Critic Reviews

62

Metascore

Based on 15 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
Variety
Powerhouse performances by Liam Neeson and James Nesbit make this an intense, ultimately moving tale.
80
When violence eventually rears its ugly head again, the effect is as anticlimactic as the movie’s title is misleading. Brief bliss is a red herring; there’s only a lifetime of pain left in such acts’ wakes.
75
The A.V. Club
Hirschbiegel fails to discipline his English-speaking cast, allowing Nesbitt so much rein with his caffeinated performance that sympathies shift to Neeson’s comparatively sanguine murderer.
75
The title of the overlong Fifty Dead Men Walking refers to lives saved by Sturgess' character, who is still in hiding years later.
70
Salon.com
Captures the awful intimacy and the grimy, second-rate quality of the Northern Ireland conflict in resonant fashion.
67
A forceful Neeson and an even more intense Nesbitt (Bloody Sunday) both show their stuff and obscure the unrelieved pain endured by the men they portray.
50
Based on a true story -- that never happened. That might explain why the film circles and circles its subject but never strikes dramatic pay dirt.
50
Village Voice
The production design is spot-on, but Hirschbiegel tries way too hard to create tension, making every occurrence--a record needle dropping, a car door slamming--an unsubtle potential bomb, fraying your nerves like a cheap horror movie.
50
A feature-length talkathon built on a sketchy premise, some unpersuasive psychology, a pinch of politics and strong star turns from Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt, the appeal of all those words runs out long before the director Oliver Hirschbiegel turns off the spigot.
20
Early scenes set up the tragedy, but the majority of Oliver Hirschbiegel's movie is set in a TV studio where the two eventually face each other, and the tension, unfortunately, quickly becomes stagey.

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