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Michael Collins Reviews

Page 1 of 38
Al S

Super Reviewer

May 14, 2012
A sweeping and passionate epic of extroadinary power. It was as rousing, as brave, as strong and heartfelt as Braveheart. A true stand-tall classic. A triumphant and spectacular movie. This film is just pure excellence. Director, Neil Jordan`s masterpiece. It`s as inspiring as it is action-packed. An robustly entertaining and deeply moving film filled with action and drama. A vast, intelligent and superbly crafted picture. Liam Neeson gives one of the greatest performances of his career, he delivers power and emotion in such a memorable and wonderful way. Neeson is unfrogettable and tremendously effective. Alan Rickman is magnificent. Aiden Quinn is terrific.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

April 11, 2012
A brave, bold and fair portrayal of a very controversial historical figure - he isn't held in high regard by many but he is a very influential character in recent history and his story is told well here. The production is awesome, in my opinion it is only the casting that lets it down but not in every case, Aidan Quinn and Stephen Rea were great as is Liam Neeson although he's not particularly convincing as a 31 year old.
axadntpron
axadntpron

Super Reviewer

December 21, 2011
Pretty good, but for such a man of passionate, a lot of the film felt rather vapid. Maybe Aiden Quinn hung around the set too long and depressed everyone. It doesn't seek to probe, or examine the motivations of the players involved. Which for me is a bit of a dissapointment. Also, Roberts is terrible in this film.
AJ V

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2010
Although the actors are great, and do a good job, you really need to understand the issues in this story to understand the movie. It's based on real people and events, which I know very little about, and this movies doesn't do much to help you understand them.
middleeasternfilms
middleeasternfilms

Super Reviewer

July 8, 2008
I am still holding out some faith that at some point in time a movie will be made concerning Ireland that will NOT include the Irish carbombing the hell out of each other and will have absolutely nothing to do with the IRA. Until then, this is one of the better films involving the IRA hating the English and doing everything in their power to keep from carbombing the hell out them later on in life. Neeson, Rea and Rickman are all in top form and Roberts does a good job despite not being British.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

November 19, 2006
Michael Collins was a pivotal figure in Irish history, and this is a brave attempt to represent a story rarely attempted in mass media by Neil Jordan. Collins was the original "terrorist", and practically invented modern warfare employing guerilla tactics and counter intelligence to fight the British Empire to a standstill, a force he had no chance against using conventional means. This resulted in the treaty of 1922 which saw the country divided for the next 80 years. Liam Neeson is excellent as the pragmatic and larger than life man of the people, and although the film inevitably is rather rose tinted in it's representation of the man (as all of these kinds of biopics are) Jordan's brisk no-nonsense style is never pompous or preachy. The subject matter means that there is a lot more action than most political dramas, in fact it has more in common with The Godfather than Gandhi for the first half of the film. Even the romance with Julia Roberts (who manages a very creditable attempt at an Irish accent) is nicely down played and unsentimental. Portraying yet more of the shameful acts perpetrated by the British government in it's history it is just as informative as it is entertaining, especially to those of an Irish heritage such as myself.
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

June 9, 2007
This was pretty good, but I think it helps to have a good working knowledge of the events covered in the film. I don't really, so I felt a little lost in places. I got the impression that things were left out.
sainttom93
sainttom93

Super Reviewer

January 14, 2007
Accurate, but slow going -- Very good performance by Liam Neeson
Cameron W. Johnson
Cameron W. Johnson

Super Reviewer

July 14, 2013
At last, Liam Neeson returns to the cinema of his beloved homeland of Ireland, and with a bang, because as if Neeson's roles as a Roman Catholic priest in "Lamb" and a bare-knuckle boxer in "Crossing the Line" weren't Irish enough for you, in this film, he's an iconic Republican revolutionary, and it doesn't get too much more Irish than that. So yeah, this is pretty much "Schindler's List II: The Irish Strike Back", and I use that generic subtitle because this particular liberator's strategies for freedom weren't exactly as quiet as those of Oskar Schindler. Terrorism sure is a heck of a way to get people's attention, but the fact of the matter is that now that Liam Neeson is done saving the Jews, he's off to save the Catholics, and I'm sure he's hating Ben Kingsley right now for already doing "Gandhi", as he is some brown makeup, an awesome mustache and a bald cap away from saving some Hindus. Jokes aside, I can actually kind of see Neeson as Gandhi, so I reckon he was, in fact, born to be so awesome that he can save the world from oppression, at least on film, which naturally leaves me to get excited about his whipping out the extra brown makeup and extra thin awesome mustache for "I Have a Dream: The Movie". Yeah, I'd imagine that film would end with not just Neeson's iconic leader character getting shot, because, you know, "the black people are the only people to ever have anything bad happen to them ever and have every right to gripe, complain and blow up stuff". Shoot, maybe they would let Neeson have the role of Martin Luther King, because if the black people are concerned about someone who is not of a culture similar to theirs in the role, the Irish also have a tendency to do some serious damage when they don't get their way, except the difference is that the Irish commit violent acts against their oppressors while they're still being oppressed. Oh well, Michael Collins was still a compelling figure, and his story certainly makes for a compelling film, yet like Collins himself, this effort has some questionable aspects to its noble efforts.

