uncle. Despite being different he really fit in quite well in the community. And I really loved his blossoming romance Aislin(Aislin Mcguckin)the beautiful daughter of Joe Brady(Piece Brosnan)an old flame of Chad's mother and rival of his uncle. They had great chemistry. The only flaw I found with the movie was that it didn't deal with the racial isssues enough. Chad being the only black person on that entire Irish Island there could dealt with some racial issues for instance possibly have his uncle turn out to be a bigot who as to find a way of dealing with his racist attitudes or dealing with racism from some if the Irish folks just for more dramatization. They could also had Chad feel a little more awkward and out of place in Ireland being black and from New York instead of having him quickly fit in quite well. Thats my only complaint. SPOILER

But I did like his interaction with that guy Sean(I think) about rap music and thought it was hilarious when they where driving and the guy started rapping to him.

Anyway, this was a good interesting movie and Hill Harper is a great and goodlooking promising actor and I look forward to seeing him in other films. The actors were good too, paritcularly Pierce Brosnan and Donal McCann who were good as enemies. I really enjoyed it.
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I got my own copy of the movie
nitrones28 June 2002
Now I have the DVD, I can see the movie to its full force.. it is a must see one.. Irish landscapes, the score.. Each character gives a clear idea of life in Ireland.. escpecially the two nice kids and the two cronies in the bar of Brady
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No special effects, just a really nice, interesting Irish movie.
TxMike29 June 2000
I only viewed this movie because it was a previously-viewed video on sale for $3 at Blockbuster. I didn't expect too much but was very pleasantly surprised how good it was. I almost rated it 8, but settled on 7, mainly because the ending was a bit too "neat", and because some of the dialog was very difficult to understand.

Chad is the 19-yr-old son of an Irish woman who had been "exiled" to America 20 years earlier by her guardian, her older brother. He traveled to visit his uncle Tony upon the death of his mother. Once there, he finds a lot of secrecy and unhappiness, and the rest of the movie is about his attempts to get everything, especially about his mother, out in the open. Along the way he, of course, finds love. Very well cast and acted, this is definitely worth the almost two hours to see.

The pace and method of unfolding the story reminded me of Lone Star, but Lone Star is a significantly better movie overall.
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Worth a look
mgchainsaw17 December 2001
OK, I enjoyed the movie. A good part of what I liked about the movie was simply learning a little about the daily life of people in Ireland. Take that away, and I'm not sure that the somewhat flawed script and story would hold up. The story holds your attention in that you get to know the characters and you want to know what happened 20 years ago. The revelation is fairly predictable, and not overly satisfying.

I give it a 7, and that's probably a little generous...
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A "Little" Film with Solid acting.
MRavenwood7 July 2006
This story begins in the middle, as it does for the main character, Chad. Gaps in the story fill in as you go and the film is deliberately vague as to how the characters relate to one another at first, so paying attention is required if you plan on "getting" the whole thing.

The performances are strong and the story is easy enough to follow with the added challenge of figuring out why the various characters are so irritated. Chad grows to understand how his mother is really the source of much of the drama.

Certain plot points are very convenient, but well played by the actors to make them believable. At one point Chad accidentally uncovers a big "piece in the puzzle". But Hill Harper plays it very naturally and blends it right into the script before you notice its unlikeliness.

The film moves at a respectable pace that still lends itself to the sleepy, nothing-to-do small-town atmosphere that is required to convey the characters' attitudes realistically.

An easy film to watch for adults, definitely boring and inappropriate for the under-sixteen crowd. Good-natured comic relief is in abundance. Even so, it is a bit sentimental and therefore might be cast off as a "chick movie" by younger boys/men.
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This movie is a Fairy Tale. That's why I love it.
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is one of those feel good movies. It's not realistic, but I don't find that noticeable while I'm watching the film, because it's such a pleasure to watch. The characters are convincing, and very colorful, and I find myself invited to this much simpler world as eager to explore it as the main character, Chad.

While he takes you on a journey of discovering this town, it's people and his family history, it's hard to notice how unrealistically well the townsfolk accept him (the first person of color they've probably ever seen up close); or the nonexistence of a language barrier between Chad and the townsfolk. The storyline is too interesting for this kind of nitpicking.

Under the masquerade of family history there are several love stories. This movie relies heavily on a hopelessly romantic audience. Anyone not wooed by the romantic backbone of the story will probably consider this movie to be only mediocre, for they will focus on the large gap between The Nephew and the real world. But for people who love happy endings and watch movies hoping to see something lighter than real life, this movie is simply a delight.

