Veronica Guerin (2003) Poster

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You'd do the same. If you saw those kids on the street, you would do the same.
Spikeopath30 June 2014
The assassination of Dublin crime reporter Veronica Guerin in 1996 shook Ireland to the core, her murder saw a public swell of determination to rid the country of its drug peddlers. Joel Schumacher's film is an in depth interpretation of the woman, her beliefs, her family life, her complexities and her stoicism to root out the drug barons putting liquid death into the arms of the many.

Thankfully avoiding Hollywood clichés, it's often gritty and well thought out, Schumacher and his writers, Carol Doyle and Mary Agnes Donoghue, don't soft soap the Guerin image, her faults are laid bare alongside her searing strengths. The dangers of her work are very prominent throughout, leading to some suspenseful and fearsome scenes. Cate Blanchett as Guerin is inspired casting, an actress capable of covering all facets of the human condition, and in support Ciaran Hinds, Gerard McSorley and Brenda Fricker give powerful performances. 8/10
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Solid True-Story Irish Crime Tale
ccthemovieman-119 March 2006
Cate Blanchett has done it again - played someone you can't take your eyes off of, and not because she's a classic beauty but she's just a good actress and plays such intense roles. Here, she's the single-minded outraged Irish reporter out to expose the drug trafficking in Ireland in the mid 1990s. Yes, it's based on a real person, a very real Veronica Guerin, who took her life in her hands with her desire to have this problem taken care off so the kids in her country wouldn't have such easy access to harmful drugs.

According to the film story, the drug problem was ignored or the police were just ineffective in dealing with it, so Guerin goes after the mob as an investigative reporter. Her husband pleads with her to stop, knowing she could easily be killed. The gangsters were tough and realistically portrayed on film. There is no talk-now-shoot-later nonsense. You mess with them, you will pay. That's the message they give Guerin and you'll have to see the film to find out what happened.

Yup, this is an attention-getter from the start and especially with Blanchett in the lead. A good story and highly recommended.
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Cate Blanchett Exposes Hollywood
ray-28015 December 2005
Just as Veronica Guerin exposed Ireland's underworld drug dealers, Cate Blanchett's marvelous portrayal of Irish journalist-turned-anti-drug-crusader Veronica Guerin seemed to have the actress on a mission to prove that you don't have to look like a pop diva or act like a porn star to be a compelling female lead in a film.

Like many films with an ethnic flavor, we get a supporting cast of ethnic actors in slightly elevated roles from the norm. Most notable from that category are Gerard McSorley as the evil drug-lord, John Gilligan, and Ciaran Hands as street thug John Traynor, who plays both sides of the fence throughout the film.

The story is painful, not only because of what happens to Guerin, but in our knowing that her courage is a direct reaction to our general apathy towards wrongdoing, with so many of us looking the other way that the Veronica Guerins of the world are encouraged to fight evil after the fact, but left as sitting ducks or thrown to the wolves while they are still alive and making noise.

If there's one lesson every viewer of this film should exit with, it is that those of us who are not part of the solution, are part of the problem.
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Harsh, relentless fact-based story given a rousing treatment.
Silverzero25 July 2003
Based on the true-life incidents of Irish reporter Veronica Geurin, this film is a gritty, disparate but continuously compelling take on what eventually led to her violent death. And this is one of the few movies to give an accurate impression of Irish natives, cultures, accents etc. This is also an update of 1999's `When the Sky Falls' starring Joan Allen in the Guerin part. Of course `Veronica Geurin' wouldn't have been made had it not been for the fact that they used fictitious names to protect identities in the former.

The blunt realism of it all is what makes it all the more believable and worthwhile. While on initial appearance this may look like Ireland's answer to `Erin Brockovich', the two films are polar opposite. One is a glamorised, feel-good story of a woman making one of the biggest lawsuits in history, while the other is a gritty, downbeat story of how dangerous journalistic work really is. The conclusion to the movie is pre-determined, so it's what builds up to that point is where the movie succeeds.

