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69 out of 79 people found the following review useful:

Brave film, great performances

Author: ivamedena from United Kingdom
15 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Cherrybomb is a stylish, yet realistic portrayal of contemporary teenagers. The story is pretty simple -- two best friends Malachy (Rupert Grint) and Luke (Robert Sheehan) meet a beautiful girl Michelle (Kimberley Nixon) who has just moved back to Belfast from London; her dad is Malachy's boss Dave Crilly (James Nesbitt). She challenges the boys to compete for her affection by undertaking a series of reckless stunts, which include fighting, stealing and wrecking cars, demolishing properties, etc. However there's more to Cherrybomb than this main premise. All three protagonists are complex characters; the fact that they are 16-year-olds explains their insecurities, inability to acknowledge their true feelings, bravado, recklessness, overly emotional response to things happening around them, and -- stupidity.

Michelle's parents are divorced and disinterested in their own daughter, who they treat like a tennis ball. Michelle's mother sends her to live with her dad, but he prefers to spend time with his teenage lover. Crilly's selfishness frustrates his "princess", and in turn she initiates the ultimate rebellion.

Luke lives with his alcoholic, irresponsible father Smiley and "businessman" brother Chris, who forces Smiley and Luke to sell drugs. Among his friends, Luke is perceived as an attractive, flamboyant, carefree bloke; but behind this facade Luke is ashamed of his father, frustrated by his brother, and utterly unhappy with his entire family setting. His best friend Malachy is the only ray of light in his life. Luke gets the girls easily, but he disposes of them quickly, because the entire notion of a stable relationship is alien to him.

Malachy has a stable family, and he excels at school. His middle class parents have high hopes for his future, but they fail to notice that there's more to their son than just good marks. They disapprove his friendship with Luke, but Malachy sticks to his pal and copes well with Luke's nasty behaviour. Malachy is clever and self-confident, but he doesn't want his friends to see him just as mummy's nerdy little boy; so he drinks, smokes weed, snorts cocaine, swears. However, it is not Luke but Michelle who ultimately pushes him over the edge.

Both boys are attracted to Michelle; however, it is Malachy who soon becomes completely infatuated by her. As the competition gets increasingly dangerous, both Luke and Michelle are surprised by the fact that "the good boy" Malachy accepts the challenges and doesn't give up. Luke can afford to do whatever he wants because he's got nothing to lose; while Malachy jeopardises his good relationship with his parents, his job, and his academic future.

Although Michelle seems to have more in common with Luke, she finds herself attracted to Malachy, disarmed by his sincerity. But, at the same time, she is afraid to love and let love. Halfway through the film the dynamics of the trio changes. Luke freaks out at the possibility of losing his best friend to this girl; and what was Malachy and Luke competing for Michelle, turns into Michelle and Luke competing for Malachy. Michelle grows increasingly annoyed by Luke's crazy antics, while Luke can't understand Malachy's infatuation with this girl and is ultimately jealous and baffled by the idea that his best friend would choose Michelle over him.

The entire action in Cherrybomb happens over the span of a weekend, making the movie very intense and fast-paced; and the ultimate rebellion results in tragedy which changes the survivors' lives forever.

Acting wise, the greatest expectations were laid on Rupert Grint's shoulders, because we were all curious to see whether he could make us forget about Ron Weasley; whether he can suppress his natural comedic instincts and be a successful drama lead; whether he can pull off a thick Norn Iron accent; and whether he has an acting future after Harry Potter. And the answer to all these questions is YES! There was no trace of Ron Weasley (or Grint's other movie characters) there: he gave a very subtle and realistic performance. It is hard to believe that this is the same actor who always gets the funny lines and handles a majority of slapstick in Harry Potter. Grint brings a touching sincerity and warmth to the role of Malachy, a boy who falls in love with a girl for the first time, and is willing to risk everything just to be with her.

Robert Sheehan, on the other hand, gives a completely different performance. Luke is flamboyant and extreme, and Sheehan's performance is suitably over-the-top in the most positive way: he portrays this tense, edgy, emotionally broken teenager heartbreakingly and persuasively. Sheehan is definitely a force to reckon with, and he and Grint play each other off superbly.

