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Five Minutes of Heaven

Thriller . Drama . Crime

The story of former UVF member Alistair Little. Twenty-five years after Little killed Joe Griffen's brother, the media arrange an auspicious meeting between the two.

Actors: Gerard Jordan , Anamaria Marinca , James Nesbitt , Liam Neeson , Barry McEvoy , Conor MacNeill , Niamh Cusack , Mark Ryder , Richard Dormer , Pauline Hutton , Diarmuid Noyes , Mathew McElhinney
Directors: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Country: UK , IRELAND
Release: 2009-02-27
More Info:
  • David Fear

    When violence eventually rears its ugly head again, the effect is as anticlimactic as the movie’s title is misleading. Brief bliss is a red herring; there’s only a lifetime of pain left in such acts’ wakes.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Dennis Harvey

    Powerhouse performances by Liam Neeson and James Nesbit make this an intense, ultimately moving tale.

    Variety Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    The title of the overlong Fifty Dead Men Walking refers to lives saved by Sturgess' character, who is still in hiding years later.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Amy Biancolli

    An imperfect but intensely human movie that ponders the aftershock of violence, could have been an exercise in overacted sappiness. Instead, it's as hard and uncompromising as remorse.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    On balance, it's a good movie but not a great one. Probably the only reason it's getting North American distribution is because of the involvement of Liam Neeson.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    A director whose breakthrough was the story of a madman's last stand has exceeded that feat with the story of an angry man's next step.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Sam Adams

    Hirschbiegel fails to discipline his English-speaking cast, allowing Nesbitt so much rein with his caffeinated performance that sympathies shift to Neeson’s comparatively sanguine murderer.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Captures the awful intimacy and the grimy, second-rate quality of the Northern Ireland conflict in resonant fashion. Full Review
  • Gary Goldstein

    Ultimately, Five Minutes of Heaven is stronger as a whole than its individual parts. It's a well-performed piece that perhaps required a more calibrated hand than Hirschbiegel's proves here.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    A forceful Neeson and an even more intense Nesbitt (Bloody Sunday) both show their stuff and obscure the unrelieved pain endured by the men they portray.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Five Minutes of Heaven’reduces Northern Ireland’s troubles to a gimmick, but it’s an interesting gimmick, and the two men hoisted on its petard work at vivid cross-purposes. If nothing else, the film’s worth seeing as a demonstration of opposing acting techniques.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Kirk Honeycutt

    Based on a true story -- that never happened. That might explain why the film circles and circles its subject but never strikes dramatic pay dirt.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Vadim Rizov

    The production design is spot-on, but Hirschbiegel tries way too hard to create tension, making every occurrence--a record needle dropping, a car door slamming--an unsubtle potential bomb, fraying your nerves like a cheap horror movie.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    A feature-length talkathon built on a sketchy premise, some unpersuasive psychology, a pinch of politics and strong star turns from Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt, the appeal of all those words runs out long before the director Oliver Hirschbiegel turns off the spigot.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Early scenes set up the tragedy, but the majority of Oliver Hirschbiegel's movie is set in a TV studio where the two eventually face each other, and the tension, unfortunately, quickly becomes stagey.

    New York Daily News Full Review
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