Critic Reviews



Based on 16 critic reviews provided by
The decibels, energy and overall quality are high in writer-director Kari Skogland's Fifty Dead Men Walking, her supremely well-made, highly stylized, graphic tale of Northern Ireland's "Troubles" in the late 1980s.
Setting entirely aside the accuracy of the film, the IRA still has him marked for death, and indeed there was an attempt on his life in Canada 10 years after he fled. He’s still out there somewhere.
It's a pretty fine film, thanks largely to the performances (and look) of its crackerjack cast, as well as Jonathan Freeman's restless, gritty cinematography and a lickety-split script.
Sharp, well-acted film.
What makes Fifty Dead Men work is the story’s sheer moral complexity, which dares viewers to sympathize with anyone onscreen for more than a few minutes at a time.
A classic about the Irish "troubles." Despite the unavoidably convoluted facts of the real-life story, pic boasts plausibly written, solidly acted characters and a conflict that pushes the viewer's righteous-indignation buttons.
Think Donnie Brasco, with the IRA instead of the Mafia. Jim Sturgess dominates with a star-making turn, although some stylistic slip-ups let him down a little.
A richer movie might speculate on McGartland’s life now. How does a local hero survive in an anonymous void?
Village Voice
The unfitting flashiness and clunky segues between thriller and melodrama kill any real sense of tension, making this a poor man's "Donnie Brasco"--that is, if its self-congratulation and failure to contextualize the values on both sides of the ethno-political struggle didn't already make it the poor man's "Hunger."
Kari Skogland’s flashy yet dead-on-arrival drama turns Belfast’s backstreet battlefields into music-video backgrounds.

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