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Veronica Guerin
Veronica Guerin
Actors: Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Brenda Fricker, Ciarán Hinds, Gerard McSorley
Director: Joel Schumacher
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2004     1hr 32min

In the mid-90s dublin was nothing short of a war zone with a few powerful drug lords battling for control. Their most fearsome opponent was not the police but the courageous journalist veronica guerin who covered the crime...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Brenda Fricker, Ciarán Hinds, Gerard McSorley
Director: Joel Schumacher
Creators: Chad Oman, Eli Richbourg, James Flynn, Jerry Bruckheimer, Mike Stenson, Carol Doyle, Mary Agnes Donoghue
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Format: DVD - Color,Anamorphic
DVD Release Date: 03/16/2004
Original Release Date: 10/17/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 10/17/2003
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 32min
Screens: Color,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 3
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

George K. from COLCHESTER, CT
Reviewed on 4/9/2015...
Outstanding job by Cate Blanchette as the courageous Irish journalist. The title character's willingness to take on a deadly batch of druglords is easy to accept, given Blanchette's presentation.

The satisfying ending is anything but out of a child's storybook, and it leaves a loose end or two that complete the convincing image the movie offers.

Definitely worth seeing, but not for hands-over-eyes moviegoers who have a hard time with violence or tension.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
B Doris D. (Frenchie300) from DETROIT, MI
Reviewed on 12/4/2008...
Another story of a fine journalist murdered while seeking out the truth. Veronica Guerin is a household word in Ireland. Cate Blanchett again puts in a stunning performance as Veronica.

