February 26, 2015

Jack O'Connell stars in '71. Photo credit: Dean Rogers

Directed by: Yann Demange

Written by: Gregory Burke

Cast: Jack O'Connell, Sean Harris, Charlie Murphy, Richard Dormer, David Wilmot, Paul Anderson, Martin McCann, Sam Reid, Sam Hazeldine, Killian Scott, Valene Kane, Paul Popplewell

Rating: R (for strong violence, disturbing images, and language throughout)

Running Time: 99 minutes

Jack O’Connell is a star in the making. He was fabulous in last year’s STARRED UP and UNBROKEN, and he is just as good in this year’s ’71. O’Connell plays good guy Gary Hook, a young British soldier who accidentally gets abandoned in Belfast during a riot in 1971. In a single night, Hook must maneuver through the dangerous Irish streets, avoiding being captured, tortured, and/or killed. Director Yann Demange (’71 is his directorial debut) does a brilliant job of keeping the era’s politics front and center as Hook narrowly escapes from one hair raising moment to the next. It is the film’s impressive kinetic energy that flows during this period of gritty survival that makes it a must see film.

Grade: A-

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