Belfast hoodlum Martin (Jim Sturgess) is recruited by a British agent (Ben Kingsley) to infiltrate the IRA during the height of the Northern Irish conflict and quickly becomes embroiled in a dangerous game that could cost ... more »him his life if his secret is found out. As other informers are brutally murdered, Martin starts to look for a way out, but his handler urges him to stay undercover in this taut action packed thriller based on a true story.« less
Deidra C. (Deidra670) from GARRETT, KY Reviewed on 3/6/2011...
50 DEAD MEN WALKING was an interesting exercise for me. While growing up, I always recall hearing "the troubles in Ireland" on the news and being discussed. I didn't understand what was going on and I'm still puzzled. But then, I'm always at a loss when it comes to the religious fanatics who seem driven to kill in the name of God.
While surrounded by violence, a young man, Martin has stayed pretty much out of the frenzy that consumates his mates. Ultimately, he is recruited by the IRA and a short while later, he becomes an informant, trying to save lives. And save lives he does. So much so that he eventually becomes a target of his own people.
50 DEAD MEN WALKING is based on a true story and the young man, Martin is in protection and has to move monthly to avoid IRA retaliation, even now. He never sees his family. But his sacrifice saved 50 men marked for death by the IRA.
50 DEAD MEN WALKING is an excellent movie, one that will leave the viewer a little shaken. What price is too high? Where do you draw the line between saving others or your own? This movie should definitely be seen and it's so sad that it drew so little attention when released.
50 DEAD MEN WALKING. Heroism comes at a price.
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Excellent Irish film about the violent days of the troubles
Michael P. Dobey | colorado springs | 01/11/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This story is based on the true story of a northern Irish man (Jim McGArtland) who joins the IRA and is also a informant for the government who is trying to stop the IRA's often random slaughter of people (terrorism) that was occurring during the late 1980's. To be fair the IRA was enforcing law when things were breaking down as well; but often they would target whole pubs or such for a murderous attack. And they were a terrorist organization who tortured people to death. (touts or informants in particular). The informant working the police is able to stop many attacks and he saves at least 50 men who were personally targeted. Hence the title of the movie. "50 dead men walking", men who were doomed but still alive because of the informant. Will the informant survive?, and what happens when MI-5 acts just as brutally against a IRA man? This story is one that deserves to be told and the acting is excellent. This is a solid movie featuring the always excellent Ben Kingsley as the man who oversees the informant. Rose McGowen shines in a supporting role as the ruthless head of IRA intelligence who will use her assets to kill or gain information. Every actor including the young lead Jim Sturgess play believable people who are driven by the hideous conditions (economic poverty, violence, racial intolerance, political fanaticism) of Northern Ireland that existed then. One IMPORTANT thing about this movie is that you may want to use the English subtitles because the northern Irish speak very quickly in their own slang English which is understandable but not that easy to follow without the subtitles. The blu- ray print is excellent and is well mastered so you won't have a problem with it in anyway. This was made by the Irish but it is as professional as any movie made by anyone else. In other words this is a gritty realistic drama that pulls no punches and is well made. It features a number of deleted scenes as well that were cut from the flick , some should have stayed in but most are character building scenes. This is not a low budget badly made movie at all, it's a good mostly TRUE story about sacrifices and about the hard choices that the informant is facing while he infiltrates the IRA. This was directed by Kari Skogland who knows how to direct a decent movie and lets hope she keeps directing and continues to improve as a director."
""Fifty dead men walking" is a film unjustifiably overlooked by many. Based on real facts and inspired by an important witness (Martin McGartland).
Crude, violent but engaging, the film shows us how a small delinquent of Belfast in the late eighties, unworried about the political background of the struggle between Catholics and protestants, and how he is engaged as veiled informer of the IRA terrorist schedule.
A singular and bold film that brought to my mind the two best films of the nineties about this issue: "Hidden Agenda" and "In the name of the father".
Jim Sturgess gives an vibrant performance, as well as Ben Kingsley (Fergus) and Kevin Zegers (Sean). An impeccable direction makes of this young promise an auspicious career.
Recommended without restrictions. "
A Tragic Figure of Consequence
prisrob | New EnglandUSA | 02/07/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a Catholic in Belfast in the '80's, Martin McGartland, learned that life was tough whatever side you were on. Martin started out as tough kid on the streets and ended up a man on the run.
Jim Sturgess plays Martin McGarland, the Belfast hustler, who plays both sides of the game. His actions with the IRA brings him to the attention of Fergus played by Ben Kingsley. Fergus is a British Operative who becomes Martin's mentor. Through several run-ins with the law, Fergus talks Martin into working for him and his country. This film is all action, and as time moves on we understand some of the motivation of Martin. He has a girlfriend and soon a babe and the money from the Brits is the deciding factor. This is a story of one man, who leads a life full of violence and terror. He is shown the body of a Brit who was tortured for 58 days before he was killed- enough to convince anyone to get out of the game? No way out, is there boy?
This is a fascinating look at the life of a man who is trapped in a maze. He starts out for the money and then little by little we wonder if he is won over. In the course of his life as conspirator he saved 50 men from death. Was it worth it? Is he a reluctant hero? Gotta ask Martin, if you can find him.
Recommended. prisrob 02-07-09
Across the Universe (Two-Disc Special Edition)
You Kill Me "
The Real IRA, the Real MI5
John | 03/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"American gangster movies tend to either glorify the mafia, or make it into a joke (Joe Pesci in "Goodfellas", etc.). This movie is a very brutal and realistic view of the IRA and the situation in northern Ireland. The acting is first rate. Ben Kingsley is excellent, and I wanted to write down some of his statements (on the IRA men: "They are killers who just found something to kill for"). The violence is brutal and realistic. We see men shot dead drinking pints of ale and blown up in vans and shot dead in front of their children. We see the British military bashing teenagers with rifle butts. I agree though, that this movie, although VERY informative about the situation in Ireland in the 1980s, is really ultimately a human story, and not a political one. This story could easily be transposed to Algeria, or Israel-Palestine, or Tibet, or anywhere that there is a conflict. I think also that any American who "supports" the IRA should be "forced" to watch this movie. I now know why my local Irish pub owner where I live - from Dublin and who has seen this story up close - refuses to serve "Irish Car bombs", but will serve you an "Irish Peacemaker" instead !"