While I wasn't exactly entering this film with a fear of being bored, I was expecting there to be more limpness than there is and am glad to find that momentum is sustained much more often than not, yet this is still a fairly meditative drama, and it's hard to keep things consistently exciting when working with a film like that, thus, it's only a matter of time before momentum trips and the film is left tumbling into a slow spell, of which there are few, but enough for you to sense a certain aimlessness to this material at times, at least when you're not sensing a certain degree of hurrying to storytelling. At just over 130 minutes, this film's runtime may seem tight to some and too brief to others, considering the magnitude of this mini-epic's subject matter, and to me, the final product ends up being a combination of both, being generally pretty tight and direct as a meaty and layered drama, only to have times in which it speeds things up, which would be just fine and all if the the hurrying didn't cause plenty of beats to run into each other and take on a sense of repetition that would have decidedly been settled if this film would have spent more time meditating upon fleshing out certain areas of storytelling, rather than skipping to the heights of intrigue with only so much intrigue reinforcement. The pacing issues are rarely, if ever deeply offputting, but what moments of unevenness in momentum there are are hard to ignore, whether when they're slowing things down into a bit of blandness, or getting to be a bit too eager to hurry up to the next major plot beat. Of course, no matter what clip it moves at, the film ends up telling this worthy story in a fashion that's too formulaic for its own good, because even though this film has its refreshing moments, or at least hits familiar areas hard enough to earn your investment through all of the conventionalism, the limited uniqueness to storytelling dilutes the significance of this subject matter, now matter how much director Neil Jordan desperately struggles to milk this drama for all its worth. Jordan's ambition is perfectly understandable, as the story portrayed in this film is a worthy one that I'd imagine really resonates with him, considering the pride he has in his Irish background, but it does get kind of carried away, being too emphasized by anything from the aforementioned eager spots in pacing to the occasional lapse in subtlety, spawned through a bit too much heart, for you to ignore the spots in which Jordan fails to fulfill his ambition. Sure, these spots are limited in quantity, but they end up going a relatively long way in the end, diluting the full flavor of this noble effort through exposition, originality and subtlety issues enough for the final product to fall short of the strength that it wants to and perhaps should achieve. Regardless, the film powers on, being flawed, but ultimately quite rewarding as both a compelling drama and a well-produced ode to troubled times.

Before it can cut to the core of the telling of this important story, this film must first sell you on this memorable era, so, as an ambitious project, it spares no expense delivering on outstanding production value, with art directors Arden Gantly, Jonathan McKinstry, Malcolm Middleton and Cliff Robinson rebuilding the United Kingdom, crica mid-1910-to-early-1920s, with a lavish intricacy that immerses you into this world, particularly when warfare is dramatized with an intensely effective attention to detail. The designs in this film are very memorably impressive as not just immersive, but eye-catching, though that may be because these designs have the honor of being presented through the great Chris Menges' cinematography, which delivers on a richly gritty color palette whose tastefully sparse plays with lighting are consistently handsome, with haunting moments reflect a dynamicity to this film's visual style that is nothing short of artistically upstanding, kind of like the great Elliot Goldenthal's score, which has its formulaic moments, but is generally filled with sweeping versatility and moving soul. If nothing else is truly outstanding, it is this film's artistic value, powered by stunning photography and gorgeous music which also power some of the atmospheric punch-up that compliments the resonance of this drama, whose effectiveness cannot be complimented without first being established on paper. As ambitious as this project is, its valuable story's impact goes betrayed by some repetition, expository shortcomings and conventionalism to storytelling, yet even without the effective areas to the execution of this story, there's no obscuring the importance and intrigue to this subject matter, which is rich with dramatic potential that is brought to life more than betrayed on paper, alone, as Neil Jordan, as screenwriter, delivers on anything from sharp, often witty dialogue, to generally thorough exposition that fleshes out the meat of this drama, while Jordan's direction fleshes out the heart. If Jordan was more controlled with his ambition as director, then he likely would have put more attention into settling shortcomings and crafting the strong, maybe even excellent film he wants this project to be, yet such ambition is also worthy of compliment, breathing life into genuine inspiration that keeps entertaining liveliness from ever slipping too far, until broken by, well, slow spots, but mostly by tension during the action set pieces and touching, maybe even piercing effectiveness to the drama. Jordan's efforts get to be problematic, and perhaps should hit harder when they do, in fact, hit, but grace this very human epic with heart and soul, kept pumping by such aspects as the aforementioned artistic tastefulness, and, of course, by the acting, which is all but across-the-board impressive, but truly peaks with a commanding lead performance by Liam Neeson, whose portrayal of the lighter spots within the titular icon's humanity is highly charming, and whose portrayal of the more layered depths of Michael Collins is engrossing, backed by a subtle emotional weight and committed transformativeness that gives you thorough insight into a flawed, but honorable hero. When Jordan's power slips, Neeson more-or-less carries the film single-handedly, yet consistently anchors this drama as one of the greatest strengths behind this project filled with strengths, and while I walked away wishing for more, I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't rewarded by this flawed, but ultimately noble and compelling effort.

