Incendiary (2008)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, Thriller  |  24 October 2008 (UK)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 7,023 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 42 critic

A woman's life is forever changed when tragedy strikes at a soccer match.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Terrence Butcher
The Boy
Usman Khokhar ...
The Bomber's Son
Sasha Behar ...
The Bomber's Wife
Danny Walsh (as Edward Hughes)
Alibe Parsons ...
Stewart Wright ...
Al Ashton ...
Male Survivor (as Al Hunter Ashton)
Benjamin Wilkin ...
Young Policeman
Robin Berry ...
Mercy Ojelade ...
Nurse Mena
Joe Marshall ...
Gary / VT Man


Grief, guilt, and betrayal. In North London, a young mother dotes on her four-year-old son and lives in a modest flat with her husband, a cop in the bomb squad. The Arsenal football team is their religion. On May Day, a major terrorist attack brings tragedy while she is in the arms of a rich reporter who lives over the road. She wishes she were dead. In grief and guilt, she pursues revenge, faces betrayal, experiences delusions, and may be suicidal. Two men seek her affection: the reporter and a colleague of her husband's who imagines caravan camping with her on a beach. In London, the city of the Great Fire and of Hitler's bombardment, is there any way back to life for her? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The truth can blow you apart.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a strong sex scene and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

24 October 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Blown Apart  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Natalie Dormer filmed two days, playing the role of Ewan McGregor's girlfriend, but her role ended up on the cutting room floor. Nevertheless, she called it a "great experience". See more »


In the scene where her husband's boss is taking her to the memorial for the dead, her facial cuts are quite healed and well into the scarring stage. But a few minutes later in the scene where she's watching home movies, her facial cuts appear to be freshly scabbed over and quite irritated around the edges. See more »


[first lines]
The Boy: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go...
The Boy: Mummy you blinked, I won.
Young Mother: Yes you did. Now in you get. Tomorrow we're going to the sea-side.
Young Mother: [narration - boy running on the beach] So, if I'm going to show you my life, better start here. My boy, in Camber Sands. Why this and why now? I'll come back to that.
The Boy: Mummy!
Young Mother: [narration] A force of nature was what the midwife called him when he came howling into this world four years ago. And he hasn't stopped since.
The Boy: Mummy!
Young Mother: [narration] Me and him spend a lot of time ...
See more »


References Top Gear (2002) See more »


Balow, My Babe
English poem of anonymous authorship
See more »

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User Reviews

It's not that bad...
10 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film has been maligned because the director previously directed a "Bridget Jones" movie. Yes, those movies were shallow, but this film "Incendiary" has a few decent points, and Michelle Williams is worth watching.

Basically a neglected housewife who's son and husband are in a soccer match in Chelsea when an act of terrorism is committed. The daily life scenes as we see her apartment and her husbands UN-glamorous job as a bomb prevention specialist are realistic. The beach scenes with her little boy are relate-able without being overly dramatic.

The "letter to Osama" suggested by a hospital nurse is a ridiculous statement to say to a grieving mother who has lost her son and husband. Especially in a random act of terrorism. No doubt anyone who has lost a loved one will agree with this. The grief Michelle Williams emotes is believable here, she is alienated and dissociated from the world around her.

Yes the scene with the stuffed rabbit is a ploy we have seen, but it is believable. A person in this situation is not going to sit in group therapy and want to share all the pain and horror they have just witnessed. The pain is at first internalized and sometimes hidden from the outside world.

The Ewan McGregor character, who has an affair with the grieving mother at the time the incident occurs, seems to be added in at the last minute and extraneous. Other than driving her to the scene of the bombing and visiting her once at the hospital he does not seem to contribute very much to the overall story.

The visuals are very good, the gritty streets of London and the building she lives in, versus the Welllington building of the upper class.

The story itself is worth watching and Michelle Williams gives a sympathetic and nice understated performance here. Don't discount this film. Recommended. 8/10.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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