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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 Minutes of Healing
I got the impression from this film that both actors were doing a lot more than acting. Maybe there are different forms of patriotism and maybe this is one of the best. The total absurdity of any deliberate killing is underlined in this sensitive account of the turmoil of two individuals separated by the width of political views, by the depths of religious feeling and...
Published on 2 Jan. 2011 by Brian Lennon

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars nice
this is a good film. The acting from nesbitt is fantastic, i never had him nailed down as an actor of this quality, totally believable in his role he is the films shining light. Neeson in contrast isnt that great but its nice that he is here and he does his job fine. The film rips open the bandage of the irish troubles and shows that as years pass pain is always raw and...
Published 1 month ago by sean paul mccann


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 Minutes of Healing, 2 Jan. 2011
By 
Brian Lennon (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Five Minutes Of Heaven [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
I got the impression from this film that both actors were doing a lot more than acting. Maybe there are different forms of patriotism and maybe this is one of the best. The total absurdity of any deliberate killing is underlined in this sensitive account of the turmoil of two individuals separated by the width of political views, by the depths of religious feeling and by the length of a bullet's deadly track. Wherever in the world there is conflict there is a lesson for them in this film. The fallen are not the only victims.

I suspect this film is one to recommend to the most unlikely cinema audience - to those with blood on their hands. I believe it could have great healing power. The politics and roles of the two protagonists could be swopped around without changing the basic message of the film. For the rest of us I think this will stand on its own feet as a wonderful piece of cinema in the hands of two very fine actors. To James, Liam and all involved not just congratulations but thank you.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tense Drama, 4 Sept. 2010
By 
Mark OToole - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Five Minutes Of Heaven [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
This is a brilliant piece of work; the writing, direction and acting are faultless - you may well think to yourself, 'not another story dealing with the troubles,'but this is one of the best; there is no sickly sentiment and it takes no sides politically...it is a story of reconciliation and all it entails. Nesbitt and Neeson are perfectly cast, with the former surprising me somewhat - I never really rated him as a top actor before this performance, but I stand corrected.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I will admit that I was shaking after I saw this and weeping like at last somebody got it., 29 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Five Minutes Of Heaven [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
The maturity and truthfulness of this piece is remarkable. I was brought up in N.Ireland and lived there until just after the Agreement started to work out.

When film works best it is not simply accurate or moving it is truthful capturing the essence of a subject. This movie is really film at its best. The people I know from home who have seen it were deeply moved. It is deeply cathartic. I will admit that I was shaking after I saw this and weeping like at last somebody got it. At last the story of all the anger, sorrow, shame and frustration that being an Ulsterman has been over the years. Somebody in another review has said it had a neat ending. I beg to differ. It has a deeply truthful ending. There simply were no winners in the conflict. Everybody lost. And the courageous part is that right now people are carrying the burdens you see at the end of the movie and clinging (sometimes by their fingertips) to peace.

If you want to look into the dark courageous wounded soul of the vast majority of the Troubles generation, watch this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where there's life, ..., 19 Jun. 2010
By 
Stormbringer (Wolverhampton, U.K.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Five Minutes Of Heaven [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Some of the finest acting I've ever seen from the two leads.
The subject matter is very sensitive indeed, but is treated with enough dignity to put it into perspective, rather than just sensationalise.
It should be remembered that this is a story of just two men, and is not meant to generalise or represent the conflict as a whole.
A tense and gripping film well worth watching.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 mins of heavan, 2 April 2010
By 
W. B. Parr "wbp" (warrington:england wa32en) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Five Minutes Of Heaven [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
this was a great film riviting right to the end ,the acting was very good a real good watch well worth the money
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4.0 out of 5 stars TRUTH & RECONCILIATION, 23 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Five Minutes of Heaven (DVD)
Interesting film about the so-called Troubles in Northern Ireland centering on the affects of a single traumatic event in the past of the two central characters.

Their guilt is exacerbated by the perverse desire of Christians to blame a living scapegoat rather than face the grief in a grown-up way. The impossibility of Truth & Reconciliation and the general popularity of revenge is, perhaps, the most painful path for anyone to follow but there is no other path that leads to anywhere of any real value; the future being impossible to live in when one cannot bear one's past.

Essentially a two-hander between the superb performers Liam NEESON and James NESBITT, this is a clever satire on the pathology of victimhood - on both sides - and the struggle to escape it that is the only true salvation possible. The comedic centrality of the narrative helps make a very difficult subject bearable to watch. Indeed, it gives the drama depth and resonance along with the satire of the media's need to present audiences with emotional immaturity rather than grownupness: Like dissecting a frog without anesthetic to understand how it lives. Redemption was never so troubling to watch.