The Hollywood interpretation of the Irish has been completely flawed in the past. Films like `Ordinary Decent Criminal', `Evelyn' and `The General' gave out a totally unrealistic impression. But `Veronica Geurin' doesn't make a false move and gives a complete expose of what this country really is. Another huge positive is the sheer engagement of it all. Right from the shocking `didn't-know-it-was-the-ending' opening sequence you'll be hooked. Just too bad that the running time is a mere 96 minutes.

Despite being a slightly young choice (only 33), Cate Blanchett was an excellent choice for the title role. She gets the accent just right, physically looks like the title character, and is always convincing. It really is her show, so support is upstaged for the most part. That isn't to say that the supporting parts are bad in any way. Most characters aren't stereotypes and do well in what little role they have. The only exception being a totally irrelevant and inexplicable cameo from Colin Farrell. The part is very small, but it makes a huge difference and is the only scene in which you remember that you're watching a movie. Meanwhile, director Joel Schumacher has proved to have mastered every genre. Well, not so much mastered as much attempted. Let's just say that he is now officially forgiven for the atrocity that was the previous two Batman movies.

Overall, `Veronica Geurin' is a powerful, rousing fast-based story that leaves an unsurprisingly bad taste. But if you want a new-wave gritty thriller, then this is the film for you. You don't have to be aware of the incident to enjoy the movie, but it would help. My IMDb rating: 7.0/10.
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Good Joel Schumacher effort
michelerealini8 March 2004
I've been revaluing Joel Schumacher as a director for some years. I was used to think he was just a typical Hollywood movie maker. But I understood this man does commercial features whenever he needs money ("Batman forever", "Batman & Robin", "The client", "A time to kill"), as he gets it he manages to do good and more personal films.

In fact his mainstream movies are quite boring and mannered. Fortunately Schumacher is much better with more alternative or low-budget films ("Falling down", "Tigerland", "Phone booth"). "Veronica Guerin" belongs to this category.

I'm also happy, in this case, that a blockbuster producer like Jerry Bruckheimer manages not to spoil the movie with artificial tricks.

Veronica Guerin seems to me a symbol of Irish tragicalness. I mean, the tragicalness you can find in works of James Joyce and Oscar Wilde, in stories and legends of Ireland as well. Sadly, her story is true.

The film has the right speed in presenting all the facts, it is simple and well acted -Cate Blanchett's performance is outstanding.

Maybe Joel Schumacher, in the final part, looses a little the sense of rhythm because he wants us to be moved and touched (and we are, indeed. Because it's a shame that a woman and a brave journalist as well had to pay that price). But it's a true story, as I said. The film is valid because it denounces the "conspiracy of silence" and inaction from authorities.
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Praise be to the courageous journalist we can trust to keep our world safe...
janyeap14 October 2003
This biographical drama grips me so emotionally from the beginning to the end. The contents are so intense that I could literally feel the strain on my body muscles at its end. Cate Blanchett's performance as Veronica Guerin is top-notched. She brings out a character that Ireland can proudly call a true daughter. Guerin was one journalist whose professionalism and belief prevented her from kowtowing to any corrupted system - even the threat of death. Director Joel Schumacher has created a powerful movie that pays true honor to Guerin.

This film has a superb cast of actors. Their characters come through the screen as very real people. Gerard McSorley's impressive performance as John Gilligan will be unforgettable. Oh yes, watch out for Colin Ferrel's cameo. Director Joel Schumacher's way of introducing the audience to the Sunday Independent newspaper's investigative journalist is so appropriate. It generated my curiosity and urge to get behind the uncanny story of the martyred icon. Yep, I was mesmerized by the Guerin character, following and watching every move and act this energetic woman made – up to a point I started gasping with disbelief. Then the flashback followed. Oh yes, every scene flowed with immense power and spirit to document Guerin's suicidal fanaticism and mission. In a very impressively dramatic, yet easy-to-follow, well paced-way, the story of Guerin's background unfolds. I witnessed the type of dangerous and trouble-filled environment facing her. I saw her as a workaholic mother, surrounded by loving family members who were willing to compromise to her very unconventional traits. I was given hints that there was a softer side within her that she refused to make public. The film provides very subtle indications that speak of Guerin's unusual urge to stay a winner – even as a young girl.