Since I am one of those people, in my opinion this movie is wonderful.
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drjoe-219 January 2006
I thought this movie was a nice surprise. I stumbled across it quite by accident while channel surfing on day. It deals with a wide range of human issues (love, cultural taboos, race, generation gap) in a very matter of fact fashion and worked toward resolution of the primary conflicts in believable strides. I feel it reflects well upon the Irish culture and the performers taking part. I enjoyed it well enough to desire to add it to my collection of DVD's. I would put it on a par with The Van, An Everlasting Piece, Rat, and The Snapper (to name a few). It isn't deserving of academy award consideration but certainly worth the time to view it.
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A Good Little Relationship-Oriented Film
features125 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This film is a great telling of a love story without one of the parties present. Instead, the person is represented by her Black son who travels to Ireland to meet his mother's side of the family. Although race is an obvious factor in the story, it is not dwelled upon. Instead, the young man's relationship to his newly found relatives and the secrets they are concealing make for an engrossing study of lost loves and regrets. "The Nephew's" appearance is the catalyst for bringing all of these buried hurts to the surface. A real, human, emotional journey handled with superb sensitivity. Well worth seeing in any language!
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I was so impressed with the cast I was prepared to love this.....
But alas and alack, it was not to be. I sorta liked it but it did not engage me as a film ought to. I loved the scenery, music and the cinematography but the script, that was another story. And the cliches were so abundant they just about took over the movie. This is an Ireland dumbed down for the foreign revenue no doubt. There is no other way of explaining it. A black kid arrives on a remote island off the coast and is soon assimilated into the locale and treated as one of the islanders. Not in the Ireland I know where they are still trying to deal with the prejudice around foreign adoptions. Non-white kids in Ireland are ignored on the whole or talked about and around as if they are invisible - a problem that should go away. Nuns in wimples disappeared in the seventies and if a few lingered on they were on the heads of some ancients, not on the young nuns portrayed here. And there was a huge plot hole in the fact that the postman, known and loved by all would not deliver key mail to a major player or at the very least show curiosity about important mail from a banished lover to a pub owner. And the mawky and sentimental resolution at the end,oh dear, I have seen better Ballykissangel episodes. Sigh. This is an Ireland of leprachauns and wishful thinking. 6 out of 10 for the great cast who tried to rise above the abysmal material they were dealt and dig for some meaning in their characters. The late great Donal McCann was a knockout as was Sinead Cusack.
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Can join my family anytime...
Fozzie-57 October 1999
Initially this film was advertised as being like Waking Ned evine,( another great Irish film )but it is nothing like it. Instead, it was comical in parts, but more dramatic in character development, and really made you feel for the characters. The lead actors were all strong, the visuals were very striking, and the music especially memorable ( I have not been able to find the soundtrack) I loved this film, and to have two boys aged 14 and 16 sit through it and appreciate it, says alot. 10 out of 10.
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A Great movie a must see
nitrones19 February 2002
I accidentally saw this movie while I scanning thro different channels in TV. The time I stopped with this movie, I never took my eye out out of it.. exceptional background music.. Actually I saw in german which I do not understand but even then I loved it watching.. I look for the english version.. It is perhaps one of the best movies of Bronson..
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A love story well worth watching.
dogspit12 December 2001
Forget the black kid meets white relatives story, this film is a great love story. The chemistry is undeniable against a backdrop as beautiful as it gets. The soundtrack is good with the "The Voice" by Einear Quinn as the centerpiece. A great couples film, watch it.
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an un-billed actor
stlouisnick15 January 2007
I have long wondered if there is any connection between American actor John Cusack and what seems like a host of British/Irish actors with that surname... Cyril being at least one of them. This somewhat overlooked gem of a movie has one Cusack in it, Sinead Cusack. There is an un-billed actor who disembarks from a boat while "The Nephew" is expected. He makes some angry remarks in an Irish accent and walks away. At first I thought it was John Cusack but on review I would say he did bear a family resemblance at least. Does anyone know if John is related to any of the British actors with that surname? By the way, those who haven't seen this movie are really missing out.
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Nice little movie
rickd2428 July 2000
Nice little movie that takes place in a small Irish town.

Others have given the plot summary, so I'll just make a couple of comments. First, I thought the ending seemed pretty forced, and not in keeping with the spirit of the rest of the movie. It could have been worse, but it could have been better too.

Second, although Pierce Brosnan didn't do a bad job in his role, I just didn't find him believable. Part of the reason was that he's 10 years younger than Tony, even though they were supposed to be contemporaries (at least, that's the impression I got) in the movie. He just seemed too young for the part.

