Belfast

2021, Drama, 1h 37m

217 Reviews 500+ Verified Ratings

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A deeply personal project for writer-director Kenneth Branagh, Belfast transcends its narrative deficits with powerful performances and directorial craft. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

BELFAST is a movie straight from Branagh's own experience. A nine-year-old boy must chart a path towards adulthood through a world that has suddenly turned upside down. His stable and loving community and everything he thought he understood about life is changed forever but joy, laughter, music and the formative magic of the movies remain.

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Critic Reviews for Belfast

Audience Reviews for Belfast

  • Nov 18, 2021
    I'll admit that I'm a sucker for feel-good films that are done well. A feel-good film with great dialogue, set-up, and payoff sometimes end up being some of my favourite films of their consecutive year. I had heard nothing but praise about Belfast before seeing it and the fact that I heard multiple times that this is the "feel-good movie of the year" instantly made me eager to watch it. While I wouldn't give it quite that much praise, it's a very, very solid film. Here's why, if for nothing else, you should check out this little film that will more than likely put a smile on your face.  Living in Belfast, Ireland in the late 1960s wasn't very easy for a lot of families. For the most part, the focus of this film is on Buddy, a young boy who is just trying to be a kid and figure out where he fits in. With his parents struggling and gangs being a bad influence on him, he becomes a little too curious and influenced by others. It's a very simple story about a family trying to live normal lives, but there are a lot of undertones that elevate the subject matter as well. There were many times where I wished I could've stepped in and helped this boy make the right decisions, which is what I believe the point of this film truly was.  As I watched this film, I continuously felt the need to discover the hidden messages in the dialogue, because sometimes the movie just didn't seem to be going anywhere until the second half. Belfast takes a lot of time to just settle you into the lives of these people, but it also has a very short run time, so the big incidents throughout the film feel very few and far between. Director Kenneth Branagh is at the helm here and his work is very hit or miss for me. One thing he has always been great at though is getting great performances out of his cast. Caitriona Balfe and Jamie Dornan both shine here as Buddy's parents, and the weight of the film is really on the shoulders for where this boy ends up in the world. I thought that was easily the strongest point of the film as a whole.  At its core, Belfast is simply a love letter to classic black and white films. Although hardly anyone will make this comparison, I thought of the film Bicycle Thieves multiple times while watching this film. Not the heavy dramatic aspect of that film, but the father trying to be a role model for his son, while having no idea what to do or even being able to be around. At the same time, that also felt heartwarming by the end as well. I really enjoyed watching this film. From the terrific cinematography by Haris Zambarloukos (some of the best ever in a Branagh film) to the very simple, subtle screenplay, I felt immersed in this story. I personally don't think it deserves as much hype as it's receiving, but it's more than worth your time.
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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