Critic Reviews

62

Metascore

Based on 15 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
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.
80
Powerhouse performances by Liam Neeson and James Nesbit make this an intense, ultimately moving tale.
75
The title of the overlong Fifty Dead Men Walking refers to lives saved by Sturgess' character, who is still in hiding years later.
75
On balance, it's a good movie but not a great one. Probably the only reason it's getting North American distribution is because of the involvement of Liam Neeson.
75
An imperfect but intensely human movie that ponders the aftershock of violence, could have been an exercise in overacted sappiness. Instead, it's as hard and uncompromising as remorse.
75
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A director whose breakthrough was the story of a madman's last stand has exceeded that feat with the story of an angry man's next step.
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.
63
Five Minutes of Heaven'reduces Northern Ireland's troubles to a gimmick, but it's an interesting gimmick, and the two men hoisted on its petard work at vivid cross-purposes. If nothing else, the film's worth seeing as a demonstration of opposing acting techniques.
50
The Hollywood Reporter
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.
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.

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for Five Minutes of Heaven (2009) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews | Message Board