Small Engine Repair (2007)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
An aspiring country singer and a weary mechanic living in a quiet Northern Ireland community receive an uneasy chill when an old friend is released from prison in director Niall Heery's affecting study of male vulnerability and human weakness. Doug (Iian Glen) is a wannabe country singer who sports a demo he won't let anyone listen to despite his desire to get some airtime and play for locals in the local tavern. Doug's best friend is hapless local mechanic Bill (Steven Mackintosh), a man who longs to pass the family's small engine repair shop on to his hesitant son Tony (Laurence Kinlan). When Doug and Bill's deeply disturbed friend Burley (Stuart Graham) returns to the town following a stint in prison, their reluctance to accept him back into the fold leads all involved on an introspective journey that will force them to reexamine both their lives and their expectations for the future. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Small Engine Repair
It's an admirable first feature from writer-director Niall Heery, but one that never really says anything broader about Irish society or the shackles of fame.
Not so much shapelessness as unvaried pace and emotional monotony spoil the engaging Small Engine Repair.
Sure, it's not going to break any box-office records, but this is a poignant, thoughtful film that deserves a wider audience than the handful likely to see it.
It's Glen's brilliantly understated performance of the sensitive, troubled Doug that elevates Small Engine Repair way above the competition; by the end, his small journey of quiet redemption will mean everything to you.
A poignant character study with a pleasing mid-Atlantic sensibility, Niall Heery's debut feature is ultimately as inconsequential as one of Glen's clichéd compositions.
Nashville comes to Northern Ireland in a low-key drama of tested friendships, unfulfilled ambitions and country music.
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