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'71

7/10
War . Drama . Action . Thriller
 

A young British soldier must find his way back to safety after his unit accidentally abandons him during a riot in the streets of Belfast.

 
Actors: Adam Nagaitis , Paul Popplewell , Ben Peel , Killian Scott , David Wilmot , Valene Kane , Jack Lowden , Charlie Murphy , Sam Hazeldine , Sam Reid , Sean Harris , Paul Anderson , Jack O'Connell
Directors: Yann Demange
Country: UK
Release: 2014-10-10
More Info:
  • Michael Phillips

    Swift and exciting, with no taste for the usual war movie heroics, first-time feature film director Yann Demange's film belongs on a short list of immersive, rattling, authentic fictions right next door to the fact of survival inside a war zone.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Jeff Baker

    What matters in '71 is the action, and the look on O'Connell's face when he emerges from a shed into the Belfast night.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Jessica Kiang

    ‘71 is more than just a performance showcase, delivering a gripping, at times almost unbearably tense, incredibly involving anti-war statement, made the stronger for being set against the less cinematically familiar backdrop of Belfast in the year 1971.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    '71 constantly thrills without sensationalizing its surprises. The war-is-hell ethos drives it forward, so that the movie retains its suspense in conjunction with its dour outlook.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Nothing is extraneous, no moment that doesn't enhance the tension of this nightmare scenario is allowed to survive, until the proceedings become, in the best possible sense, almost unbearable to watch.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    Mr. Demange makes his feature directing debut with ’71, but he already knows how to move bodies through space and the complex choreography that he’s worked out in this movie is a thing of joy.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Amy Nicholson

    [An] excellent, tensely controlled thriller.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Yann Demange’s ’71, with an astonishing performance by Jack O’Connell, is big-screen storytelling stripped to its dramatic and visual essentials, and the result is nothing less than shattering.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Leslie Felperin

    This outstanding, muscular feature debut for French-born, British-based director Yann Demange almost never puts a foot wrong, from the softly underplayed performances to the splendidly speckled cinematography and fine-grained period detailing.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Guy Lodge

    A vivid, shivery survival thriller that turns the red-brick residential streets of Belfast into a war zone of unconscionable peril.

    Variety Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    Take the politics out and you’d still have a powerhouse action film. But please, don’t take the politics out.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Brad Wheeler

    Republicans or loyalists, Catholics or Protestants – this film is not about political or religious trenches. People died, but it’s more than the bombs, bullets and bodies. The more fascinating damage was done to psyches and souls, and Demange, with ’71, comes for yours.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    Frame by frame, ’71 is one of those intense war thrillers where you know it’s fiction, you know it’s not a documentary, and yet every performance and every conflict feels true to the history and the events of the time.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    1971 is a testament to a generation's idealism, heroism, foolhardiness, fearlessness.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    It’s a rare film that locates viciousness and kindness on both sides of Northern Ireland’s Troubles.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Joe McGovern

    It’s only March, but this could be 2015’s most invigorating directorial debut.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Within its limited compass, ’71 packs a punch, and the lack of political bias does give it a more encompassing feel.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    The setting may be Belfast ’71, but Demange’s sensibility — first-rate suspense coupled with black-and-white politics — is much more James Cameron ’86.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Demange's busy camera is effective in conveying the chaos swirling around Hook. If we can't always tell exactly what's going on, neither can Hook. It ratchets up the tension considerably.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    As the camera darts down alleyways, or prowls the housing projects where soldiers fear to tread, what really concerns Demange — and what lends such a kick to O’Connell’s performance, on the heels of “Starred Up” and “Unbroken” — is the bewilderment and the panic that await us, whoever we may be, in limbo.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    Whenever the film focuses on Gary, it’s O’Connell’s show. And the actor’s ability to quietly express a whole range of emotions with his body language and his eyes, is staggering — especially since, for much of the film, he’s limping and covered in blood.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    It’s a riveting, man-on-the-run genre movie, almost a combination of “Black Hawk Down” and “After Hours,” rather than an allegory or a historical treatise.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • Matthew Dessem

    A master class in structure, a meticulously constructed period piece, a powerful anti-war film, and rarest of all, a thriller whose tension and suspense feel genuinely earned.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Matt Glasby

    A brutal army thriller that feels like the truth, thanks to take-no-prisoners storytelling and a tell-no-lies performance from Jack O’Connell.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Tim Robey

    The film’s stark realism and bruising impact are enough in themselves, but the risk, and the real artistic payoff, is its bold sensory plunge into this Hadean inferno.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Nev Pierce

    The villainy is, perhaps unavoidably, somewhat signposted, but this is a tense, gripping thriller that combines real-world relevance with high-concept entertainment. In a superb ensemble, O’Connell is outstanding.

    Empire Full Review
  • Andrew Pulver

    It's a film that holds you in a vice-like grip throughout; only wavering towards the end with a faintly preposterous climactic shootout.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Peter Keough

    Churns out dread, suspense, and hellish splendor with its derelict cityscapes and breakneck action.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Odie Henderson

    Last seen in “Starred Up” and Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken,” O’Connell continues to bring equal measures of toughness and vulnerability to his characters. Despite his good looks, there’s an everyman’s quality to him, which he uses to full effect in ’71.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Demange's film, spiked by an outstanding, all-stops-out O'Connell, makes politics unnervingly personal. Too much? What else do you expect of a cinematic knockout punch that sends you reeling?

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    It’s an intricate, intimate thriller about a single soldier’s nightmare day and night on the front lines.

    Movie Nation Full Review
  • Kenji Fujishima

    It distinguishes itself from Pual Greengrass's films by virtue of its close attention to political and moral ambiguities.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Ben Nicholson

    '71 is a pulse-raising actioner that stumbles a little in navigating the typically hazardous political terrain.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Dave Calhoun

    Demange is a strong storyteller and masks the script’s tendency to nod to every opinion and social division by offering a masterclass in tension as soon as his dramatic bomb starts ticking.

    Time Out London Full Review
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