Friday, February 27, 2015

'71 Movie Review

Jack O'Connell stars in '71

Welcome to the Regiment 

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: '71 takes place over a single night in the life of Gary Hook, a young British soldier (Jack O'Connell) accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the streets of Belfast in 1971. Unable to tell friend from foe, and increasingly wary of his own comrades, he must survive the night alone and find his way to safety through a disorientating, alien and deadly landscape.

O'Connell trades in WWII (Unbroken) for a "deteriorating security situation" in Belfast, and couldn't be better. BAFTA got it right: O'Connell's gonna be a star. Director Yann Demange puts said star (and audience) in the middle of the fray, shaky cameras and all. You really get a sense of how uncomfortable the entire situation is. Young Corey McKinley is brilliant as Wee-Man, one of many locals who befriends Gary. In fact, '71 is chock-full of terrific, smaller performances, including Richard Dormer who warns, "I'm not gonna lie to you. This is gonna hurt like fuck." One of the year's best.

Grade: B+