Angela's Ashes - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Angela's Ashes Reviews

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½ October 28, 2016
The underwhelming biopic of an Irish geezer who, believe it or not, had a rough childhood of poverty in a scummy part of Ireland. It's been done before and will be again which makes it not very original or memorable.
September 13, 2016
Very Depressing , possibly one of the sadist Movies I have ever seen.Heartbreaking but really good about the things a Mother will do to save her Children. Warning: This Movie will stay with you forever. Whenever I think I've got it bad, I think of this film and how she endured
September 3, 2016
"I'm not useless, I'm just unlucky." This is the line that fascinated me for some reason in the movie Angela's Ashes. The movie resolves around a poor family, their father is after getting let go from his job so he now relies on the dole, and his pints of Guinness rather than his family. He loves the races and always wants to have a good time down the pub.
May 23, 2016
Alan Parker's splendid adaptation of Frank McCourt's memoir on the 'miserable Irish Catholic childhood' following the young McCourt's experiences growing up in 1930's Limerick, the eldest child of overburdened mother Emily Watson and ineffective father Robert Caryle. Absorbing and thoroughly watchable from start to finish with a stunningly authentic recreation of poverty-stricken Ireland at its heart.
February 26, 2016
It reveals the bleak early life of author, Frank McCourt. A fairly well-made film, but it was a bit too depressing for me. (First and only viewing - 2/25/2016)
½ October 1, 2015
Despite endless attempts at tragedy I felt little for what was happening. For a movie that droned on for more than 2 hours, it certainly felt as though it slighted the story. Dull with zero emotional attachment to characters that never seemed fully fleshed out, I ended up feeling as though I wasted my time.
½ September 30, 2015
Will you tell Jesus that we're hungry?

Frank McCourt at a young age heads the opposite direction from most young Irish boys, from America back to the poor streets of Ireland. He has 3 brothers and a sister that dies at a young age. His father struggles to find a job and eventually heads out of Ireland to find a better opportunity and never returns leaving the mother desperate as she tries to raise her boys.

"I said no wanking."

Alan Parker, director of Angel Heart, Evita, Mississippi Burning, Shoot the Moon, Fame, Pink Floyd the Wall, and The Commitments, delivers Angela's Ashes. The storyline for this picture is very interesting and tells a fascinating tale. I adored the characters and settings. The cast delivers excellent performances and includes Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle, Michael Legge, and Devon Murray.

"Surely our troubles would be over. Surely."

This was recommended to me on Netflix so I decided to give it a shot. I thought it was well done and entertaining. The story is very compelling and well paced and I thought the acting and presentation was perfect. I recommend giving this a viewing.

"He went for cigarettes."

Grade: A-
August 17, 2015
La adaptación de Alan Parker ("Expreso de Medianoche", "The Wall") de "Las Cenizas de Ángela", es definitivamente, una experiencia diferente a la lectura del famoso libro de Frank McCourt, aunque no superior. Sin embargo, la cinta tiene muy buenas actuaciones y una puesta en escena muy profesional, gracias a la experticia de Parker y a la presencia de actores como Emily Watson y Robert Carlyle.
August 13, 2015
This is a must watch. I am a total sucker for true stories and this story was just... it was brilliant, tragic, inspiring.
June 8, 2015
Engaging bitter-sweet movie.

Based on Frank McCourt's Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name, the movie details the childhood years of Frank McCourt in Ireland. Hardly the childhood anyone would wish for: abject poverty, three siblings die, father is unemployed and an alcoholic.

Shows the conditions some people were, and are, forced to live in. Is pretty much a roller-coaster of misery. Every positive event is followed by a negative one. Very sad.

Yet, between these harrowing episodes there's levity and some quite funny moments. If there wasn't, it would probably be too depressing to handle.

Most importantly, you empathise with the characters and share in their ups and downs, as all good dramas should cause you to do.

