Bloody Sunday


Bloody Sunday (2002)


Critic Consensus: Bloody Sunday powerfully recreates the events of that day with startling immediacy.


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Movie Info

A depiction of the events of the infamous bloody massacre which took place Sunday on January 30, 1972 when 27 civilians were gunned down by the British Army in the streets of Northern Ireland. The story revolves around two young men who are caught up in the crossfire. One is an idealistic civil rights leader, and the other a teenage Catholic boy. Witness testimony contradicts the official findings of the government-sponsored investigation committee, which, in the first few months following the tragedy, cleared the British Army of any wrongdoing. The events fueled a 25-year cycle of violence between Britain and elements of Ireland, North and South.

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James Nesbitt
as Ivan Cooper
Tim Pigott-Smith
as Maj. Gen. Robert Ford
Allan Gildea
as Kevin McCorry
Gerard Crossan
as Eamonn McCann
Nicholas Farrell
as Brigadier Maclellan
Gerard McSorley
as Chief Supt. Lagan
Mary Mouldes
as Bernadette Devlin
Mary Moulds
as Bernadette Devlin
Declan Duddy
as Gerry Donaghy
Carmel McCallion
as Bridget Bond
James Hewitt
as Col. Tugwell
Joanne Lindsay
as Mary Donaghy
Edel Frazer
as Gerry's Girl
Simon Mann
as Colonel Wilford
Mike Edwards
as Soldier 027
Rhidian Bridge
as Major Loden
Deirdre Irvine
as Bogside Woman
Gerry Newton
as Mr. O'Keefe
Ross MacDonald
as Lieutenant 119
James Scott
as Officer at Barrier 12
Grainne Costello
as Mrs. Hegarty
Don Mullan
as Bogside Priest
David Pearse
as O/C Provos
Bruce Alexander
as Brigade Net Member
Jason Muir
as Brigade Net Member
Tim Clark
as Brigade Net Member
Matt Ashenden
as Brigade Net Member
Daryl Auckland
as Brigade Net Member
Rita Hamill
as Peggy Deery
Robert O'Connor
as Willie McKinney
Kevin McCallion
as Barney McGuigan
Graham Harrison
as Officer at Barrier 14
Simon Emberley
as Lieutenant N
Raymond Cullen
as Father Daly
Tony Bates
as Doctor Swords
Kevin V. Meehan
as Hospital Administrator
Mark Redhead
as Journalist
Ian Dray
as SIB Officer
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Critic Reviews for Bloody Sunday

All Critics (104) | Top Critics (34)


Mar 11, 2008 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Greengrass sacrifices character and plot to a chilling impressionistic stylization.

Mar 11, 2008 | Full Review…

Watching director Paul Greengrass's explosive Bloody Sunday, you have to remind yourself at moments that you're not looking at a documentary.

Nov 1, 2007 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Comparisons with The Battle of Algiers are not inappropriate.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

As a terrifying example of what can happen when too many angry people are crowded into too small a space, it's a gripper.

Nov 9, 2002 | Full Review…

It's not just one of the best but also one of the most important films of the year.

Nov 7, 2002 | Rating: 5/5

Audience Reviews for Bloody Sunday


Interesting account of what happened on this tragic day. Not sure which side is telling the truth, but it is quite clear that things got way out of control. This movie was filmed in reality, shaky camera style...not my favorite. However, it was a decent attempt at telling this unfortunate event in history.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


Felt it a bit lengthy, but otherwise incredible. Of course I was never aware of such historical incident. But that's no news, is it? However, I found it a bit exaggerated when Ivan compares the incident to the Amritsar Massacre (aka Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, which also happened to be a Sunday). Worth a watch, but could have been edited better.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

Greengrass is just plain and simply, the man. He has the Midas touch in which everything he touches, turns to gold. In this gripping retelling of the events in 1972, Greengrass takes memories so wrought with emotion, and presents them in a way that seems not only fresh, but also fair. While he could have easily made a film vilifying the British for their actions, he takes time to give them reason, and shows the rage that was boiling up on both sides. As soon as you spend too much time with one side, the picture fades to black and we are taken back to the other side of the battle. On top of being a stylistic choice, it also helps keep the audience objective. He by no means defends the British, but he does the best he can to make the audience understand the calamity. As for the calamity itself, it is incredibly well done and unbelievably intense. I have never felt like I was in the middle of such a violent conflict before and this film just made me plunge right in the eye of the storm. The acting here is top notch and there are some pretty stunning long takes that help to really put you right in the heart of the chaos. All in all a very fine film. A gripping and very fine film indeed.

Reid Volk
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer


The true story of one of the most pivotal and shameful events during the troubles of Northern Ireland when the occupying British army opened fire on unarmed civil rights protesters in 1972. Paul (The Bourne Identity) Greengrass' representation of this horrific event in Irish history is an uncompromising, unflinching and honest portrayal of something the British government would no doubt wish to forget and only relatively recently admitted responsibility for. The documentary style approach avoids soap opera style melodrama, unnecessary sub plots and sentimentality to show a truthful and unbiased picture of what happened that day and it's all the more powerful for it. James Nesbitt shines amongst a cast that are all totally believable as both sides of the story are shown in equal measure, both the victims of the atrocity and the unprepared military whose lack of training for such situations and indifferent command led to a huge over reaction and tragedy. It's a deeply shocking story and a timely reminder of what it must be like for any population who has to live their lives in fear.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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