This film carries enough shocking scenes to make me understand the driving force behind her seemingly senseless acts. Every word in the dialogue did fill the gap, offering me a better understanding of her character. Blanchett definitely breathes life into the Guerin character with phenomenal credibility and vitality, allowing her personality to shine with such unique journalistic dedication, honesty, courage, determination and obsession. What I see on screen is a woman with true guts – an absolute winner. `I vow that the eyes of justice, the eyes of this journalist will not be shut again,` Blanchett's character has said. `No hand can deter me from my battle for the truth.' Repeatedly, I saw her facing death threats and physical attacks. My anxiety continued to crush me as I watch the evil surrounding her.

Does it always have to take a murder of a tenacious person to channel out public outcry, disgust and legislative actions to fight a crime? Veronica Guerin paid a price for devoting her career and life to exposing Dublin's drug barons and underworld leaders. I salute her. Like Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, she belongs to the best category of journalists who will make the world a safer place to live. This film captures the same vitality as the inspirational ‘Bloody Sunday.' It's definitely a film not to miss.

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Veronica Guerin, crusading journalist
eddax26 November 2003
Veronica Guerin is the kind of journalist I could never, ever be, if I choose to go into that field in the future. She was determined, ballsy, hard-nosed, a risk-taker, and instilled with a bravado that bordered on irrationality. This movie is based on the true story of how Guerin, an Irish reporter, galvanized her country into implementing stricter drug laws and cracking down on drug-related crimes and drug abuse. Veronica Guerin paints her as a modern day Joan of Arc - misunderstood by peers and politicians while she was alive, but made a martyr and heroine after her death. It spans a period of two years, from Guerin's decision to take down Dublin's drug overlord, to her eventual assassination. (I'm not revealing any secrets - she's shot at the beginning before the movie flashes back). Guerin's tenacious reporting-style - poking, prodding, nudging friends and foes alike - was effective, albeit often treacherous - there had been previous attempts on her life before the final, fatal one. It is this that critics pick on in their reviews: Guerin's almost insane tendency to provoke known criminals and gangsters to the point of immediate danger to herself and her family. While it would be somewhat implausible if this were a fictitious story, the story of Veronica Guerin is a true one. Having not read her biography, I have no idea how much the filmmakers have embellished on it, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. With the picture they painted of Guerin, as well as Cate Blanchett's wonderful portrayal of her, I believe that Guerin, in her passion-fuelled moral crusade, would have been that compulsive, and ultimately, that heroic.

As much as I loved the story of Veronica Guerin, crusading journalist, I have some bones to pick with the technical aspects of the movie. One is with the director's tendency to suddenly go into "Blair Witch Cam," or hand-held cam, for those of you who haven't been nauseated by that movie. It's intended to give the movie a documentary feel, but the sudden switches to from fixed to hand-held cams just leave me dizzy. Another problem I had, though a smaller one, was with the schmaltzy-ing of certain scenes, especially the last one, where Celtic songs are played in the background. While I understand the reverrence intended and the relevance of playing Celtic music, I couldn't stop images of the Titanic and Sarah McLachlan (I don't know either) from appearing in my head. A suitably solemn, well-composed, non-Celtic piece would've been much more preferable. But that's just me. 9/10
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Moving, unsentimental account of a remarkable woman
anonReigate18 August 2003
This was an extremely moving film, covering the life and death of the remarkable Veronica Guerin.