Bottom line, there is the occasional aimless spell, as well as more than a few hurried spells that have plot beats run together with a repetition that, alongside conventional storytelling, waters down the full effectiveness of this drama, whose overambitious execution reflects the shortcomings too much for the final product to achieve the high strength that it clearly and understandably wants to achieve, yet also backs a certain inspiration within Neil Jordan's heartfelt and compelling effort that, when joined by immersive production value, lovely cinematography, excellent score work, sharp writing and strong acting, - particularly by leading man Liam Neeson - does enough justice to a worthy tale to make "Michael Collins" a rewarding mini-epic study on the efforts of one of Ireland's most influential figures.

3/5 - Good
Jason Vargo
Jason Vargo

Super Reviewer

June 29, 2011
I can't tell if my problems with Michael Collins stem from the script or from a hacked up editing job. Events don't seem to flow organically from one scene to the next; rather, it feels as though a series of required scenes have been mashed together precisely because they have to be there to tell the story instead of due to the overall narrative. Because of that, the cast never really gets much traction with each other or the movie as a whole. Yes, Liam Neeson is captivating most of the time, but he could read a phone book and make it fascinating. There's no real examination of the events portrayed on the screen, none of the political machinations...it's all very Cliffs Notes-ish. Sure, it's a movie, but at least try to probe the real life events instead of simply paying them lip service.
William G

Super Reviewer

October 24, 2007
Makes for a better entertainment than a history lesson; episodic but effective.
Jason R

Super Reviewer

April 5, 2011
Michael Collins has such a great collection of actors and actresses! The movie was slow in some parts but overall it was a fantastic film.
Erin C

Super Reviewer

August 24, 2009
Great historical film. Amazing cast. It took me awhile to see this, but I'm glad I finally watched it!
David S

Super Reviewer

October 23, 2008
An epic but personal film from Jordan just after he'd done 'Interview with a Vampire' so he had a bit of clout to get it made. Neeson is excellent and although Julia Roberts seems a bit subdued as Kitty she copes admirably with the accent and part. In fact it is Rickman who has the most problems with his accent and he's forced to play Develaire as a coward and weakling compared to Collins. Of course there are historical inaccuracies but Jordan tells his story well and manages to tackkle and make sense of a difficult subject. One to look out for.
Audrey L

Super Reviewer

March 8, 2008
An educational film,very entertaining and ultimately tragic.Liam Niesson was superb in portraying this iconic hero.I can't think of any other actor who could have pulled off this role in such a stellar fashion.
shannylee38
shannylee38

Super Reviewer

January 13, 2008
This is a somewhat hard film to watch because there are many political and historical references that might not be known to everyone.
There was also a lot of controversy surrounding this film that explores the life of Michael Collins, one of the most admired figure of Ireland, that fought for the independence of his country.
The film itself is very well-written and cast (except for Julia Roberts who does not play a credible Irish woman).
Overall, i recommend this film because it is interesting and clever. And maybe discover Michael Collins as a man who fought for the freedom of his country.
DrLappos
DrLappos

Super Reviewer

May 20, 2007
They still lost.
April 3, 2012
Such a great cast yet Michael Collins felt a bit flat in the emotion category. Liam Neeson plays the controversial Michael Collins to perfection and the supporting cast are all stellar as well. The problem arises in the fact that without a proper introduction to the issue at hand it is hard for the viewer (at least an American viewer like myself) to connect with the film. Worth the watch but I was expecting a bit more.
April 10, 2012
One of my favorite ways to learn about history is through movies. I know that is horrible, because liberties are taken to get the story across, but this movie was excellent. Liam Neeson does an excellent job portraying Michale Collins and the overall story is fantastic. Julia Roberts was an odd choice, but it worked, and Alan Rickman as De Valera was a great choice. More movies should be made about the Northern Ireland conflict. Get the history out there.
JennabGreat
August 12, 2011
This is a really solid, although slow at times, historical film. Liam Neeson was brilliant as Michael Collins, but Julia Roberts was miscast and I felt that she struggled with the accent. Very interesting for a watch!
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