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Michael Collins
Michael Collins
Actors: Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, Ian Hart, Richard Ingram
Director: Neil Jordan
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
R     1997     2hr 13min

Neil Jordan returns to the strife-torn Irish political landscape for this real-life epic set in 1920 and starring Liam Neeson as the legendary Irish revolutionary leader and Julia Roberts as his headstrong fiancee.


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Movie Details

Actors: Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, Ian Hart, Richard Ingram
Director: Neil Jordan
Creators: Chris Menges, Neil Jordan, J. Patrick Duffner, Tony Lawson, Redmond Morris, Stephen Woolley
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/08/1997
Original Release Date: 10/11/1996
Theatrical Release Date: 10/11/1996
Release Year: 1997
Run Time: 2hr 13min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Kathy J. (Frances) from RINDGE, NH
Reviewed on 2/10/2011...
I learned a lot. Well done.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Jordan and Neeson's crowning achievements.
D. Mok | Los Angeles, CA | 10/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Digging back into their roots, director Neil Jordan and actor Liam Neeson have respectively delivered their most memorable and deep-cutting works to date. Michael Collins has nagging flaws, but in the sweep of the passionate filmmaking and performances, all else is moot. You will be carried forth by the conviction of the story.Neeson was simply born to play this role. An actor of tremendous power, Neeson is here given a role that's multi-dimensional enough for him to show his formidable chops. The Michael Collins character is alternately a boyish, dashing ladykiller and a tactician with a steel will, and just watching Neeson tackle the character's inner and outer demons is worth the price of the movie. He indeed projects the power and charisma of a great leader in his "our refusal" speech. There's more -- Aidan Quinn gives his best performance as friend-turned-enemy Harry Boland; Alan Rickman utilizes his deadpan comic timing and hidden deviance to perfection as Eamon de Valera; Stephen Rea is great as usual as English traitor Ned Broy. The one weak link is of course Julia Roberts, as Harry and Mick's love interest Kitty, with her bad Irish accent and vacant presence. She's paralyzed by the scope of the historical drama and comes off stiff as a result, injecting the character with neither warmth nor power, and none of her signature girlish exuberance. However, this was one case where the filmmaker's sacrifice of a character was to the benefit of the film. In directing the film, Jordan sliced down Kitty's importance and makes her mostly a footnote; the result is that we are now free to interpret Mick and Harry's split as a philosophical and political one, rather than the ol' romantic triangle. And for the better.The cinematography is terrific, and the script ranks among my favourite of the '90s. Jordan is deeply tapped into the behaviour and concerns of these characters, and he fills every minute with humour, danger, urgency, and personality. The writing translates onto the screen beautifully, giving the audience an insight into not only the sociological scape of the film, but also the psychological. And the pacing and editing never let up -- from the perfectly chosen "in medias res" opening to the brilliant "Bloody Sunday" assassination montage. A great neglected classic."
A much better film than I had imagined...
Gregor von Kallahann | 06/05/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"What a shame that whenever this film is mentioned nowadays, it's almost always referred to as a Julia Roberts flop. It's actually scarcely a Julia Roberts film at all. Her role is quite minor-and it's commendable that she took it on, really, since she was already a star. I gather she was looking for serious roles in meaty films in an effort to beef up her acting credentials. And this certainly was a meaty film. It is, in fact, a much, much better film than I had ever imagined from the reviews of the time. I only regret never having seen it on the big screen, because its epic sweep and beautiful cinematography would have been all the more impressive.Americans, including Irish-Americans like myself, have only the vaguest notions of Irish history. We learn the basics in school, and probably, most educated Americans have an idea of approximately when and how the Irish Republic was established. We may also know that six counties in the North remained under British rule and are still part of the UK (at least, I hope we do--after 30 years of reports on the "troubles"). "Michael Collins" goes some distance toward filling in those informational gaps. I am aware that many critics have challenged writer/director Neil Jordan's interpretation of Irish history (in particular his making Eamon De Valera, the President of the Irish Republic, something of a villain). To that, one can only respond that historical dramas are by definition an interpretation of history. I see that a few of the reviewers below have mentioned that this film inspired them to seek out more information about Irish history. Those of us that do will eventually get a more balanced view, perhaps. It was not Neil Jordan's job to provide us with that perspective. His job as an artist was to tell as engaging a story as he could. On that score, he has succeeded very well indeed."
Absolutely stunning.
Michael J. Berquist | 02/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Historical films are notoriously inaccurate. ("Braveheart", for example, is a terrific movie but all over the place historically.) Drama, after all, is oftentimes inconsistent with the tides of history. Which was why I was so impressed to read a magazine article some time ago touting the film's attention to detail and accuracy. I made a special note of wanting to see "Michael Collins". Am I ever glad I did. This is a wonderful, wonderful movie."Michael Collins" is the story of a member of the Irish Republican Army who succeeded in leading Ireland to independence, but at great cost. A participant in the famous "Easter Rising" of 1916, Collins was arrested and became a leader in the Irish independence movement. Collins was an extraordinary leader who devised guerilla warfare tactics to fight the English army that would later be used by the Viet Cong, and daringly rescued Eamon DeValeria, the man who would become the leader of Ireland and whom many believe was responsible for Collins death. Collins also negotiated the treaty which ended 700 years of English rule in Ireland, and as Commander of the Irish Provisional Army was forced to fight against guerillas opposed to the treaty (which left the northern six counties a part of England and delayed full independence). The irony was that Collins was forced to hunt down and kill the very men he trained. Many in Ireland look on Collins as a hero, others as a traitor. His death is, like the Kennedy assassination, a great controversy- nobody has the faintest idea who killed him. As historical figures go, few are as controversial or as romanticized as Collins. The film covers the 1916-1922 era of Collins life, from the Easter Rising until his death.Writer & Director Neil Jordan clearly has passion for the project and it shows. Collins is a real hero to Jordan and the director goes to great lengths to be as accurate as possible and to show us Collins in action. Perhaps Jordan's best move was in casting Liam Neeson in the part. Neeson is a very talented actor who delivers a terrific performance in the title role. Neeson's Collins is firey, angry, passionate, hates war, longs for peace. It is hard to imagine anyone else in the part.The rest of the cast is good- Alan Rickman is impressive as Eamon DeValeria, a difficult role to play given how much DeValeria and Collins are at odds with one another in the end. Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, and Stephen Rea are all also good in their supporting roles as Collins best friend, the woman the two men compete for, and the English agent who provides Collins with critical intelligence.In terms of location and cinematography, it is hard to do better than this. Jordan has painstakingly recreated Ireland & Dublin of 1916-1922, and it looks stunningly beautiful and stunningly realistic. One actually feels like you are seeing the real Ireland of the early part of the century instead of a recreation."Michael Collins" is a wonderful film that history lovers and people fascinated with Ireland will adore. Highly recommended."