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Hunger

8/10
Biography . History . Drama
 

The story of Bobby Sands, the IRA member who led the 1981 hunger strike in which Republican prisoners tried to win political status. It dramatises events in the Maze prison in the six weeks prior to Sands’ death.

 
Actors: Liam Cunningham , Helena Bereen , Stuart Graham , Michael Fassbender , Laine Megaw , Brian Milligan , Liam McMahon
Directors: Steve McQueen
Country: UK , IRELAND
Release: 2008-10-31
More Info:
  • Reyhan Harmanci

    Artful, beautiful in parts and unbelievably brutal in others, and no less honest for its stagecraft.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    Hunger -- the disturbing, provocative, brilliant feature debut from British director Steve McQueen -- does for modern film what Caravaggio did to Renaissance painting.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    An alternately harrowing and poetic take on the fatal 1982 hunger strike of Irish Republican Army prisoner Bobby Sands, Hunger is also one of the most impressive feature directing debuts in years.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Hunger is a mesmerizing 96 minutes of cinema, one of the truly extraordinary filmmaking debuts of recent years. It's also an uneasy, unsettling experience and is meant to be.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • J. Hoberman

    A superbly balanced piece of work, addressing the passion of Irish Republican martyr Bobby Sands.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    McQueen has taken the raw materials of filmmaking and committed an act of great art.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    A disturbingly avid re-creation of the last six weeks in the life and slow, self-imposed wasting of Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    The movie is a political remake of "The Passion of the Christ," only more aestheticized: It's rigorous, evocative, and, in spite of its grisly imagery, elegant. It's a triumph--of masochistic literal-mindedness.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    An artistic triumph.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Sands' death is shown in a tableaux of increasing bleakness. It is agonizing, yet filmed with a curious painterly purity.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Hunger is daunting and powerful work.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    So what is Hunger? Unexpectedly, a visually ravishing tour of hell and a meditation on freedom that at best is wordlessly profound and at worst interestingly obscure.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Noel Murray

    Hunger may be criticized for being willfully arty, or for reducing a complex political situation to a broadly allegorical vision of martyrdom, but it's never less than visually stunning.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Although the film, for the most part, is told from the perspective of the IRA, it does not blithely take its side.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Don R. Lewis

    While Hunger is a very brutal film, it also taps into human emotions and, in the end, asks what would we be willing to die for or, better, what could we truly not live without?

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    It's a strength of this carefully composed, almost obsessively controlled picture that it has no interest in the conventional biographical focus on a subject.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Hunger is almost silent, most of its sounds being unintelligible moans and screams.

    New York Post Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    The brutality in the film is pervasive and often stomach turningly graphic, but what is perhaps most unnerving is the tact, patience and care with which Mr. McQueen depicts its causes and effects.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Leslie Felperin

    Picture represents a powerful, pertinent but not entirely perfect debut for British visual-artist-turned-feature-helmer Steve McQueen, who demonstrates a painterly touch with composition and real cinematic flair, but who stumbles in film's last furlough with trite symbolism.

    Variety Full Review
  • David Denby

    In all, Steve McQueen is a master of fascination rather than of drama--he creates stunning shots rather than an intricate story.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Andrea Gronvall

    The fulcrum of this deeply humanist work is an extended two-shot of the strike's leader, Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender), as he converses with a priest (Liam Cunningham); the virtuosic sequence encapsulates the whole sorry history of a horrific civil war.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    For those who can tough it out -- and not everyone will -- Hunger is a searing experience. Just don't expect to have much of an appetite when it's over.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    An emotionally devastating drama that isn't for the squeamish.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Gary Goldstein

    The first-time director's unflinching camera, deliberate pacing and maddeningly long takes just amplify the story's innate harshness and test audience endurance levels.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Ray Bennett

    Trite, grim and feebly provocative.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Glenn Kenny

    It's the stuff of not quite dreams, and it's rendered with such accuracy and hilarity that I am tempted to call Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters the most successful full-on surrealist film since Bunuel and Dali's 1930 "L'Age d'Or."

