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Fifty Dead Men Walking 2009

Amazon Video

(95) IMDb 6.9/10

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.

Ben Kingsley, Jim Sturgess
1 hour, 52 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Thriller, Action & Adventure
Director Kari Skogland
Starring Ben Kingsley, Jim Sturgess
Supporting actors Kevin Zegers, Natalie Press, Rose McGowan, Tom Collins, William Houston, Michael McElhatton, Laura Hughes, Gerard Jordan, David Pearse, Joe Doyle, Conor MacNeill, Evan Harte, Oscar Harte, Ciaran Nolan, Ali White, Frankie McCafferty, Matt McArdle, Tomás Ó Súilleabháin
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 Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Guy on 21 Jun. 2013
Format: DVD
Martin is a young man who makes his living selling stolen items. He is recruited by both the IRA to fight the British and by the British to spy on the IRA. He initially gets involved at a low level in order to get things like a good job, an income, a car, and a girl. The movie has some personal aspects as well. Some lines include, "Your Irish. You are born with an opinion." Or when his mom finds out Martin's gf is pregnant, "You'll do the right thing, or I'll kill you myself."

Martin's gf, the mother of his son, and expecting again, has different priorities. Apparently living and raising a family is more important than keeping Ireland from being British. As Martin watches people die and get tortured around him, he re-examines his situation and realizes he is in too deep and wants out.

Martin's wife/gf and mother are the only real likable characters in the story. Everyone else is caught up in causes and killing. The basic theme of "the end justify the means" is tested throughout as Martin questions the deeds of both sides.

Interesting, but Irish is not English. I used the subtitles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rbmusicman/and/movie-fan' TOP 100 REVIEWER on 13 Feb. 2015
Format: Blu-ray
Based on real events -
The film centres upon the divides in Northern Ireland during the late 1980's where violence from all sides was an everyday
occurrence, a conflict that pitted neighbour against neighbour, friend against friend depending on which side of the divide
one stood.
Special Branch sought to find people close enough to events to identify key I.R.A operatives and indeed sources of weapon
drops, informants were tempted by the offer of protection and financial reward, but, the informants always knew they were
risking their life and that of their loved ones to do so.
Special Agent 'Fergus' (Ben Kingsley) has recruited 'Martin McGartland' (Jim Sturgess) who's risks all by helping the security forces
This is in effect his story, 'Martin' had earned the respect of the I.R.A leaders in Belfast.
Martin will at some point have to be relocated leaving his loved ones behind, it means a life on the run, he would be forever looking
over his shoulder.
The Film is a well portrayed and convincing film which is often intense containing many violent sequences....well worth a spin.
Features -by
* Commentary with director Kari Skogland
* On Set with Fifty Dead Men Walking
* Deleted Scenes
* Exclusive Extract from the book - Fifty Dead Men Walking
* Theatrical Trailer
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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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