Kimberley Nixon gives a convincing portrayal of a neglected, insecure girl. She and Rupert Grint have a wonderful on-screen chemistry. James Nesbitt is fantastic as Michelle's father: he generated a lot of laughter, and initially appeared as a selfish but relatively benign man who suffers from midlife crisis. However, as the movie progresses, he is exposed as an aggressive, violent man.

The directors' style is very creative and efficient. Instead of flashy special effects, they opt for an imaginative use of real-life sets, unusual camera angles, lots of close-up shots, expressive colours and clever editing. The film does contain some violent and drug related scenes, nudity and foul language -- however even the rawest of scenes are done very stylishly.

Cherrybomb deals with the challenges of growing up, accepting responsibilities and falling in love for the first time. This dark, artsy movie is definitely not kiddie-friendly; but, the combination of great performances, beautiful visuals, and uncompromising realism makes it highly recommendable. Anyone interested in an engaging, thrilling and gripping emotional roller-coaster should enjoy Cherrybomb.

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36 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Fun and surprising

Author: Wired Monk from Netherlands
15 July 2010

It's a movie about 3 kids, 2 boys and a girl. The girl can't make her mind up about which one of the boys she wants, and all 3 of them do stupid things to impress each other.

It's fun to see what kind of trouble they're getting into and the ending may surprise you.

It has some good editing and few nice soundtracks. The movie is not great, but its fun and definitely good enough to watch on a slow evening, especially if you like English accents like me.

I give it a 7 out of 10.

(I just added this short review because all the other ones on here are so long.)

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18 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Comparable to skins

Author: Kassandra Kotaku from United States
23 April 2010

Throughout this movie I kept having flashes to this last season of Skins. The whole Freddie/Effy/Cook theme was played out a bit differently, but with the same type of terrible results. Granted, Malachy and Luke had a more respect for each other, but Michelle was the same sort of Effy character. Other than that the movie had the same type of a feel. Sex, drugs, and bit of violence sprinkled together as a coming of age story.

The characters were well played and each had their own problems and envy of the other's lives for one reason or another. Robert Sheehan was commendable in his role as a struggling young man only looking for acceptance and a family above all else. And that's seems to be what made his relationship with Malachy perfect. Sheehan played the perfect balance of needing others while being forced in to a role of independence that was obviously unwanted.

Rupert Grint also did a admirable job in his role of smothered young man looking to spread his wings and be himself, a role he seems to find himself playing again and again lately. He fights with his deep rooted ideals of how people should be treated against his behavior when he tries to get what he wants. Grint seems to find a happy medium in this character and makes him feel true and at time conflicted. My only qualm with his performance is the accent seemed to slip at times and I felt it was unbelievable.

When I walked into the movie I certainly thought I was going to see something much harsher and quite different, the plot summery and trailer were quite deceiving, but I was pleasantly surprised by this movie and expect much more from these actors. The story line wasn't detailed, but it never tends to be with these types of movies. What's left unsaid speaks louder than anything that could be written.

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22 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Stellar cast, Smart directing, Sleek film

Author: Rose from United Kingdom
19 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Cherrybomb is a great film for anyone who likes, drama, comedy, a bit of romance, and a burst of reality.

Though the story revolves around three 16-year-olds, this is not your typical teen movie! Cherrybomb deals with real, emotional, and even sometimes violent themes that are the harsh realities of teen life today. It's the story of Malachy and Luke, two very close, very cheeky best mates who are after a girl, Michelle. While the idea sounds easy enough, the directors gave it a new twist and make this seemingly simple plot, complicated and spectacular.

Malachy McKinney, who is played by Rupert Grint, is a very confident and cheeky bloke. He's fierce and very curious. However, Malachy isn't just about sex and girls though, no, he's very smart and is quite frankly a good guy. Malachy has a clean and comfortable family life. He makes good grades and keeps out of trouble for the most part. He even has a job. Malachy has a heart, and he's not afraid to express his feelings right there for people to see. Rupert Grint did a fantastic job making Malachy's style and swagger his own. This role is the first time we get to see Rupert step out of the box and show his range.

