When the Sky Falls (2000)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  16 June 2000 (Ireland)
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Reviews: 9 user | 7 critic

Fact-based story about Irish crime-investigating reporter Sinead Hamilton, who invaded the Irish underworld and attempted to expose the illegitimate activities she found. Hampered by the ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sinead Hamilton
John Cosgrave (The Runner)
Tom Hamilton
Jimmy Smallhorne ...
Mickey O'Fagan
Gerard Mannix Flynn ...
Dave Hackett (as Gerard Flynn)
Martin Shaughnessy
Des McAleer ...
Jimmy Keaveney
John O'Connor
Gavin Kelty ...
Frank Grimes ...
Paul McCarling
Rúaidhrí Conroy ...
Jamie Thornton
Dessie O'Reilly


Fact-based story about Irish crime-investigating reporter Sinead Hamilton, who invaded the Irish underworld and attempted to expose the illegitimate activities she found. Hampered by the system, a police consort is ineffectual at aiding her despite trying to step outside of the normal bounds. Kevin McNally plays her husband, who hates her activities and the danger in which she places herself. Nonetheless, he grudgingly admires her persistence and encourages her investigation. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


when the truth is hidden when the witness is silenced when the sky falls


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brutal violence, strong language, drug content and some sexuality | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

16 June 2000 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Veronica Guerin  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£62,848 (UK) (16 June 2000)


£271,641 (UK) (30 June 2000)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Version of Veronica Guerin (2003) See more »


Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue
Written by Richard Leigh
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User Reviews

Heroism still exists
5 July 2000 | by (Cork, Ireland) – See all my reviews

This is the sort of movie that would be dismissed as being implausible if it was pure fiction, but this tale of modern heroism is only slightly fictionalised. Joan Allen plays a thinly disguised version of Veronica Guerin (pron: GEER-in), an Irish journalist killed by the drug barons she fearlessly challenged.

In some ways the film's greatest asset is it's honesty: it's as uninhibited about tackling the issues involved as Guerin herself was: it doesn't pull any punches in criticising the irish government and police force's timid efforts to deal with the heroin epidemic in Dublin. It doesn't flinch from the fact that Guerin used some wildly unorthodox methods to tackle the drug barons. Also, like John Boorman's far more stylish _The General_, it shows that the Irish police aren't above colluding with terrorists in the drugs war.

In other ways, the film presents often gratingly hackneyed images and some wildly implausible scenes. The Drug baron's hoods are clearly based on the bad guys in Donald Duck cartoons, drinking champagne in Jacuzzis, while the newspaper office is apparenly modelled on _His Girl Friday_. Also, kids are seen shooting up Smack in Dublin streets IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, and no character bats an eyelid. The problem of using sexy Hollywood actresses to repressent real people rears it's finely embrocated head, particularly when Joan Allen is sexually approaced by several hoodlums. The movie also makes the world of Irish journalism and law enforcement seem more misogynistic than they really are.

These are minor quibbles, though. This, for all its flaws and low budget is a truly inspiring film, a film that shows that heroism is still possible and a welcome antidote to the "ironic" designer nihilism of much contemporary US and British crime cinema.

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