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What Richard Did (2013)



Average Rating: 8.7/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 716

My Rating

Movie Info

Newcomer Jack Reynor (to be seen in the upcoming Transformers sequel) and Róisín Murphy star alongside Sam Keeley (The Other Side of Sleep, Misfits), and Lars Mikkelsen ("The Killing") in this striking portrait adapted from Kevin Powers' award-winning book "Bad Day in Blackrock." The world is bright and everything seems possible for Richard Karlsen (Reynor), the golden boy of his privileged set of Dublin teens, until he does something that destroys it all and shatters the lives of the people



Malcolm Campbell

Tribeca Films - Official Site External Icon



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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (2)

You may be shocked by your own reactions to "what Richard did," but you won't soon forget the movie in which he did them.

May 15, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Abrahamson's penetrating film asks - and does not answer - whether one viciously criminal moment is an aberration, or whether it reveals the weak, shabby person who was there all along.

May 10, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mr. Reynor's portrayal of this man-child is an extraordinary screen performance in which his face registers all the conflicting emotions gripping Richard. We see every layer of him, from the scared inner child to the suave, entitled ladies' man.

May 9, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Feels] like a Bergman homage without earning the clunky label "Bergmanesque."

May 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A satisfyingly knotted moral fable with some very memorable performances, including a fine piece of charismatic brooding from Reynor.

May 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A low-key but compelling morality tale.

January 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Newcomer Jack Reynor gives a startling, star-making performance in the slow-burn Irish drama What Richard Did... Consider this indie his Queens Boulevard, if you will.

December 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Quickflix

Isn't shocking in obvious ways, preferring to stun the audience with an authentic atmosphere of guilt and indecision, investing in the frustration of delayed response over unapologetic manipulation.

May 8, 2013 Full Review Source:

What Richard Did paints an evocative portrait of guilt and mourning while also parsing the stickiest notions of guilt and innocence.

May 3, 2013 Full Review Source: The Playlist
The Playlist

The film's structure as a character study helps to subtly underscore the flawed justifications of a privileged kid's thought patterns and unchallenged value system.

April 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

It is a familiar story, but one handled with subtly and compassion.

January 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

With brilliant economy Abrahamson implies that in the case of his nation, as with his film's protagonist, all that glitters is not gold.

January 17, 2013 Full Review Source: The Skinny
The Skinny

Not only is this Irish drama sharply well written and directed, but it also features a jaw-dropping breakout performance by young Irish actorJack Reynor.

January 15, 2013 Full Review Source:

The film is a striking portrait of a social class and a low-key allegory about a country in moral crisis.

January 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Measured and thoughtful, What Richard Did rests on the charismatic shoulders of Jack Reynor who maintains our sympathy as his world spins and his true character is tested.

January 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

It's a fine film with a good cast.

January 11, 2013 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Much of the success is down to unknown actor Jack Reynor's performance as Richard.

January 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

It grows on you, afterwards, but is perhaps an acquired taste.

January 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

What Richard Did is an engrossing and intelligent drama that throbs in the mind for hours after the final credits.

January 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Its power tails away significantly ... but before this the film has a magnificent hold.

January 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Audience Reviews for What Richard Did

This Irish feature seems to aim for the ice-cold detachment of Bruno Dumont but ultimately comes off more like a well performed after-school special. It's title character is a popular young Dublin rugby player who accidentally kills another teen in a drunken brawl. Director Lenny Abrahamson opts for the usual easy targets wheeled out by conservatives, (drinking, underage sex, foreign influences) rather than exploring the dog-eat-dog culture of it's South Dublin middle-class setting. Jack Reynor is impressive in the title role but it's a film that feels indecisive rather than ambiguous.
October 26, 2012
The Movie Waffler

Super Reviewer

Based on True Events centering on the youth of Modern Day Ireland, 'What Richard Did' is a fine intelligent and absorbing drama, following the tough times of an adolescent involved in a violent incident that may change him forever. The film never over exaggerates its bleak tones among its smooth scripting, deft editing and fine performances from such a gifted cast. Highly recommened for the most persistant viewer in search of realistic drama on such a suttle and refreshing scale.
August 13, 2013
Luke Eberhard

Super Reviewer

Strikingly acted and impressively made film that for me stood alongside narratively similar films like Mean Creek and, especially, Paranoid Park, exploring how one moment can change someone irrevocably on the inside (though perhaps not on the outside). Jack Reynor is outstanding.
September 21, 2013

Super Reviewer

Have not seen any of the previous film of Lenny Abrahamson, or seen Jack Reynor acting before, but having watched 'What Richard Did' I will be looking out for the follow up work of both of them. From the wonderful character description and built up, to the gut wrenching second part of the film, this is a gripping study of a young man's moral code which is challenged on the face of adversity.
June 16, 2013

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • What Richard Did (Bad Day in Blackrock) (DE)
  • What Richard Did (UK)
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