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Bloody Sunday (2002)



Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 104
Fresh: 96 | Rotten: 8

Bloody Sunday powerfully recreates the events of that day with startling immediacy.


Average Rating: 8.1/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 2

Bloody Sunday powerfully recreates the events of that day with startling immediacy.



liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 8,922

My Rating

Movie Info

A depiction of the events of the infamous bloody massacre which took place Sunday on January 30, 1972 when 27 civilians were gunned down by the British Army in the streets of Northern Ireland. The story revolves around two young men who are caught up in the crossfire. One is an idealistic civil rights leader, and the other a teenage Catholic boy. Witness testimony contradicts the official findings of the government-sponsored investigation committee, which, in the first few months following the



Paul Greengrass

Apr 22, 2003


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All Critics (108) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (96) | Rotten (8) | DVD (13)


March 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Greengrass sacrifices character and plot to a chilling impressionistic stylization.

March 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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Watching director Paul Greengrass's explosive Bloody Sunday, you have to remind yourself at moments that you're not looking at a documentary.

November 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Newsweek
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Comparisons with The Battle of Algiers are not inappropriate.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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As a terrifying example of what can happen when too many angry people are crowded into too small a space, it's a gripper.

November 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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It's not just one of the best but also one of the most important films of the year.

November 7, 2002
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although originally produced for British television in 2002, Paul Greengrass's vivid depiction of a violent turning point in the so-called Troubles in Northern Ireland was released in the U.S. in theaters.

May 7, 2013 Full Review Source:

Powerful retelling of 1972 demonstrations.

December 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Time has offered the Troubles perspective, investigation and pop-culture outlets (U2′s "Sunday Bloody Sunday"). But Paul Greengrass's film spoke to how reason meant absolutely nothing when rage reigned on either side of the line.

September 25, 2010 Full Review Source:

Greengrass has deliberately chosen to provoke an emotional rather than intellectual response with his film -- but sometimes provocation is much preferred to the British media's maintenance of the status quo.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Bloody Sunday demonstrates an historical thesis formulated in retrospect, which fits oddly with Greengrass's continuous-present technique.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source:

Intense and difficult, but rewarding.

May 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

As atuações viscerais e a direção pseudo-documental recriam com contudência um dos episódios mais revoltantes da história da luta irlandesa contra a dominação britânica.

February 9, 2005
Cinema em Cena

Captures the horrors of a civil rights march taking a wrong turn in the Northern Ireland city of Londonderry on Sunday, January 30, 1972.

February 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This is tragedy in its rawest form: bloody chaos I couldn't help but watch. . . . The tension is palpable and the brutality is immediate.

December 1, 2003
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

The immediacy is extraordinarily powerful film.

October 15, 2003 Full Review Source:

An amazing feat of movie making, "Bloody Sunday" leaves you stunned.

April 24, 2003 Full Review

No victories here, but Greengrass' film is a triumph in anguish.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

The audience is placed right in the center of events in a multi-sensual, horrific 'you are there' virtual reality of social protest that grabs you and never lets go.

January 19, 2003 Full Review
Long Island Press

The film exudes a universality that may apply to any conflict, especially any that provokes people to become killing machines in the name of nationalism.

January 8, 2003 Full Review Source: New Times
New Times

[Nesbitt's is] one of those performances that simply 'is.'

January 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Hot Button
Hot Button

A gripping experience, and often downright sickening.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Bloody Sunday

Interesting account of what happened on this tragic day. Not sure which side is telling the truth, but it is quite clear that things got way out of control. This movie was filmed in reality, shaky camera style...not my favorite. However, it was a decent attempt at telling this unfortunate event in history.
March 27, 2012

Super Reviewer

Felt it a bit lengthy, but otherwise incredible. Of course I was never aware of such historical incident. But that's no news, is it? However, I found it a bit exaggerated when Ivan compares the incident to the Amritsar Massacre (aka Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, which also happened to be a Sunday). Worth a watch, but could have been edited better.
December 31, 2011

Super Reviewer

Greengrass is just plain and simply, the man. He has the Midas touch in which everything he touches, turns to gold. In this gripping retelling of the events in 1972, Greengrass takes memories so wrought with emotion, and presents them in a way that seems not only fresh, but also fair. While he could have easily made a film vilifying the British for their actions, he takes time to give them reason, and shows the rage that was boiling up on both sides. As soon as you spend too much time with one side, the picture fades to black and we are taken back to the other side of the battle. On top of being a stylistic choice, it also helps keep the audience objective. He by no means defends the British, but he does the best he can to make the audience understand the calamity. As for the calamity itself, it is incredibly well done and unbelievably intense. I have never felt like I was in the middle of such a violent conflict before and this film just made me plunge right in the eye of the storm. The acting here is top notch and there are some pretty stunning long takes that help to really put you right in the heart of the chaos. All in all a very fine film. A gripping and very fine film indeed.
October 12, 2011
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

The true story of one of the most pivotal and shameful events during the troubles of Northern Ireland when the occupying British army opened fire on unarmed civil rights protesters in 1972. Paul (The Bourne Identity) Greengrass' representation of this horrific event in Irish history is an uncompromising, unflinching and honest portrayal of something the British government would no doubt wish to forget and only relatively recently admitted responsibility for. The documentary style approach avoids soap opera style melodrama, unnecessary sub plots and sentimentality to show a truthful and unbiased picture of what happened that day and it's all the more powerful for it. James Nesbitt shines amongst a cast that are all totally believable as both sides of the story are shown in equal measure, both the victims of the atrocity and the unprepared military whose lack of training for such situations and indifferent command led to a huge over reaction and tragedy. It's a deeply shocking story and a timely reminder of what it must be like for any population who has to live their lives in fear.
February 1, 2011
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Bloody Sunday

    1. Chief Supt. Lagan: You call that minimum force?
    – Submitted by Brad D (23 months ago)
    1. Ivan Cooper: You have destroyed the civil rights movement, and you've given the IRA the biggest victory it will ever have. All over this city tonight, young men... boys will be joining the IRA, and you will reap a whirlwind.
    – Submitted by Brad D (23 months ago)
    1. Ivan Cooper: You have destroyed the civil rights group.
    – Submitted by Robin S (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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