Luke, who is played by Robert Sheehan, does not have the sweet and wholesome life Malachy does. Luke is the trouble maker. Causing mayhem runs in his veins. Luke is so extreme and spastic that you wonder how he's friends with Malachy. Luke's home life is no fantasy island. His father is an alcoholic. He's always drunk and isn't what a bloke needs as a father figure and his brother, is a drug dealer and is also violent. Robert is believable as Luke. Though Luke is a bit extreme Robert does not take it to a place that makes it seem forced. He also did a fantastic job bringing in the laughs. He's comedic timing was brilliant.

Michelle, played by Kimberley Nixon, comes to the Leisureplex where Malachy works. Luke and Malachy find out she's the daughter of Crilly, who just happens to be Malachy's boss. Luke is known to get the girls and Mal has less luck, but he seems okay with it, until now. You can tell right away that Malachy is intrigued and will fall for her, but of course Luke thinks it's a great idea for a game. It's a game to see who will get her first. Kimberely is perfect for Michelle. She brings this sweetness that makes you love her character and feel sorry for her story, but she's actually quite a tease and plays the naughty puppet master very well. Kim also did a good job of adding a bit of flare to the typical "heroine" role.

And so the game begins! It's a constant competition for Michelle's affection and it changes the Malachy/Luke dynamic. Before Michelle arrives, the two blokes would always hang together. Now, it's all about who will get Michelle first. Luke wants Michelle for sex. He wants to prove he's better. With no real emotional attachment to Michelle, he tried to use drugs and his "player" words to win her over, but Mal is nothing of the sort. Malachy actually has feelings for her and wants Michelle. He plays the romantic. Michelle tries to seem like she doesn't care. She tries to ignore it. She herself has been ignored by her dad, but it's obvious her heart flutters a bit at Malachy's kindness and affection.

It becomes a complicated situation. Luke is also mad at Malachy for wanting Michelle so badly, but I think it's more because he wants his best mate all to himself. Luke tries to get Malachy to leave Michelle alone, but the poor guy is too in love. He will do anything for Michelle and she uses that.

As the movie moves on, things become more complicated. Luke becomes more jealous and enraged. He starts to become very annoyed with Michelle and Malachy stands by her when they argue. This in turns leads to more trouble. And the end of the movie finally catches up to the beginning and we find out why Malachy was so bloody and dazed at the start of the film.

Overall, the movie was fantastic and easy enough to understand, but the complexity and dynamic of the characters gives it a unique spin. There was no need for extra flash. The look of the film is really artsy and simple and the music was brilliant! This movie is all about the emotion and personalities of the characters and how they all relate to each other. It's not your typical romance. Malachy and Michelle are not your typical romantic and love seeking couple and Luke and Malachy aren't your typical best friends. Rupert and Rob are gorgeous and funny on screen together and really make you believe they've been best friends for years. Kim brings a fresh take on "the girl". Michelle doesn't act like the nice girl; she knows she's a bit of a vixen and Kim makes you believe it. She worked well with Robert and especially Rupert. They chemistry is incredible.

The directors did a magnificent job with the violence, language and drugs. It was enough to make it dramatic, but not too much to make it unbelievable. I will say that partially the drug side of the story was well done. The teens get high and get really blasted in this movie, but it's tastefully done and is realistic.

Cherrybomb is an amazing film that I think teens and early adults alike will love and relate to. It's fresh, exciting, and jam packed with jaw dropping moments and gut busting humour. Anyone who wants to see a great film, see Cherrybomb!

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Promising... but not good enough

Author: Eleni from Greece
12 August 2011

After watching the trailer for "Cherrybomb", I had great expectations about this one. It looked dark and raw and sexy. But I was a bit disappointed. Not that it was not interesting to watch, but it felt like something was missing, something was not enough.

The storyline goes like this: Two 16-year-olds, best friends, fall for the new girl in town. She leads them both on and they compete over her, trying to impress her. The three fall into a twirl of alcohol, drugs, sex and violence.