Movie Reviews

Another star in Cate Blanchett's impressive repertoire
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Despite the media's devastatingly misjudged reviews of VERONICA GUERIN the film is so fine that it will survive by word of mouth. Joel Schumacher understands this type of story - in this case a true stroy of an Irish reporter's murder due to her indomitable fight to expose the Drug Lords of Dublin. He makes us face the ugly aspects of the drug underworld and its pitiful victims, yet he also knows how to harness the audience reaction to drive home a point. If anything this film is a fine example, like TRAFFIC, of calling attention to a true international crisis - drugs with the associated greed of those perpetrating their use and the devastating effect on our youth, our citizery, our cities, our future. Bravo to Joel Schumacher for his ongoing drive to make the grimy things public.But kudos are definitely in order for the entire cast of this film. Cate Blanchett in the title role has carefully studied the woman on whose life this is based and in doing so she is able to give a performance that is deeply felt, sensitively portrayed, and a complete pleasure to watch AND hear! The cast supporting her includes such fine talents as Brenda Fricker, Ciaran Hinds, Gerard McSorley and even Colin Farrell in a tiny cameo role. Farrell's appearance, despite its brevity, has a solid impact and seems more than an homage to Joel Schumacher who gave his his first major role in TIGERLAND.The cinematography captures Dublin and the countryside of Ireland in all its rainy, grimy beauty and the musical score is hauntingly appropriate. As the public responds en masse to the funeral procession of Veronica Guerin there is a sense of the Argentinian response to the death of Evita Peron - a country paying tribute to a heroine. Give this film a chance, tells your friends to see it - the message and quality of VERONICA GUERIN is that good."
Pretty long (but coherent) rant.
Annalisa Moretti | Kalamazoo, MI | 04/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I just saw "Veronica Guerin" on DVD last week, and was blown away with it, and then horribly disappointed by the truly dismal reviews I found of it online. It bothered me immensely why the film sparked such a reaction. Eventually I had to sit down and try to figure out why this happened.These are the reasons I have come up with for the critical responses.1. The jaded attitude of some critics. When "Whale Rider" came out last summer, many people applauded it for the fact that it touched even the most hardened and savvy viewers; but let's face it, a movie which stars an impressively gifted little girl and a bunch of whales will touch a person with much more ease than a movie about the drug trade. (And don't get me wrong, I adore "Whale Rider".)2. I sense a certain amount of poorly-hidden discomfort in many reviews I've read. A sort of ... defensiveness. Partly for the above reason: jaded people don't like to be touched by things, but a movie like "Veronica Guerin" is, in my opinion, the kind of movie they most don't want to like. Not only does it take a moral attitude towards something, but it depicts the criminal world in a way which can easily be seen as cliche ... though I have to wonder .... how many of these critics actually know what the criminal world is like? All movies involve a certain amount of cliche, otherwise they wouldn't be movies. Fiction rests on cliche, even in the most sparing amounts, because it simply is not real. So yes: no doubt the way the world of the criminals in "Veronica Guerin" is depicted owes much to a certain amount of stylization, just as all aspects of every movie do. I suppose because it's a subject which is supposed to be so reliant on reality that some are so sensitive to it. But I think the high-handed tone of many critics on this subject is frankly a little laughable; as I said, how much do these people know about criminals? Not much, I doubt. It's harder to accept cliche on this subject than it is on others, I suppose.3. And, as I said, the movie is very moralistic. Many people don't like to be told "This is wrong" (even if they agree that it probably is). In the climate which "Veronica Guerin" arrived in, I think people especially were sick to death of being told "This is wrong", for, er, obvious reasons of a political nature. 4. Two words: Joel Schumacher. The man everyone loves to hate. But let me tell you: if you listen to his commentary for the movie, there's no way to deny that he knew exactly what he was doing when he made this movie; he was immensely well-versed in the subject, and not only that, but formed a rare bond with Veronica's family which gives the film a genuiness which many biopic-themed films lack. Everytime I see a review in which the critic whines, "We don't get to meet Veronica in this film. We don't learn anything about her as a person," I think of how her family reacted to the movie and know that they certainly felt that the movie presented Veronica as a very real and psychologically complex person. I think of the really wonderful scene in the hospital after she's been shot in the leg and is clearly in shock and keeps trying to hide it (though of course, remember, Roger Ebert, in his ten minute long analysis of the picture, puts this performance down to Guerin's OBVIOUS out-of-control egotism). And I can only conclude that people went into the film disliking Joel Schumacher and not prepared to like the product no matter what.5. And finally, there is a reason which has to do with Veronica's status as a journalist which I think plays a role in this. I detect a very important strain in this movie which most people hasn't seem to comment on. And that is that I feel there is a very strong indictment against the modern global media in here. I know that, watching the news this morning I felt a new sort of disgust for the whole way it was handled, in light of the film.Veronica Guerin was an exceptional journalist. Yes, she was a brave person, and that was part of it. Yes, she was sometimes foolish in her pursuit of a story (more on that later). She is, to put it simply, the type of journalist we should have more of. And which we most certainly don't.In the making of documentary on the DVD, one of Veronica's colleagues - the real person, not the actor who plays him in the movie - described her as NOT the kind of reporter who sat around in an office, waiting for a press release, waiting to be told a bunch of spin. And yeah, the immediate reaction to that is "No duh!" We certainly saw that in the movie. It was, in fact, pushed in our face. But when you really dwell on it, it's kind of depressing. Because how many other journalists can you say that about? I can only think of a few, and none of them are working now. Sitting around in an office waiting for a press release IS how most journalists operate. It's incredibly unmotivated and incredibly useless, really. I've followed threads in OIT where we were following a developing story and people posted link to article after article and was stunned by how every one sounded so much the same. Didn't matter what news agency. Didn't matter what COUNTRY. The media just seems to sit around, retyping what others have said. It's safe news reporting. There's a time and a place for this but there's a time and a place when someone actually has to get some balls and do something.We look at someone like Veronica Guerin and think "She was brave but she was stupid. WHY did she do this?" And I think this anger is understandable but totally misplaced. Don't be angry at Veronica. Be angry at the people who did it. Once again that sounds like an obvious conclusion, but look at the elements behind such a statement. The people who murdered her were, to put it mildly, out of control. They were so in love with themselves, with their petty wants and desires, with their extravagant way of living, that they felt that preserving these things was worth someone else's life. When they use this type of approach by killing people the slow way - i. e. by feeding addictions and taking advantage of people in poverty - no one's shocked. They don't approve of it but it's something that happens. When someone like Veronica is murdered, there's a different reaction. The selfishness of such an act is a bit more apparent. But there isn't any difference.That above reaction to her murder seems to have been the presiding feeling right after her death, the atmosphere that ushered in the creation of the CAB and the rewriting of the constitution. But the reaction which has greeted the film, which, from what I've read, appears to have begun to become prevalent years ago, possibly with the publication of Emily O'Neill's biography of Guerin, is different. There seems to be a blaming of Veronica. Sort of like "She asked for it." She should have known when to stop. She was careless for endangering herself and her family. She was too single-minded, she neglected her own safety and the people who loved her in the pursuit of this story.And you know what that reminds me of? It reminds of when comfortably elite people say of drug addicts who get murdered or die from their addictions, "They were stupid. They shouldn't have been involved. They asked for it." Anger that is misplaced. Anger that should be directed at the people doing the killing, the people who are taking advantage of others; anger that should be used in stopping these people.It's the same sort of misplacement which accompanies the reaction to Veronica and to the movie, though most people don't realize that there isn't a difference.We need people Veronica Guerin. People like her have kept the rest of us safe, or at least tried to, from the beginning of time. We can't understand how these people can do what they do, and maybe there's a little bit of resentment which arises from this fact. I don't know. I don't completely understand it myself.Guerin wasn't a saint. The movie doesn't depict her as such, which some reviewers seemed to have overlooked. But her faults don't lessen her achievments, and the mere fact that she was willing to go a distance which most of us can't imagine going doesn't make her stupid or insane. It doesn't make her perfect. It does make her someone worthy of respect, and I think the movie was also worthy of respect, a lot more than it got.And yeah, Cate Blanchett? Definitely screwed by Oscar."
You have to ask Why?...
Harry G. Holstine | Sacramento, CA | 10/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Leaving the theater, after watching Veronica Guerin, you have to ask yourself, WHY? Why did an Irish journalist, who had no experience in investigative reporting, suddenly want to take on the top Drug Lords in Dublin? Why did she push herself so hard and so fast, that she had little time for her husband and six-year-old son? Since Veronica was such a loner, without many friends, and worked out of her home, the WHY quwstion will probably never be answered.'s reviewer wrote "Veronica Guerin is an adequate tribute that could, and should have been exceptional. But he didn't explain how. This is where a wonderful, exciting movie could have been exceptional. Cate Blanchett did a fantastic, Oscar-worthy job in the title role, and it's not her fault that the screenplay did not give her a chance to explain her motives.Accents are no problem for the rest of the cast, as they are some of Ireland's top-notch actors. Gerard McSorley (In The Name of the Father), as the tough drug trafficker John Gilligan, turns in a stellar performance once again. Ciaran Hinds, as John Traynor (The Coach), is Veronica's chief informant. But can she count on all his information to be accurate? He is working for Gilligan, who is the only gangster Guerin does not supply with a nickname.

