Route Irish

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Reviews Counted: 29

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 709


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Reviews Count: 0
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Average Rating: 3.1/5

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Movie Info

Celebrated British filmmaker Ken Loach explore the controversies of his nation's role in the war in Iraq in this intelligent thriller. Fergus (Mark Womack) served with distinction in a British Special Forces outfit in Iraq, and after his hitch in the Army ended, Fergus was approached by a private security firm working with civilian contractors in the war zone. Fergus wasn't interested in returning to Iraq, but when he was offered 10,000 a month for his services, he changed his mind, and persuaded his army buddy Frankie (John Bishop) to also sign on. Fergus came to regret his decision when Frankie died after hitting an improvised explosive device while traveling on Route Irish, the treacherous road between Baghdad's airport and the heavily fortified Green Zone. While attending Frankie's funeral, Fergus is approached by a woman who gives him Frankie's old cell phone, which holds a startling video of Iraqi civilians being murdered by employees of the same security firm that employed him and Frankie. Fergus believes there's a connection between the video and Frankie's death, and sets out to find it with the help of Frankie's widow Rachel (Andrea Lowe) and Harim (Talib Rasool), an Iraqi refugee. But the top men at the firm are not about to admit any wrongdoing, and uncovering what really happens proves to be a difficult and taxing process. Route Irish received its world premiere at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.


Critic Reviews for Route Irish

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (4)

A characteristic Loach film, a gripping conspiracy thriller not unlike Hidden Agenda, his film on the Troubles.

Mar 22, 2011 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A minor Loach work - yet there are powerful moments and valuable insights.

Mar 17, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

A tougher and more genre-inspired work that we'd expect from social-realist doyen Loach.

Mar 16, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

No one in this film is stupid or in denial, but some are more open and honest than others. This clear-eyed forthrightness gives Route Irish a backbone many other films lack.

Aug 9, 2018 | Full Review…

The most striking, that he achieved with the experience, is that the filmmaker born in Nunenton, has the ability to do politics without talking about it explicitly in his films. [Full Review in Spanish]

Feb 8, 2018 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Although not especially revelatory, [...] Route Irish is still a success as an often troubling, occasionally thrilling and always tragic low-key drama.

Aug 15, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Route Irish


Known route, but didn't wear me off.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

Ken Loach brings us the British view of the Iraqi war..a topic done to death by the Americans. He mostly succeeds although it feels as though it could have been wrapped up a lot sooner in order to save us from non essential dramatic pieces.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

An utterly powerful and truly explosive edge of your seat thriller. A muscular, intense, hard-boiled, intricately plotted and well character developed movie that hits home hard. A total powerhouse of a movie that`s deeply personal, dramatic and realistic. A triumph from Director, Ken Loach. A gripping, riveting and utterly electrifying conspiracy thriller thats fast-paced, well-crafted and superbly acted. Mark Womack gives an explosive and outstanding performance. Andrea Lowe is terrific. This film is dark and extreamly good. An riveting tour de force. A must-see. A full-throttle and pulse-pounding mystery. It grabs hold of you and dose not let go until the very last frame. A brutal and hard-core experiance. Movies dont get anymore intense or riveting than this.

Al S
Al S

Super Reviewer


Ken Loach certainly knows how to make a good drama. This time around he looks at a story of a contractor returning from Iraq war, dealing with both the issues of settling back to normal life but also determined to find the answers to the unexplained death of his best friend in Iraq.

Nicolas Korovessis
Nicolas Korovessis

Super Reviewer

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