Fifty Dead Men Walking

Fifty Dead Men Walking

Kari Skogland (2008)

15 Certificate


Our Score
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 clichés seen in countless entirely fictional scenarios.


Fact-based thriller telling the story of Martin McGartland, who was recruited as a police informant in 1980s Belfast and sent on a mission to infiltrate the IRA. He rose swiftly through the ranks, providing vital information to the British authorities. Once he was exposed, he was tortured and forced to go into hiding. Starring Jim Sturgess and Ben Kingsley.

Cast & Crew

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
Director Kari Skogland
see more

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: MetrodomeGuidance: Violence and swearing. Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 10 Apr 2009