On the negative side, the ending feels a bit rushed and incomplete. But then again, the ultimate ending would show the rest of McCourt's life and how it turned out. That would be whole new movie... It certainly was a whole new book, as McCourt wrote a sequel to Angela's Ashes, "'Tis: A Memoir". This has, as yet, not been made into a movie.
½ May 29, 2015
Hard to watch at times but the payoff is just reward
February 15, 2015
Such misery and hardship is unimaginable, as is the love for a deadbeat drunkard father. The fact that this is based on Frank McCourt's own tragic childhood makes this movie all the more poignant but also a tribute to the human spirit. He overcame his modest beginnings to make his fortune in the grand US of A.
September 14, 2014
Gave me insight into my heritage and the struggles faced but not as moving as you'd think.
½ July 20, 2014
A beauty of miserable and painful story presents on "Angela's Ashes" and I love the way it is.
April 28, 2014
I would watch this again. Very good film about the heart wrenching childhood of Frank McCourt in Ireland.
March 28, 2014
Should have been made into a miniseries instead as so much of what contributed to the book's success had to be sacrificed in the interest of time. McCourt's wit as an outsider looking on with amusement at this carnival of life is lost in its translation to the reel. Read the book.
March 16, 2014
The movie might be depressing or grim as others may say, but the story and the essence of it, is something precious that may not be one of those fairy tale kind of things that everybody wants to see.
Its a marvelous movie that depicts the real life events that happens to ordinary people.
½ March 7, 2014
I wish I had read the book instead...
February 16, 2014
A gripping and emotional adaptation of a great book. Dragged down by some sappy and false feeling moments, but saved by good acting and strong pacing.
½ June 3, 2013
The two major criticisms of this one are that it's depressing and overlong and that it misses the heart of its source material. Indeed it is depressing but why shouldn't it be? I haven't read the memoirs and thus can't directly compare them but I actually found plenty of funny moments in this one.

I like this film for its hard-hitting depiction of poverty and how it immerses you completely into Irish life at the time while still making you laugh with its subtle humour. The laughing part seems to be what others didn't get- again, I can't compare to the novel, but I thought this film got the tone just right and I let out some hearty chuckles between the moments when something depressing wasn't happening. I think there's a real charm here and more than enough to connect with the characters and even to feel close to the gloomy landscapes of Limerick.

Sure, its a long movie and very depressing- it also feels determined to include things that may not be interesting solely to be faithful to the source material. I can only assume, given the mass amount of criticism, that it does indeed miss the spot with McCourt's humour but I'm rating this as a stand alone film and I found it funny enough, certainly for a serious drama anyway.

Its not the best drama you'll ever see, nor is it Parker's best work but its decent and far from Parker's worst. The performances are great- Watson in particular, and its gritty realism is so distinct and unsentimental that you never for a second feel that the film is artificial or contrived.

There's glimmers of hope in the darkness here, and sure, it takes 2 and a half hours to get through it all but, much like the streets of Limerick, you have to climb through some mud in the rain to get to where you want to be. This film puts us there for it all and I felt connected from the get go.

Its visually spot-on, the performances are all of the highest order, the script is full of charm and humour and the story being told is movie-worthy any day of the week. Its not a perfect film and will require some pushing to get through and in the end it may feel lacking but I don't think its lacking a heart. Indeed, maybe too cautious in avoiding sentimentality but why should such things be forced upon us? If we look at the film as a whole we have an Oscar-nominated score that is filled with haunted nostalgia and is some of John William's best work and we get to see a character develop in a close up and ultimately unique way from childhood to mid-teens.

Sure, its not great at conveying its emotions, unless it wants to depress us of course, and it certainly, understandably, has a rep for being punishing in that sense but you really don't have to dig deep to find the hope in this one, at least I didn't anyway, it may make you work for it but it is there.

Whether you think this film works or not, and the jury will always be out it seems, it is certainly unique and for me its also memorable. Its suffered a lot from being a film version of the memoirs but move aside from that for a minute and view it solely as a film about poverty or a film about Ireland or a film about Catholicism, a film about growing up- I don't know if it really tells me anything about Frank McCourt but it tells me a lot about those things. Sure, next time I see this on the TV listings I may not be in a rush to jump back to it but when the mood is right and I want to be moved, it gives me something, and with the patience, its worthwhile.
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