It would have been easy to sentimentalize this story, but it unfolded in a realistic, down-to-earth fashion that somehow made Guerin's death all the more harrowing.

However, Guerin was not painted as a tragic figure, but was shown throughout as a flawed and all-too-human figure (the incident with the skateboard at her son's party was very telling) who felt that she just HAD to continue with her crusade.

It is impossible to over-praise Cate Blanchett's performance, varying from flirtatious and humorous to passionate and driven.

Not an easy film to watch, but one that I cannot recommend highly enough.
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Good but not great
moviefan2003va3 August 2004
What a woman she was! Let's start off with good points. I think this movie had a great cast. I think everyone was perfect. The problem probably comes with the filmmakers being American. I'm an American so I think I'm qualified to say this. Sometimes you need to be from the same culture to understand subtle and cultural things that are not evident to the naked eye so to speak. The movie somehow doesn't delve deep enough for us to understand why Guerin takes these incredible risks. Perhaps we should have learned more about her background to understand this unflinching courage she had. It may have also been beneficial to make the underworld figures she encounters more layered. Either way, it is a good introductory film to this incredible woman. Perhaps a homespun filmmaker can make another movie about her. I reiterate that I thought the casting was terrific! Cate Blanchett is one in a million. I felt her performance was oscar caliber.
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The performance of Cate Blanchette and the beautiful soundtrack
raiderl20031 March 2006
This is an excellent movie that I happened on when I was watching my satellite TV a few months back. Cate Blanchette in an Oscar worthy role, plays the real life Irish news journalist Veronica Guerin, who tried to expose the criminal element, responsible for providing drugs that were causing addictions to Ireland's young people. Veronica was a very courageous woman. It was a movie that really moved me, emotionally. I have since seen it about 5 times total, advising my friends to rent it. And the soundtrack is very good, never thought about listening to Celtic music, but now have found I enjoy it. And Sinead O'Conner's singing of the song One More Day is awesome. It's a lovely song, and another song on the soundtrack called the Fields of Anthenry, is one in which I had never heard the likes of before. So not only will the movie move you but also the music in the movie, which applies so well to it. If you haven't seen it I recommend that you do, you won't be disappointed, even if it is just to witness Cate's performance, which is commanding.
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Almost, but not entirely, the exact opposite of 'traffic'
cm-91 August 2003
A superb film which appears to be a very accurate rendition of a true story which was in all the newspapers in 1996 (I remember it ...). Also, for once, a film which treats death as a tragedy and not a statistic (Stalin!). I think this is the most emotionally powerful film I have ever seen. It certainly made both me and my wife cry profusely - I guess it may not affect all viewers so strongly that way, but we have a young child ourselves which certainly affects our emotional response on some of the issues dealt with here.

Brilliantly acted, well paced, perfectly filmed technically as you'd expect from a Jerry Bruckheimer production (frankly I was amazed to see that on the credits at the end - I missed his name at the beginning as I was late coming into the film). Astonishingly it completely resisted the temptation to 'Hollywoodise' the story in the usual way (with mawkish dialogue and fake emotion) which vastly increased the impact of the true drama and power of the story.

So all kudos, then, to Bruckheimer and his production crew for tackling a current social issue, and not taking the standard 'Hollywood' approach to it, but instead projecting an accurate portrayal of life as it really is in parts of Ireland today. Bravo for avoiding any hint of 'Oirishness' (think of Waking Ned Devine for a prime example of that). Bow down before la Blanchett for her Irish accent which never faltered, although I must grudgingly concede that in one or two places she didn't sound entirely like a journalist - but maybe she was not supposed to.

Undoubtedly 10/10 and the best film of the year so far.

