Fifty Dead Men Walking

  • 15
  • Kari Skogland (2008)
  • Can / UK / US
  • 112 min
Fifty Dead Men Walking
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Based on the autobiography of Martin McGartland, a police informant scaling the ranks of the IRA in the late 1980s, director Kari Skogland's film focuses on the effects the Troubles had on families, rather than addressing any wider political questions. Jim Sturgess portrays McGartland as a well-meaning but confused youth in a divided Belfast where, as one character puts it, "you're not a man unless you've got a cause", perfectly conveying the desperation of the times. Ben Kingsley, as McGartland's police "handler" Fergus, struggles with the task of providing the film with a moral compass of sorts - the title derives from the belief that McGartland's information saved the lives of at least 50 police and soldiers. However, Skogland's voyeuristic approach to the violence of the conflict tends to undermine any message, as she rigidly sticks to the thriller clich├ęs seen in countless entirely fictional scenarios.

Plot Summary

Political thriller based on a true story, starring Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess. Belfast in the late 1980s: young Martin McGartland is recruited by the police to infiltrate and spy on the IRA. But as he gradually works his way up the ranks, his double life as an informer begins to take its toll.

Cast and crew

Cast

Fergus
Ben Kingsley
Martin McGartland
Jim Sturgess
Sean
Kevin Zegers
Lara
Natalie Press
Grace
Rose McGowan
Mickey Adams
Tom Collins
Ray
William Houston
Robbie
Michael McElhatton
Mary
Laura Leigh Hughes
Kieran
Gerard Jordan

Crew

Director
Kari Skogland

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Metrodome
Guidance: 
Violence and swearing.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 10 Apr 2009
Certificate 15
Distributor:
Metrodome Distribution Ltd
Categories
Drama

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