An earlier Irish film (2000), on the life of Veronica, called When The Sky Falls, starring American actress Joan Allen, did a slightly better job of explaining her motives, by having them discussed by her bosses at the Sunday Independant, her husband, and to some extent, her son. This movie did not even try, even though it had a great opportunity, with Oscar winner Brenda Fricker(My Left Foot), playing Veronica's mother. Watching their scenes together, you kept wondering when they would discuss her dangerous occupation? But it never came up.This film is very accurate in using the real names and nicknames of the Drug Lords, and follows the true story of how Veronica's all-out effort to bring down the drug traffickers gets her in so much trouble. She is shot at in her home, and then shot in the thigh, and finally beaten up by drug dealer John Gilligan, who has her murdered, when she exposes him in her paper, despite his warnings that he would kill her if she did.Other Irish crime movies that lead up to the Veronica Guerin era (1994 to 1996), are The General, starring Brendon Gleason, which I highly recommend, and Ordinary Decent Criminal, starring Kevin Spacey, which is one of the worst movies I have ever seen, so bad that it was not even released to theaters in this country. Both films are based on Martin Cahill (The General), Ireland's most famous regular criminal, who did not deal in drugs, but was interviewed by Veronica, before he was killed by the IRA in 1994.Veronica Guerin, which I highly recommend, does contain some graphic violence, drug use, and much foul language, which you can excuse, when you know that's just the way they talk in Dublin. It is only 138 minutes long, but should have been longer. Those extra minutes could have been used to explain the Why's!"