(It's been an evening of surprises - apart from the pleasant shock of seeing Bruckheimer's name in the end credits, I noticed 4 people walked out of the cinema after 10 minutes - maybe it was not what they were expecting but this is unmistakeably a good film.)
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Great Film
gerrymcd31 January 2004
As an n irish person i was expecting a bad film with joel shumacher directing but this is a great film.

great because of the way veronica dedicated her life to something that was right.

cate blanchet is superb and its sad that it took her death for the irish gorvernment to do something.

an inspirational Film 8/10
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Not for the faint-hearted or squeamish...
RJBurke19427 January 2007
Back in the 1990s, I recall reading news articles about a feisty journalist who was writing stories about the drug problems in Dublin. Occasionally, I'd see another article, and was impressed by the strength and character of the writer. Then, in 1996, I read a long magazine story about Veronica Guerin and how she died.

So, this is a movie I really wanted to see...

Joel Schumacher has produced/directed many good movies, and this one must come near the top for me.

There is no preaching, no histrionics, no proselytizing, no hype – just a relatively short account of how this woman decided to do something about the kids dying in the streets, and about the difficulties she faced in trying to get authorities to stem, or stop, the flow of drugs into the city. Just an ordinary woman who did the extraordinary...

The cinematography of the dirty streets and kids is gritty, as you would expect, contrasting very well with the opulence enjoyed by the major drug pushers of the upper establishment in the Dublin area.

The violence – and there's plenty of it – is short, sharp, vicious and all too realistic: when one drug gang eliminates another, when an informer is tortured, when Veronica is subjected to the most savage personal beating I've seen on film, and when she is finally assassinated.

Couple all of that with a performance by Blanchett worthy of an Oscar, closely followed by Gerard McSorley as John Gilligan, whose evil must be seen to fully appreciate the performance of this fine actor, and rounded off with Ciaran Hinds as John Traynor, who simply excels in his performance as the slime-ball to end all slime-balls – and you have a film that keeps you riveted to your seat, wondering how is it that one person can be so brave in the face of such depravity.

It's a very depressing film because you know what is coming, you know that a horrible death comes as the end. But, it is also an uplifting story that proves, beyond measure, that good people can prevail against the bad elements that exist in all societies, even though some do pay the ultimate price.

If there is one movie you see this year, see this one.
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Let's give the man a pass this time
Chris Knipp4 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Joel Schumacher's Veronica Guerin is a conventional, rather flashy biopic about a fighting Irish journalist who gave her life to expose the role of drug bosses in the disintegrating fabric of Dublin life. Mr. Schumacher has not had an outstanding record as a committed filmmaker and has produced more than anybody's fair share of tasteless clinkers, but it's a bit more difficult to fault him here even if his take errs toward the melodramatic.

Veronica Guerin, played with her usual dash – perhaps too much dash and not enough sweat -- by Cate Blanchett, was murdered by a drug lord named Gilligan and her death galvanized the public to demonstrate and thus to end the dominance of drug dealers in Dublin when the Irish Parliament passed a law allowing the assets of suspected drug dealers to be seized, a decisive step that sealed the dealers' doom, or so the movie tells us. Cate's Irish accent is pretty good. Is she like the real Guerin? She seems a bit too pretty and delicate for that. The movie gives away that Guerin was murdered right at the beginning so I'm not revealing any secrets; it's even in the trailers.

The colors are highly saturated, so the gangster's uniform black leather jackets go dark. This is a colorful, good-looking film. Veronica was fearless, or as her mum says, learned not to show her fear. She was bold, she was courageous, and even when she was shot in the leg, badly beaten by Gilligan himself, and threatened with the kidnapping of her little son Erin, she went on. It was after getting off with only a £100 fine for £1800 worth of traffic tickets, driving back from a country courthouse, that she was fatally shot by one of Gilligan's men. Her death became more important than her life, because of the effect it had.