The two friends are portrayed by Rupert Grint and Robert Sheehan. They were both excellent. Sheehan is always a joy to watch, there is a great career ahead of him. And Grint was a very pleasant surprise, basically supporting most of the film with his performance. Kimberley Nixon though, the girl that pulls the strings, did not stand up to the part for me. It didn't seem believable that she could affect them that much, I couldn't see "that something" in her.

Another reviewer compared this trio with the Effy/Freddie/Cook story in "Skins". I agree to the similarity and it is an excellent argument why "Cherrybomb" was not enough. Effy was a character you loved to hate. You could see why she had them crazy over her. The love/hate friendship between Freddie and Cook was very touching. And it was much more raw and violent, really leaved you with a wow/punch-in-the-stomach kind of feel. "Cherrybomb" tried for this feel too and didn't quite get there...

The cinematography was interesting, I liked the dark colors and it got across the feeling of despair and confusion of adolescence. But still I expected more, it was a bit superficial, not strong enough, not daring enough perhaps, to shock you, to really get to you.

Kudos for the ending and the soundtrack. Could have been better, but it's still worth watching.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A movie with a dark side

Author: em_dem60
17 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this film last night, and really enjoyed it- this is the first movie I've seen Rupert Grint in out of Harry Potter, and it has just proved to me even more how fantastic his acting is- not for a second did I associate him with Harry Potter- that world was completely forgotten for the entire movie. His acting is flawless.

I knew Kimberly Nixon before this film, but she hadn't really made much of an impression on me- this time however she stood out to me, and I thought her acting was superb.

I haven't heard of anyone else in the cast, but I did like Robert Sheehan- he played a very complicated character, and I think he portrayed Luke very well indeed.

Overall, I really enjoyed this film- the acting, the camera-work and cinematography, and the plot were all very good- I thoroughly recommend this film.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The actors are the great attraction of this film

Author: Rodrigo Amaro ( from São Paulo, Brazil
1 November 2011

A pretty girl enters in the lives of two friends who might fight one against the other to see who'll be with her in "Cherrybomb". The good guy Malachy (Rupert Grint) and the bad boy Luke (Robert Sheehan) are these opposites forces who work well together; the first is a responsible student who also works in a gym run by Crilly (James Nesbitt), father of the sexy girl; the second is totally out of control, who lives the sex, drugs and rock n'roll motto ,never knowing what to do with his life. Then comes Michelle (Kimberley Nixon) who joins them in wild parties, night outs, provoking both of these guys who are so up for her.

The story follows in a well humored manner, sometimes a little bit depressive (specially concerning about Luke's family with his constantly drunken dad) but as we are told right from the start, the trio is heading to tragic events.

First thing that came to my mind while watching "Cherrybomb" was a subtle correlation with "Something Wild" (1986) with a certain extra thing but never getting to the same level. Here, there's a wild girl messing with the life of a good boy, teasing a bad one and giving lots of trouble to her father, who is trying to adapt his routine to be with her since the mom doesn't want anything with her. I guess one could say this is a teen version of Demme's film but without the energy, the smartness and the rich soundtrack of the classic American film. It lacks a certain appeal in the story, one that makes you deeply care about the characters involved (completed with a lack of answers at the conclusion).

And if the movie worths a view it's mainly of its great cast of actors giving their usual treat which is always good. Grint never fails delivering the nice guy performance; Sheehan has an born ability to play troubled characters who has an dark yet hilarious sense of humor constantly thrown on the other characters much for our delight (the best of show, really! Plus, he's very cute!); and the girl has the right quality to make those boys go nuts for her doing all she wants them to do.

It's not special as it seems to be nor funny, dangerous and bold as it could be, or even longer (screentime was needed). If you need entertainment and some laughs this is the film you look for, complete; more than those goals you won't get, it's just half right with its message. 8/10

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

More than that

Author: kosmasp
8 October 2010

Cherrybomb is a song title and funnily enough, I just watched the movie Runaways before I watched this one. The song also features in short scene in this movie. And the movie has some raw power to it, as the song (and the group that sang it) has! But the movie is more than that. It is also more than the beginning suggests.