    Premiere Full Review
  • Nathan Rabin

    Begins by living up to its fans' rabid expectations, and ends by justifying skeptics' doubts. In between lie roughly equivalent levels of tedium and hilarity.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Mark Bell

    You either get it or you don't.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    It's ragged, and at times it scrapes your comedy ganglia like a cheese grater. But 15 minutes or half an hour is an ideal chunk of time to set aside for truly inspired absurdism.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Chris Kaltenbach

    In a cinematic landscape where truly original ideas are rarer than floating food, recklessness like this deserves to be appreciated. Not understood, but appreciated.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Dennis Harvey

    Offers a diverting package of surreal, rude stoner and pop culture-based humor that will delight youthful viewers while bewildering stray elders.

    Variety Full Review
  • Scott Brown

    The plot can't be summarized: Let's just say that crazy s--- happens, and occasionally, you laugh.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Sean Axmaker

    At best, it's an inspired piece of free-association pop art held together by sheer momentum, at worst a noisy mess of juvenile nonsense passing itself off as a movie.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    To call the animation crude would be high praise. But they succeed enough of the time to make a perversely entertaining movie.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Christy Lemire

    Has an even amount of hilarious individual ideas and moments as well as stretches that just seem gratuitously out-there.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    There's nothing here for kids, or, for that matter, anyone who claims to be an adult. But if the title makes perfect sense to you, the movie probably will, too.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Dan DeLuca

    It is intended for the target audience of arrested-development stoners who stay up late being thrilled rather than confused by the show's non-sequiturial humor.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Michael Rechtshaffen

    No doubt about it, the show's certifiably bizarro, stream-of-consciousness sensibility has made the transition notably intact, which should please its young male fan base.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Robert Wilonsky

    Narrative's beside the point in a movie created by two guys who gorge on pop culture's high-fat diet and regurgitate it into something approaching . . . art? Close enough.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    For all its infectious, go-for-broke wackiness ATHFCMFFT never quite surpasses its opening sequence.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Stephen Hunter

    A work of either a profoundly transgressive genius or a goofball high on Pez and patio sealant. It could come from no normal collection of brain cells.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    It's nowhere near as funny or incisive as the South Park movies, and it has a much crazier style. Imagine Abraham Lincoln chatting up a giant milkshake and discussing slavery, and you get the picture.

    USA Today Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    Strictly for cultists, and even they might find less than 90 bongless minutes hard to sit through.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Angel Cohn

    The pre-credits sequence, featuring a variety of old-school snack treats performing a speed-metal number about courteous movie-theater behavior, is flat-out hilarious and deserves to be played before all R-rated films.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    ATHF can seem brilliantly deconstructive one moment and stupefyingly boring the next--or to provide a more accurate ratio, it can follow five brilliant seconds with five straight minutes of boredom.

    Slate Full Review
  • Peter Hartlaub

    Difficult to recommend, without first knowing the sobriety of the viewer.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • M. E. Russell

    It gives me no pleasure to report that Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters is fairly excruciating to sit through -- because I'm writing this as a fan of the TV series that spawned the movie.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Josh Rosenblatt

    Count it as one of the great Hollywood mysteries – right up there with the death of Natalie Wood and the career of Vin Diesel – that we've had to wait this long for a movie starring a talking milkshake, a floating box of french fries, and a ball of ground beef.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Sam Adams

    A little of this junk-drawer fusillade goes a long way.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Feels deeply calculated rather than genuinely crazy.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • Eric Gwinn

    The TV episodes invariably embed a character or a bit of dialogue in your brain that you continuously describe or repeat to your friends. No such find in the movie, though the offbeat soundtrack is very gettable.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    Tends toward arch silliness more than actual humor, a formula that's tolerable enough in 15-minute tube installments but deadly dull in this 86-minute feature.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Essentially, an act of terrorism against entertainment. It's inconsequential, potty - mouthed, extremely silly, and -- the worst sin of all -- dead boring.

    Boston Globe Full Review
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