This is the story. There is no subtlety to the presentation of Veronica. Blanchett makes her cheerful, daring, elegant and unflappable except when she's horribly menaced or assaulted, when she staggers a bit. Whet we do see is that she brings pain to those around her as well as herself, to her mother, her husband, even her colleagues and boss. In a good cause, of course. But the moral issue is there: that the crusader against unscrupulous foes may also be a selfish person in the sense that she chooses to drag others into danger with her. There are hints (a string of front-page stories, a huge poster on a bus) that Veronica sought fame and got it and that her life was an uneasy mixture of saintliness and reckless endangerment. Schumacher's version of her life doesn't make any choices. He highlights the recklessness, and then canonizes Guerin in a sentimental final sequence. Instead of dwelling so much on either possibility, he might have gone into more detail about how an investigative reporter actually works as well as what the Irish druglords' history was.

Schumacher may be most remembered for a couple of Brat Pack movies, St. Elmo's Fire (1985) and Flatliners (1990). He has a taste for sensationalism and courtroom drama, but has tended to alternate disastrous pop clinkers like Batman & Robin (1997), 8MM (1999), and Flawless (1999) with attempts to garner credibility like Tigerland (2000), with its mild antiwar posturing, or the faux-profound Falling Down, with Michael Douglas as an unemployed worker in L.A. who goes berserk in protest against the vague wrongs of modern life. He has seemed more at home and more successful with a good, hokey thriller like the well acted The Client (1994) or his recent Phone Booth (2002), a vehicle for the young Irish-born action star, Colin Farrell, than with anything having potential social significance or intellectual content. Coming from a director who seems most notable for flashy mediocrity, Veronica Guerin is a surprisingly decent effort. It lacks the melancholy grandeur of the Godfather epics or the stylish ironies of neo-noir and it isn't the least bit intellectually challenging, but for what it is it's clean and it packs a punch. UK writers, however, have pointed to another, Irish film version of Guerin's story (which I have not seen) as superior, and have dwelt on the conventionality, melodrama, and sentimentality of the movie. Is that why it seemed like an unusually glossy and ultimately forgettable TV drama? It played in England this summer and showed at the Montreal Festival last month; it opens October 17, 2003 in the US. It may fare better critically in the US than it did in England. With Jerry Bruckheimer as the producer, it would seem fated to do well at the American box office. --Well, that's not fate; that's money!
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Very worth while watching!
Irishcon5 January 2005
I recently found myself watching Veronica Guerin by Luck, I did not indent to watch it as this was the First time of hearing about it. Cate Blanchett play an a extreme excellent part in this Film! Her Irish accent is incredible. The film is well filmed and easy to understand. You also only need to watch this Film once to have an opinion. When you are watching the film, you feel as if it isn't a film at all. You feel as if you are there with all the characters and that it is happening as you watch it! The actors playing the few characters that are in it, play the roles terrifacly. My overall impression of the film is that anyone who can spare one and a half hour to watch it, then WATCH IT!
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This film did a superb job of giving a character description of a very special person.
lindahassler25 July 2004
This film demonstrates better than any I've seen that Cate Blanchette is a superb and captivating actor. She, the writer and the director made every scene count toward exposing the character and personality of Veronica Guerin. We learned

she was a breezy, fearless, dedicated journalist who was anything but ordinary. She speeds, cajoles, flirts, and otherwise charges straight to her goal, that of exposing the problems that allowed drug lords to get away with turning children into addicts for their own personal debauchery. As these filmmakers intended, we are given a modern-day, real, honest-to-God heroine. And I'm the better for it. This film can inspire the life purpose of viewers.
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Great Show!
belindasewf22 January 2004
Cate is such a good actress! Love the way she portrayed the character of this movie. Hope she will get an award for this role... Good luck in the golden globe and Academy Awards!
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Highly underrated! Such a great movie that touches the biggest problem in society that no one wants to talk about!
viviter8 February 2007
Highly underrated! Such a great movie that touches the biggest problem in society that no one wants to talk about! Cate Blanchet is a great actress and she plays the role of Journalist Veronica Guerin in a marvelous way, just like she plays all her roles! This movie is based on the life of a real Journalist who had the courage to face the Drug lords of IReland as she couldn't stand watching the youth of her city in such a miserable state! This is a subject people don't like to talk about cause they are afraid , involved or don't care. MANY people out there do not realize that the drug business is one of the biggest in the world and that it is getting worse and worse each year taking many lives with it! The World needs millions of Veronica Guerins, brave woman and excellent film!!!
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tedg18 December 2005
If you divided movies into six major categories, one of them would be the kind that is straight ahead drama, centered on a single character. It would worry about the thing she or he worries about, usually some social injustice. Because these things are scoped so narrowly, they are easy to do well — it boils down to finding good actors.

