Fifty Dead Men Walking 2009

Amazon Instant Video

(61) IMDb 6.9/10
Available in HD

Inspired by Martin McGartland's shocking real life story, this is a stunning thriller about his recruitment into the British security services to infiltrate the IRA. Over the course of four years, until his betrayal, discovery, capture and torture, it was estimated that McGartland was responsible for saving the lives of 50 men.

Starring:
Ben Kingsley, Jim Sturgess
Runtime:
1 hour 52 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices

Fifty Dead Men Walking

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Product Details

Genres Thriller, Action & Adventure
Director Kari Skogland
Starring Ben Kingsley, Jim Sturgess
Supporting actors Kevin Zegers, Rose McGowan, Tom Collins, William Houston, Gerard Jordan, Joe Doyle, Ali White, Henry Deazley, Ewan Harts, Natalie Press, Laura Hughes, David Pearse, Conor MacNeill, Michael McElhatton
Studio Metrodome
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Pablo on 21 Oct 2009
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The book which "inspired" this farcical adaptation could no doubt have provided many great film-transferrible facets: real-life spy drama, insights into the workings of British intelligence on the one hand and the IRA on the other, a study of McGartland's motivation and a human drama of the informer's life. As it is, this film achieves none of these, sacrificing such magnificent potential for superficial, disjointed "action" scenes and an incoherent plot in which we have an agent-handler as hero! Poor script, poor direction and unsurprising that the authors of the book wanted nothing to do with it.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By William Burroughs on 16 Aug 2009
Format: DVD
Really good film, was recommended by a mate that liked Bourne, but he reckoned this was ten times as real and he was right. From the opening assassination attempt that leaves your heart in your mouth it doesn't let up - but really gets you emotionally involved too - its got depth and really complex dilemmas, especially when it focuses on his family stuff and how he's pulled by each side. its an amazing story - i loved it - one of the best real life action thrillers i've ever seen
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Aug 2011
Format: DVD
Based on the life of Martin McGartland, who was recruited by the British Police to spy from within the Irish Republican Army, Fifty Dead Men Walking is the latest cinematic attempt to bring awareness to the horrors of the British/Irish troubles. At the end of the film there is a disclaimer about the accuracy of the film in relation to McGartland's actual book of the same name. While it should be noted that McGartland himself has renounced the film in British film magazines as not being his story. What we do know is that Martin McGartland is a real person who really did spy for the British Police inside the IRA. It's also fact that he saved close to 50 men from being killed as part of the long running conflict, and he is in fact still in hiding to this very day.

So with that in mind it's a film to be viewed both with suspicion and intrigue. There is no denying that the harshness of the plot and some of its scenes {ouch, torture} impacts like a sledgehammer, but crucially it's hard to get on side with the unlikable McGartland {brilliantly played by rising Brit star Jim Sturgess}. In spite of his achievements in thankfully stopping many murders down the line, his motives are mixed and not necessarily prioritised. Having not read the book myself I have no idea if the portrayal of himself is what McGartland objects too? Or it may well be that he is shown as being in places he clearly wasn't? Still, character affinity is probably not what the makers were after anyway, they view the conflict from primarily one side, and in the main they achieve that without looking biased or guilty of sensationalism. Certainly the play off between Martin, his best mate and IRA baddie, Sean, is very engrossing as things start to get hairy.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 3 May 2009
Format: DVD
"Fifty Dead Men Walking" is a fairly average and easily forgettable film about the IRA informer Martin McGartland. McGartland worked his way up in the IRA and the information that he fed to the British helped to save many lives and prevent a lot of IRA operations from taking place. This film gives a bit of the flavour of the dangerous and unsavoury environment in which McGartland worked, but it is disjointed and we never really get to know the characters properly.As a result of his actions McGartland still lives on the run never seeing his family .I wonder what he would think of the new Northern Ireland , where his former buddies in the IRA are now part of the government ,having put their days of bombing,shooting and "nutting" informers like McGartland behind them.Probably fail to see the irony I would imagine.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 24 April 2012
Format: DVD
Despite being the closest thing Britain's had to its own Vietnam, the Troubles in Northern Ireland have produced only a handful of mediocre, often absurdly partisan movies, and Fifty Dead Men Walking doesn't do anything to remedy the situation by turning an informer's anti-IRA memoir into something rather more guardedly supportive of them. It's easy to understand why the real Martin McGartland so vigorously disowned the film and its departures from fact that saw IRA members taking a more active role in advising the production than he did and, much to his anger, placed him at the scene of murders and tortures he never participated in to amp up the onscreen drama. While it doesn't shirk from their violence and their kneecapping those guilty of `antisocial activities' or the torture and murder of a wrongly suspected informer who is later unjustly condemned by his own father at his funeral, the frequently laughably simplified politics do often read like a Sinn Fein Party Political Broadcast.

It doesn't help that much of the opening of the film offers a very superficial account of the causes of the violence, delivered with almost embarrassed disinterest by Ben Kingsley, setting out his character's stall as the film's Irving the Explainer as our anti-hero's British handler. In the face of such odds, all Kingsley can offer is an accent and an unconvincing wig by way of character in another one of those stiff and mechanical "I-am-acting" performances that he's lapsed into alarmingly often post-knighthood, though Jim Sturgess is much more effectively naturalistic in the lead and could have been even better with something more substantial to work with.
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