The Journey

Critics Consensus

The Journey's narrative deficiencies undermine a powerful fact-based story, but those problems are often offset by solid work from Colm Meaney and Timothy Spall.



Total Count: 86


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User Ratings: 548
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Movie Info

THE JOURNEY is the gripping account of how two men from opposite sides of the political spectrum came together to change the course of history. In 2006, amid the decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland, representatives from the two warring factions meet for negotiations. In one corner is Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner, Harry Potter), the deeply conservative British loyalist; in the other is Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney, Hell on Wheels, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), a former Irish Republican Army leader who has devoted his life to the cause of Irish reunification. Over the course of an impromptu, detour-filled car ride through the Scottish countryside, each begins to see the other less as an enemy, and more as an individual - a breakthrough that promises to at last bring peace to the troubled region. Driven by two virtuoso central performances and co-starring John Hurt, Freddie Highmore and Toby Stephens, THE JOURNEY, an IFC Films theatrical release, is a relevant reminder of how simple humanity can overcome political division.

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Timothy Spall
as Ian Paisley
Colm Meaney
as Martin McGuinness
John Hurt
as Harry Patterson
Toby Stephens
as Tony Blair

News & Interviews for The Journey

Critic Reviews for The Journey

All Critics (86) | Top Critics (18)

  • One of the great political transitions has been re-imagined as a concise road trip in a pastiche of the sort of political play Peter Morgan might have written as a two-hander for the smaller stage. As a film, it doesn't open out.

    Sep 1, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • "The Journey" has fun playing make believe, but its execution cheapens history and distills fundamental ideological differences into treacly teachable moments.

    Jul 14, 2017 | Rating: C | Full Review…
  • With precious cargo like Spall and Meaney to transport, even Freddie Highmore behind the wheel - and the occasional narrative detour - didn't give sufficient cause to incite road rage.

    Jul 7, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The bit of MI-5 chicanery behind the whole plot is a tad silly, but the sparring of Spall and Meaney is just worth the 94-minute investment.

    Jul 7, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The dialogue swings between quick and banal as the chipper McGuinness tries to crack the self-righteous stoic (Spall is brilliant) Paisley.

    Jul 6, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Every element of the movie feels fabricated, from the stilted conversation to the all-too-convenient obstacles the movie keeps throwing in the path of progress, including a flat tire, an empty gas tank and an implausible detour to a church.

    Jul 6, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Journey

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