And this one is a good one. It has one of our very best actresses. It has a competent director who gives space for actors' intuitions. It has a novel story, which we are told over and over is accurate. This knowledge is supposed to bring the thing closer to us.

This is one of the times when the dynamics of commercial art gets in the way. You need things that motivate artists to do them. They have to be commercial to some extent. That means that they have to draw us in somehow, that we have to willingly engage in the enterprise.

For me, this lacks that draw, even though I am sorta nuts about Cate. She is so naturally deep. But on straightahead work like this she is so wasted I was offended. It is easy to see why this was made: the filmmaker has a personal interest in combating dope. Once rolling, the project attracts good actors. After all, good honest simple characters are hard to find. And the thing does click for what it is.

But I cannot see why we would make the investment in watching it as deeply as serious movies require. (And by that, I mean with a naked heart.))

I cannot see the reason to watch, or the reward for doing so.

So what we have is a waste, I think, and not at all unlike the various wastes we see in the story.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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Before this movie I had never heard of Veronica Guerin.
BerniceBattams16 January 2005
After seeing this masterpiece i was in tears. What a brilliant woman she was. Unfortunately I missed it in the cinemas, I saw the trailer on Pay TV and thought "that sounds like a good movie" having no idea it was a true story. I'm glad that justice was dune and the people that killed Veronica got the jail time that they deserved and that the people that she was writing about got what they deserved. So her murder wasn't too much of a waste, Her family has that at least. The casting was great Cate Blanchet looks a lot like the real Veronica Guerin and the movie was well written. I hope that her son grows up knowing what a great woman she was.
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Another Good Version of the Life and Death of a Martyr
claudio_carvalho24 December 2004
On June, 26th 1996, in the Naas road, the Irish journalist of The Sunday Independent, Veronica Guerin (Cate Blanchet), was executed by two men on a motorcycle. Veronica started researching and writing a series of matters about the powerful barons of drugs, and was eliminated by one of them. The movie begins with Veronica being murdered and dramatizes her last months of life, showing her fighting against the drug dealers, her life with her family and her relationship with her colleagues. In the end, shows the consequences of her death. The first time I saw the story of this brave journalist was in "When the Sky Falls", and the excellent underrated actress Joan Allen gave a magnificent performance as usual and I found the movie outstanding. Although I prefer "When the Sky Falls", Joe Schumacher's version is also a great version of the life and death of this martyr. Cate Blanchett is excellent in the role of Veronica Guerin, but it is not explained the reason why Veronica was so obsessed and usually avoided the presence of other reporters. She was originally graduated as accountant, and later she decided to be a journalist, and her graduation was when she was thirty-one years old. Therefore, she felt the need of going deeper and deeper in her matters to prove her value to her community. This information is available in the extras of "When the Sky is Falling". I saw "Veronica Guerin" in an American DVD, and there are some expressions, probably common in Ireland, that I did not understand and did not find in the dictionary. Collin Farrell has a minor participation as a guy full of tattoos on the sidewalk and the cast has a great performance, in a touching story that hooks the attention of the viewer until the last scene. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O Custo da Coragem – Veronica Guerin" ("The Cost of the Courage – Veronica Guerin")
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All the news fit to print
jotix1002 December 2004
Joel Schumacher seems a strange choice for directing the film, before actually taking a look at the finished product. While the logical choice might have been someone like Neil Jordan, Mr. Schumacher makes the most of it with the material at hand. As usual, he is a director that likes to take chances, as he shows here.