He also just looked out of place. All the rest of the actors looked like they really belonged in this small town, while Brosnan looks like a Hollywood star. These aren't things that he can do anything about, but the casting director should have taken it into consideration when casting the part.

Overall, I would say that it's a movie worth watching, both for the love story between Chad and Aislin, and for the family histories and intrigue in the past that can't be forgotten. A flawed movie, but still worth seeing. 7 stars.
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A universal story about "real" people and a great movie.
Mad Professor16 July 2000
This is a great movie. It has drama and tension without being extreme or dependent on it. It has the interplay of people in a small town that have known each other all of their lives. There is a conflict between two men that is brought to the surface, and into the open, by the arrival of The Nephew from outside of the small town. Both old and new love stories happen here. I liked the ending and this has to be my favorite appearance of Pierce Brosnan. He is much more real in this film than any of the others that I've seen. This movie is dedicated to Chad Brady, I don't know why as it is the first name of the main character and the last name of Pierce Brosnans character.

I recommend this movie to anyone that enjoys the real relationships of life. The give and take of actual life over what Hollywood and New York would like us to think of as true life. For me (being in the US) this is a Foreign Film, but only because of the filming location. The story is quite universal and not limited by the location.
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Sober and touching
boubou-310 April 2000
Tony Egan (Donal McCANN), an old Irishman, learns that his sister who went to the USA long years ago, has just passed. In a letter she entrusts her young son Chad to his care. When Chad lands at Tony's village, Inis Dara, he appears to be a half-caste youth. Chad discovers the rough Irish life and meets Eileen, who his the pub-tenant's daughter. They soon get infatuated of each other. But the pub-tenant, Jo Brady (Pierce Brosnan) appears to be Tony's enemy. Subsequently Eileen and Chad are forbidden to meet each other any more. But Chad will fight to discover what drove apart Tony and Jo twenty years ago, to win his place in Inis Dara and Eileen's heart.

The characters are well-drawn and not simplistic. Chad is a clever and sensitive boy who understands that his uncle's roughness and tries not to have a strike with him. Jo is not only the lady-killer widower he seems to be and proves to be actually a good father...

The Nephew is a good film, with a good script and good actors, which doesn't need to use big tricks to be touching. Quite rare nowadays.
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A warm, human story of family conflict, with the added benefit of great Irish scenery
kjbeirne2 July 2001
This is a little movie, but it accomplishes its task well, portraying the return of the son of a woman forced out of Ireland by her brother's restrictiveness and her pregnancy, and then cut off by her brother's manipulations. The son, who is half black (an initial shock to the Irish island community, but subordinate to everything else, though it does give a little edge to things) rekindles the old fights, which never had disappeared, until things are finally resolved in a tentative forgiveness.
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heartwarming and very irish
cbmom125 June 2001
a heartwarming and sensitive movie. the acting superb with faces we may or may not see again(hope we do though).the music is from heaven with breathtaking scenery the way only ireland can be. and the humor...totally irish! if i can ever get my hands on one to purchase i will, and if there is a soundtrack available "somewhere" i'll own it.
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Gorgeously filmed, intelligently written.
holsen-23 March 2001
I found myself watching The Nephew, and showing it to three relatives and a friend. I enjoyed several things about the movie, not the least being the lingering look at the beautiful, rocky Irish landscape and the well-framed scenes. I enjoyed the point of the movie, namely that race may divide us but sometimes not so deeply as family feuds. Fast-rising star Hill Harper was a joy to watch. He was convincing as "the nephew," a black youth who genuinely found his place in super-white Irish culture. "I am Irish," he said with conviction, and showed it in his street-smart way with elan, and sensitivity. His rendition of an ancient Irish song in the wake scene was arresting, and moving. A smartly-done piece of work that slyly bolsters the case: We are, really, the family of man. Kudos to Pierce Brosnan and others who made this project go. My one surprise is that it evidently was not distributed widely in the United States, and is not available as a video tape. I saw it on Cinemax.
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Most Enjoyable Film!!!
babooschka28 January 2001
I always enjoy the "little sleeper" films, and believe me this is one. It's very interesting to see how sometimes the outside world views we Americans. Nevertheless, Chad seemed accepted by almost all, except his competition....I enjoyed all the characters and the brief glimse into another culture and spent a delightful time there.

The film also shows a life "lost" due to lack of communication, forgiveness, and crowned with stubborn self-righteousness, but just perhaps at the end when all is revealed, a new beginning. Other critiques have noted it was a "pat" ending, but I'd like to think that it was just a beginning... As Chad remarked, to Patsy "Believe it or not, I am Irish".
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