Masculinity here is defined as a reductive and self-destructive need for back-slapping from males who believe violence is the only answer in politics. And amidst all the inevitable self-pity there is a sense that a life has to mean something else what is it all for? Senseless killing here not only destroyed the lives of their victims but their own lives. But the reasons for this violence in this movie are taken for granted when they should be more fully explained. This is an outsiders' view of the need to put the past into the past and so does not explore its own issues as fully as it might since the message of the film somewhat conflicts with the reality on the ground in Northern Ireland.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant acting in "What If" scenario, 27 Jun. 2010
By 
Big Peanut (Warrnambool Victoria Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Five Minutes Of Heaven [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
James Nesbitt once again shows what a brilliant and under-appreciated actor he is.Liam Neeson's character is excellent as Alister Little.The film displays a sensitive depiction of what might have happened if the two had ever met. In the interviews in the extra section we find out what would have occured should that ever happen.
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3.0 out of 5 stars nice, 10 Feb. 2015
By 
sean paul mccann "mccanns23" (ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Five Minutes Of Heaven [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
this is a good film. The acting from nesbitt is fantastic, i never had him nailed down as an actor of this quality, totally believable in his role he is the films shining light. Neeson in contrast isnt that great but its nice that he is here and he does his job fine. The film rips open the bandage of the irish troubles and shows that as years pass pain is always raw and developing.
The film doesnt showcase two sides of the community hugging and crying and saying lets live as one , instead it shows that their war and ours if you see it that way came from the same thing really althoug nesbitt is not in any party but it may make sense when you see it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My five minutes of heaven, how can that not be good for me?, 24 Aug. 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Five Minutes Of Heaven [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
An estimated 3720 people were killed as a result of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

This film is a fiction inspired by two men who bear the legacy of one of those killings.......

That is the opening salvo from the makers of Five Minutes of Heaven, I would personally like to add, since no other reviewer here has said it thus far, that the two protagonists never met in real life.

Five Minutes of Heaven was first screened at the Sundance festival in 2009 and won awards for Directing {Oliver Hirschbiegel} and for screen writing {Guy Hibbert}. It stars Liam Neeson as Alistair Little and James Nesbitt as Joe Griffen. The story is about how a young wannabe hero of the Ulster Volunteer Force {Little} gunned down the brother of Joe Griffen {Nesbitt}, purely because he was of Catholic religion, all witnessed by young soccer ball kicking Joe out on the pavement in front of the Griffen house. After the build up and execution of the crime, we forward to the future after Little has served 12 years prison for the murder, and here we now have a television company led meeting between the two after the Good Friday Peace Agreement.

It's only now that the film really kicks in as a powerful piece that has something to say. Too many third rate productions caricature their characters in films involving the British/Irish troubles, but the makers here are keen to avoid that-hence the appearance of Neeson, who wouldn't have come cheap one feels. Both Nesbitt {ranking along side George Best as most talented thing to come out of Northern Ireland} and Neeson then shift gears to ram home the point of the story. This is about forgiveness, pertinent questions about if that is possible under the most trying of circumstances. Would you be able to move on? And at what cost? Both sides of the coin are deftly rubbed by Hirschbiegel and his terrific cast.

It would be stupid of me to not say the piece has problems since it clearly isn't perfect. Both sides of the families involved are not formed at all, and that is without a doubt a very big misstep. Probably a victim of course of the TV movie production value and the sadly inept running time afforded it. But that annoyance aside, and in the context of the final product.....well it works out rather well I feel. There's some smart points of reference in there, note the young Little handling his gun amongst a sea of childhood toys, while there's a dolly out shot involving a church that nails that particular scene with maximum poignancy. But really, as is normally the way in this type of production, it lives or dies by its ending, and the question is answered as to if the actors involved have involved us enough to actually carry it off?

We are OK here, because we got Nesbitt and Neeson, point made, acted accordingly, yep, see this if you can. 8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Minutes of Heaven, 14 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Five Minutes Of Heaven [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Fantastic performances from Nesbitt and Neeson. So pleased I made the effort to buy this Movie. Will watch it again and again.
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Five Minutes Of Heaven [DVD] [2009]
Five Minutes Of Heaven [DVD] [2009] by Oliver Hirschbiegel (DVD - 2009)
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