This film came and went without being noticed in this country. Some movies go away quickly, which was the case with "Vernica Guerin". Having just seen it in DVD format, it deserved much better than oblivion from the distributing studio, or the many people deprived of seeing it when it first was released.

Veronica Guerin was a courageous woman who was not afraid for her life, even though there are a couple of instances that could have caused her death, before her actual demise. We see the events on a flashback, as the movie starts with the tragic events of Ms. Guerin's death. We watch her pursuing the people that had no scruples unloading drugs in impoverish areas of Ireland and laughing all the way to the bank with the millions they made illegally.

Cate Blanchett does a great job in her portrayal of Ms. Guerin. Not knowing what the real person was like, Ms. Blanchett bears an uncanny resemblance to the real woman. Cieran Hands, as John, the informer, is also quite good. Having seen him on the stage, he does an excellent turn as this evil man. Finally, Gerard McSorley is also what one would expect his John Gilligan to be; he makes Gilligan appear as the vermin he was. Brenda Fricker, as Veronica's mother, has only a few dignified moments on camera. The rest of the Irish actors were extremely good in contributing to create the right atmosphere for the movie.

This movie emphasizes the danger of drugs and the unscrupulous people that get rich out of the misery of others.
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could have been a great movie
gabrielle-412 April 2004
This could have been a great movie. Director should have let Cate Blanchett just act. When she is allowed to, she's amazing and carries the film up. I was with others, and we were split on the film, so some may love it. I found its script tedious with all the info-giving; it made me cringe at times. And all the shots of Guerin (Blanchett) smirking sideways at the camera -- it seemed like the filmmakers lost perspective. The story is remarkable and important, and there is so much talent in this movie, it's a pity that whatever happened in the execution didn't work to show the film's story as the amazing tale it is. I do not like criticizing films harshly, but for people with so much money and talent and resources -- what happened? The fact is, this movie should have been great. The story is great. One thing at least it does accomplish is get the woman's name and possibly some of her story out to the world.
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jpintar18 March 2004
Cate Blanchett is excellent as Veronica Guerin, a reporter who stands up to the drug dealers in Ireland. I admire Veronica Guerin quite a bit because she stands up for what she believes in. She risks her job, her family, and her life to stop drug dealers. Blanchett is the right person to play this part because she is beautiful and smart. I don't know how much of the movie is true but I like this movie a lot. I wish there were more people like Veronica Guerin in this world who stands up for things rather allow the status quo. I believe in order for there to be real change in the world, there must be people who stand up for what they believe is right. I think critics of the film are wrong that she shouldn't get involved. I give this movie a 7/10 for its strong convictions.
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Cate Blanchett is an acting sensation
frankiehudson19 February 2007
Cate Blanchett is simply outstanding as Veronica Guerin, the heroic investigative journalist who strove to lay bare the evil trade in hard drugs in 1990s Dublin.

In fact, knowing nothing at all about Blanchett, I assumed that she must be an Irish actress. Her Dublin accent is so authentic that it could hardly be otherwise. Yet, it turns out, she is Australian. How can she be such a brilliant actress? Joel Schumacher has produced some great films in the past - my personal favourite is Falling Down - and this film displays some of his favourite themes: urban deprivation and squalor. The scenes of the pathetic drug addicts, many teenagers, in some of Dublin's worse slums, is enough to turn anyone against the drug barons.

However, I think it's their fault, as well. Nobody forces anyone to take drugs and these cretins, in a way, deserve what they get. You might as well blame someone for going down the pub and getting drunk. Blame the landlord.

A great film.
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