While you might not entirely relate to the characters, you hopefully still will feel for them. The performances are more than stellar and everyone of the characters has his/her flaws. It's not a perfect movie, but it has some strong points and is made with passion (the actors and the crew involved), which is apparent on screen.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

You need to be attentive to understand it

Author: laAMOUR from Sweden
19 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all, I have spoken to a few people who have seen the movie, and their opinions have been very different. Some people may see this movie as a "boring and slow movie with no real storyline", and others as "a movie with much emotion, and with characters you can relate to".

I believe some people who thinks it's a bad movie, didn't really watch it attentively. How cliché this may sound, I think you can't really understand the movie if you watch it with your heart "closed". The first time I watched this movie, I was a bit bored and watched without really taking the information in. Therefore I was a bit confused at the end, like "was that it?". However, after watching it another time I was in love! The storyline in this movie is very simple and unoriginal - about two boys competing over a girl - but the atmosphere and mood in this movie is, in my opinion, very special. The actors (especially the main characters Malachy and Luke, played by Rupert Grint and Robert Sheehan) are doing a very good job showing the emotional struggle both of them carry. Especially a sad scene with Luke after a fight with both his best friend, the girl he's attracted to, and his father. You really feel with the characters. This, together with great soundtracks, makes this an excellent movie.

The main characters Malachy and Luke are very different from each other. Malchy is the "good guy" with the good grades and a normal family. However, he doesn't want people to see him as nothing more than "mom's little good boy", and drinks, swears and does other things to make people notice that he is more than that. His best friend Luke (whom I personally, think is the more interesting character) is his opposite. Luke seems to be a carefree boy with a bit of an attitude. However, his older brother is a businessman, and makes Luke and his father sell drugs for their living. In short, Lukes father is a mess. He never was a real father to Luke. So (without really showing it) Luke really treasures Malachy, as he's one of the few people who cares about him and accepts him as he is. Through out the movie, you realize that Luke loves Malachy more than Malachy loves him back. Luke is a quirky and a bit tragic character, nevertheless you can't resist liking him.

Michelle (played by Kimberely Nixon) is the girl which Malachy and Luke compete over. She is not a beauty, just very cute, which makes the story more realistic. Despite the self-confidence she shows outwards, she really is an insecure girl. Both of her parents doesn't have time for her, and her dad is sleeping with her 16 year old friend (which she finds out later in the movie). With those factors, the reason why she willingly made Malachy and Luke crazy about her becomes clear, as she never received the love she needed at home.

For Luke, getting Michelle to bed was just a game. He was not a person strong enough mentally for a relationship. However, Malachy developed a strong liking to Michelle. This scares Luke, as Malachy starts to strive for Michelle and forgets about Luke. Malachy never really realized what an emotional struggle he carries, yet Michelle assumed. When Michelle needed to return to London (after only staying for 3 days), Malachy wanted to come with her. When being asked about Luke, and answering with a careless "he can manage without me", she responds "do you reckon?".

In short, I think this is a very simple, yet very interesting movie, with many aspects. There are many things I could tell about this movie, but it would be too long, and too boring to read. I really recommend this movie, yet I think this is not a movie for everyone. Not everyone will like this movie, as it is quite different from other, considered great, movies.

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11 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Drags on too long

Author: Nick Damian from Toronto, Ontario
3 February 2011

If you're looking for a truly forgettable film to fall asleep to, then you'd be hard pushed to beat this slow, soporific piece of celluloid...

The plot plods painfully and predictably along at a pace more suited to a party political broadcast than what is laughably described as a thriller.

The acting wouldn't seem out of place on a TV shopping channel or an ultra-low budget kids TV show. Admittedly, the cast didn't exactly have a whole bunch to work with: the dialogue is nothing short of dismal and the characters are so two dimensional and clichéd that it renders any empathy towards the protagonists nigh on impossible.

The ending is not thrilling or exciting and overall, the story fails to impress.

There is plenty of smoking, so if you are into watching people smoke and tell each other to F -OFF, then this is for you, however I was unimpressed.

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