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4.4 out of 5 stars
33
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 4 February 2013
This is an amazing film about a bad man looking for redemption in a world where his beliefs have turned him into a spiritually bereft monster. Rourke is at the peak of his powers here and still has his looks before his ill advised foray into the world of professional boxing. Bob Hoskins embellishes his repution as east London hard knock by playing ex special forces vicar dishing out beatings to all and sundry with typical aplomb.

A star studded cast makes this a film that will not lie down and die along with many of its 80's contemporaries.
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on 25 August 2008
Ben Dinsdale " There's no reason for killing or dying anymore. What's more, there's no reason for living!"
Anna: "That's a terrible thing to say!"

A Prayer For The Dying features what might very well be the most effective opening scene in all of cinema. Practically nothing is said, yet as the viewer you know exactly what is happening. It perfectly sets up the rest of the film. What happens? A ragged band of IRA punks in Northern Ireland have a bomb rigged to go off when some British Army jeeps drive by on patrol. Unexpectedly, and unfortunately, a school bus carrying about a dozen 10-year-old girls passes the army vehicles. Kaboom. Both Rourke and his best friend Docherty (Liam Neeson) are disgusted by their misstep.

I picked up "A Prayer for the Dying" in a charity shop recently. It was a great purchase as I have always been a fan of Rourke until he decided to commit professional suicide with garbage like FTW and Wild Orchid. Rourke is one of the most underrated actors in the business, or at least he was until he took up professional boxing in 1990 and had his beautiful face re-arranged in the ring.

Upon viewing this Mike Hodge (Get Carter) film I enjoyed it from start to finish as Rourke gives an absolutly moving performance as an hit man wanting to give up his evil ways. I know that that has been used as a plot for a hundred movies, but this is easily one of the better of those films.

Bob Hoskins is competent as Fr DaCosta. Alan Bates could read the phone book and I'd enjoy his work. This 1987 movie is deeply atmospheric, yet unpretentious, it is one of those all too rare films in which the characters are truly believable. Set in mid eighties London amidst the paranoia of the troubles in Northern Ireland; the traumatised former terrorist attempts to escape his violent lifestyle, hindered by a blackmailing local gangster.

"I'll see you in Hell Jack."
8/10.
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on 16 May 2005
An excellent film. Superb acting from Mickey Rourke and supporting cast. Alan Bates is brilliant as the gangster who uses a Funeral Parlour as his cover. Thoroughly watchable from beginning to end and the music at the end is lovely.
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VINE VOICEon 10 December 2015
Despite the talent involved, Prayer for the Dying is a flawed thriller.

Hollywood has mixed the politics of Ireland and its own need to deliver an entertaining thriller in many other guises over the years, some more successful than others.

Taking the political aspect out of the equation, this film simply lacks class.

It's grimly filmed, looks cheap and wastes a top bunch of actors.

Mickey Rourke's IRA charachter isn't particularly redeeming, Bob Hoskins priest, who happens to be former special forces is not the most believable piece of casting and the story doesn't flow evenly.

A bit of a troubled film, which resulted in a very different version being released to what both lead actor and director signed up to make and sadly it shows.

There are glimpses of being a movie about past sins and redemption, which is what the premise is trying to show, but it's not enough.

Not a terrible film, more a wasted opportunity.
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on 31 January 2010
Saw this back in it's original release & thought it was enjoyable enough to revisit.

Nice wide screen copy with no extras, never an issue for me.

Fine performances throughout & yet there really does seem something amiss with this film.

It's a wonderful book & I have read that both the director & star were not happy with this re-cut version? Maybe there is better out there? Who knows a directors cut 1 day for us to compare?

It made a nice change to have a terrorist character show remorse & the switch of the church to try to give peace to everyone no matter of past deeds.

Could of been great considering the fine talent involved, but still worth watching.
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on 4 September 2013
some great proformances from stars in thier early careers a film that should have gotten more credit. good good good
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on 1 May 2015
Rourke is on fine form, with good work by voice coach for his northern irish accent, But this reviewer, not being northern irish, thinks he could have gone less farther. Liam Neeson earlier in career, looking believably nervous. The late, and justifiably revered, Bob Hoskins, playing poacher turned gamekeeper, with partial success, in credibility terms. Alan Bates, looking reasonably unnerving as gangster and mortician. Borrowed DVD with another Bates film - Silent Tongue. Played with more ham sandwich, but superior central role, and for this reviewer, better film, casting its net over the american wild west and native american osmosis.
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on 27 July 2009
Mickey is a great actor and I am a great fan of his. His acting in this film is excellent. But the story is derived and implausible, his co-actors are on stand-by and the director feels that his ability to make a moral statement is more profound than it actually is. The storyline, while starting well, plunges into absurdity and will lose your attention immediately. Rourke must have been desperate (in fact, he was!) to appear in this drivel. The I.R.A is a subject that does not lend itself to moral fantasy or cinematic fancies. Fortunately, the new film "Hunger", approaches the troubles in a proper manner.
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on 15 February 2015
This film i saw on television in the 80 ,es .
Now again it still stands the test op time .
Slow tempo and good character development .
Wonderfull scenes in the church , including nice organ music ( Bach ) , but i think was not played by Micky ??

The blueray picture is rather sharp and good colours .
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on 23 November 2008
Ben Dinsdale " There's no reason for killing or dying anymore. What's more, there's no reason for living!"
Anna: "That's a terrible thing to say!"

A Prayer For The Dying features what might very well be the most effective opening scene in all of cinema. Practically nothing is said, yet as the viewer you know exactly what is happening. It perfectly sets up the rest of the film. What happens? A ragged band of IRA punks in Northern Ireland have a bomb rigged to go off when some British Army jeeps drive by on patrol. Unexpectedly, and unfortunately, a school bus carrying about a dozen 10-year-old girls passes the army vehicles. Kaboom. Both Rourke and his best friend Docherty (Liam Neeson) are disgusted by their misstep.

I picked up "A Prayer for the Dying" in a charity shop recently. It was a great purchase as I have always been a fan of Rourke until he decided to commit professional suicide with garbage like Wild Orchid. Rourke is one of the most underrated actors in the business, or at least he was until he took up professional boxing in 1990 and had his beautiful face re-arranged in the ring.

Upon viewing this Mike Hodge (Get Carter) film I enjoyed it from start to finish as Rourke gives an absolutly moving performance as an hit man wanting to give up his evil ways. I know that that has been used as a plot for a hundred movies, but this is easily one of the better of those films.

Bob Hoskins is competent as Fr DaCosta. Alan Bates could read the phone book and I'd enjoy his work. This 1987 movie is deeply atmospheric, yet unpretentious, it is one of those all too rare films in which the characters are truly believable. Set in mid eighties London amidst the paranoia of the troubles in Northern Ireland; the traumatised former terrorist attempts to escape his violent lifestyle, hindered by a blackmailing local gangster.

"I'll see you in Hell Jack."
8/10.
22 comments| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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