Incendiary (2009)


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: A solid performance from Michelle Williams isn't enough to save this well meaning, but disappointing, cliché ridden drama.

Movie Info

A woman wrestles with grief, betrayal and redemption in this psychological drama from director Sharon Maguire. One afternoon, a young woman (Michelle Williams) sends her husband and young son off to see a football game, and while they're gone for the afternoon she enjoys a tryst with her lover (Ewan McGregor), an opportunistic reporter. While the woman is making love to another man, she hears a news report that a suicide bomber made their way into the stadium, and that hundreds of people are … More

Rating: R (for a strong sex scene and brief language)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Chris Cleave, Sharon Maguire
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 5, 2009
Capitol Films


as Young Mother

as Jasper Black

as Terrence Butcher

as The Bomber's Son

as The Bomber's Wife

as Danny Walsh

as male survivor

as young policeman

as dazed supporter

as Nurse Mena

as Gary VT Man

as Archbishop of Canter...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Incendiary

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Incendiary

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (3)

It ends up being a compendium of bizarre diversions, most of which are utterly surplus to the film's half-cocked desire to stick with the experience and emotions of its main character.

Full Review… | October 24, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

Aspires to so much it ends up being less than the sum of its parts.

Full Review… | February 5, 2008
Top Critic

Michelle William's riveting performance as the young mother makes it imminently watchable.

January 28, 2008
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

If a member of cast could save a film, Michelle Williams would be the person to hire, since her central performance in this muddle of a movie is the only thing that stops it being unwatchable.

Full Review… | July 2, 2009
Eye for Film

a well-made film featuring good actors and which tells an intimate story, but which tries to do too much and collapses under the weight of its own aspirations

Full Review… | May 1, 2009

It's an atmospheric drama and a strong turn from Williams, but doesn't tell us anything about ourselves or the terrorists that we didn't already know.

Full Review… | October 24, 2008
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Incendiary

A woman whose husband and son are killed in a terrorist attack while she engages in a liaison with her neighbor becomes stuck in the throes of grief and regret.
I have to begin by recognizing the remarkable performance by Michelle Williams, which is the only reason to watch this film. Her moments of hysteria are just as believable as her moments of numbness, and her looks, while captivated by love for her son, are heart-warmingly lovely.
That said, this is quite possibly one of the most emotionally manipulative films I've ever seen. The voice-over narration of her letters to Osama bin Laden are worthy of eye-rolls so exaggerated that they may deform one's face, and the maudlin music only adds to an effect that contrives emotion rather than produces it. What is more, the film attempts to combine drama and mystery with a little action thrown in for good measure, but the film never commits to any genre; as a result we get a hodge-podge of disparate elements, which never amounts to anything significant.
The overall message of Incendiary is about forgiveness and a resistance to lumping all Arabs under the category "terrorist." Of course, I am sympathetic to these themes, but the jump that's required of the "Young Mother" to learn these lessons is never fully explored. Few people are more liberal than I, and even fewer are more inclined to advocate for Arab interests on the political stage, but even I felt anger, which is a natural response to terrorism that is conspicuously elided from this film.
Overall, see this film for Michelle Williams's performance but only if you have nothing better on your queue.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Cast: Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor, Matthew Macfadyen, Sidney Johnston, Nicholas Gleaves, Nicholas Courtney, Enzo Squillino Jr., Sasha Behar, Gavin Brocker, Chris Ellis, Ricci McLeod

Director: Sharon Maguire

Summary: A powerful drama staring Michelle Williams as an adulterous young housewife struggling to come to terms with the deaths of her husband and infant son after they're killed in a terrorist bombing at a London soccer game. Crippled by grief, the widow seeks comfort through affairs with two men (Ewan McGregor and Matthew Macfadyen), inadvertently putting herself in the midst of a dangerous love triangle.

My Thoughts: "An extremely sad and heart breaking film. Michelle Williams in one of her finer performances. She really takes you through the emotions with her, and you can't help but empathize with her. Great acting by all, but Michelle carries this film. The only real down fall of this film is the character development. You never really got to know the characters. Could have made the supporting cast a bit more interesting. But besides that, it was a good emotional drama."


Super Reviewer

A touching drama as a young mother tries to cope with the loss of her husband and son in a terrorist attack. Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams team up again shortly after Deception made around the same time. Despite that being more of an erotic thriller they have a steamier scene in this. Williams gives probably her best performance to date. Although the film starts well, it seems to lose some direction in the second half. The ending was ok but from the first 30 minutes this could have been a much stronger film. As it is most people have probably not even heard of it? If you don't mind a drama you should enjoy this.

Dean King

Super Reviewer

Incendiary Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Incendiary on our Movie forum!