Route Irish (2010)
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Celebrated British filmmaker Ken Loach explore the controversies of his nation's role in the war in Iraq in this intelligent thriller. Fergus (Mark Womack) served with distinction in a British Special Forces outfit in Iraq, and after his hitch in the Army ended, Fergus was approached by a private security firm working with civilian contractors in the war zone. Fergus wasn't interested in returning to Iraq, but when he was offered 10,000 a month for his services, he changed his mind, and persuaded his army buddy Frankie (John Bishop) to also sign on. Fergus came to regret his decision when Frankie died after hitting an improvised explosive device while traveling on Route Irish, the treacherous road between Baghdad's airport and the heavily fortified Green Zone. While attending Frankie's funeral, Fergus is approached by a woman who gives him Frankie's old cell phone, which holds a startling video of Iraqi civilians being murdered by employees of the same security firm that employed him and Frankie. Fergus believes there's a connection between the video and Frankie's death, and sets out to find it with the help of Frankie's widow Rachel (Andrea Lowe) and Harim (Talib Rasool), an Iraqi refugee. But the top men at the firm are not about to admit any wrongdoing, and uncovering what really happens proves to be a difficult and taxing process. Route Irish received its world premiere at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. … More
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Critic Reviews for Route Irish
A tougher and more genre-inspired work that we'd expect from social-realist doyen Loach.
Although not especially revelatory, [...] Route Irish is still a success as an often troubling, occasionally thrilling and always tragic low-key drama.
A characteristic Loach film, a gripping conspiracy thriller not unlike Hidden Agenda, his film on the Troubles.
The amateur-hour acting and melodramatic, cop-out ending expose Loach's faux attempts at realism to be as phoney as anything produced in Hollywood.
An at times gripping, at times bludgeoning tale of one man's search for truth and retribution.
You don't expect Ken Loach to make thrillers, but this one is an angry and relevant film about the perfidies embedded in the Iraq conflict.
Route Irish is a didactic thriller about the Iraq war, with wearisomely predictable villains and a profoundly unsympathetic hero.
The film isn't a write-off, because Loach's simmering rage gives it a sporadic rawness and voltage. Sadly, it also clouds his vision.
Emotionally engaging and superbly acted, this is a gripping, powerfully relevant and impressively directed British thriller that unfolds like a disturbingly dark detective story.
The latest collaboration between veteran British director Ken Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty has a disappointingly routine well-worn thriller plot but they deliver it with a welcome layer of moral complexity in the end.
A minor Loach work - yet there are powerful moments and valuable insights.
Loach can never be accused of ducking issues, but this is a case of a powerful story being slightly marred in the telling.
The faster it runs, the shallower this Liverpool-set story, scripted by Loach regular Paul Laverty, becomes.
Route Irish includes some grippingly grim scenes, especially when Fergus waterboards a soldier to force him to reveal what happened.
Loach's habit of filling out his cast with unknown faces resulting in some unconvincing scenes. But they don't detract from the righteous anger of regular collaborator Laverty's script...
Audience Reviews for Route Irish
An utterly powerful and truly explosive edge of your seat thriller. A muscular, intense, hard-boiled, intricately plotted and well character developed movie that hits home hard. A total powerhouse of a movie that`s deeply personal, dramatic and realistic. A triumph from Director, Ken Loach. A gripping, riveting and utterly electrifying conspiracy thriller thats fast-paced, well-crafted and superbly acted. Mark Womack gives an explosive and outstanding performance. Andrea Lowe is terrific. This film is dark and extreamly good. An riveting tour de force. A must-see. A full-throttle and pulse-pounding mystery. It grabs hold of you and dose not let go until the very last frame. A brutal and hard-core experiance. Movies dont get anymore intense or riveting than this.More
Route Irish is regarded as the most dangerous road in the world and that is essentially where the film starts but there are many 'dangerous roads' explored in Ken Loach's gripping and uncompromising thriller. Mark Womack is full on in the lead role of Fergus, a private security contractor working in Iraq who is trying to get to the bottom of his best friends death. So many elements of human nature are explored here; friendship, regret, guilt, revenge, anger - it really has got it all. it all so touches on the unpopular issues of contractors making a lot of money in war-torn countries, the people making vast fortunes out of taking advantage of the situation and the crimes they are getting away with. It also touches on the very real and very nasty sides of war, this comes as our protagonist breaks down and confesses to the horrors he's seen in conflict but then 20 minutes later, tortures a man with the controversial Water-boarding method. Never one to shy away from controversy, Ken Loach has produced another thought-provoking and powerful film that seems to be criminally overlooked once more. And before you wonder, yes, it does star that John Bishop. He's quite good in it too!More
Ken Loach brings us the British view of the Iraqi war..a topic done to death by the Americans. He mostly succeeds although it feels as though it could have been wrapped up a lot sooner in order to save us from non essential dramatic pieces.More
Ken Loach certainly knows how to make a good drama. This time around he looks at a story of a contractor returning from Iraq war, dealing with both the issues of settling back to normal life but also determined to find the answers to the unexplained death of his best friend in Iraq.More
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