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The Devil's Own

Harrison Ford , Brad Pitt , Alan J. Pakula    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Any movie starring Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford has got to be worth seeing, right? That's as close to a guarantee as this well-meaning thriller ever gets, however, and the talents of Pitt and Ford are absolutely vital in making any sense out of this dramatically muddled scenario. Ostensibly the movie's about an IRA terrorist (Pitt) who escapes from British troops in Belfast and travels to New York City, where he stays in the home of a seasoned cop (Ford) who has no idea of the terrorist's true identity. (Why a veteran cop would host a complete stranger in his home is one of those shaky details you're better off not thinking about.) But while Pitt's passionate character waits to make an arms deal for his IRA compatriots back in Ireland, The Devil's Own conveniently avoids any detailed understanding of the Northern Ireland conflict, focusing instead on the cop's moral dilemma when he discovers that his young guest is a terrorist. The film is superbly acted, and overall it's quite worthwhile, but don't look to it for an abundance of plot logic or an in-depth understanding of Protestant-Catholic tensions in Northern Ireland. (For that, take a look at In the Name of the Father or the underrated historical biopic Michael Collins.) --Jeff Shannon.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Francis 'Frankie' McGuire (Brad Pitt) is one of the most wanted IRA terrorists in Belfast, Ireland. He is wanted for the murder of several police officers and army soldiers, among others. But now his group is raising the stakes. They are no longer going to waste their time with guns - they are going for missiles. So Frankie heads to New York City under the alias Rory Devaney. An Irish judge sets him up to live with the O'Meara family, headed by Sergaent Tom O'Meara (Harrison Ford), one of New York's finest. As Frankie works to overhaul a boat and deal with the slimy arms dealer, Billy Burke (Treat Williams), he finds himself growing attached to the O'Meara family and wishing that he had the opportunity to lead such a life. When Billy Burke sends men to the O'Meara house looking for his money, Frankie knows that it is time to go before he ends up harming the family who made him a part of their home for a short time. But once Tom O'Meara discovers Frankie's real identity, he isn't about to let him go...
I will be the first to admit that I didn't understand everything that was going on in the plot, but Brad Pitt's character said that "If you aren't confused [about the situation in Ireland], you don't know what is going on," and I found that to be pretty true for the whole story line. In fact, it was more of a slice of life and time passing than a story with an actual beginning and end. Aside from the plot, the movie really shines with the superb acting in the film. I truly cared for these characters, even though one of them was a terrorist shown killing several men.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Running With The Devil Jan. 16 2004
The Devil's Own generated a fair amount of advance buzz, in 1997, thanks to the on screen teaming of superstars Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, and acclaimed director Alan J. Pakula. In the end though, the film, was not much more than a letdown overall.
Frankie McGuire (Pitt) is one of the IRA's deadliest assassins, who, after escaping from British authorities, is sent to the U.S. to buy weapons for his IRA compatriots. Frankie finds himself living with the family of Tom O'Meara (Ford), a New York cop who knows nothing about Frankie's real identity. At first, Tom and his wife Shelia (Margaret Colin), welcome him with open arms, as their surprising friendship grows. Soon though, Tom's growing suspicions force Frankie to choose between the promise of peace or a lifetime of murder,
What promises to be a real potboiler, is muted, for several reasons. The biggest problem for me is the fact that, it's pretty hard to imagine that a veteran cop, would allow a total stranger into his home the way O'Meara did. Even if you put that big gaffe aside though, Pitt and Ford are not as sharp as they have been before. There's no real spark as the two play their scenes together. Ford could have probably done this stuff in his sleep. Pretty boy Pitt has perhaps the worst Irish dialect heard in any film--kind of mirroring Tom Cruise in Far and Away. Pakula does his best working with very little but...lets face it Pitt and Ford are the reason we are watching and they are both off the mark here.
The DVD doesn't have any extras, save for the typical theatrical trailer, of course. Given the rumored behind the scenes turmoil, on this movie, I'm not surprised at the lack of any other bonus material though. Viewers can choose to watch the movie in either the full-screen or widescreen formats.
What a disappointment. With Pakula calling the shots and his track record--I expected a better effort
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Apart from the notoriously grating Ulster accent that Brad Pitt adopted for this movie, there are several things that drag the movie down.
A plot would have been nice for instance. Harrison Ford's character turns out in the end of have been totally skippable, perhaps something written only to inflate his screen time as the 20-million-per-film star. There's a whole dog and pony show with him questioning his own police career after a sour NYC cop incident, etc etc, but it's hard to see how this really made the tiniest dent in the story.
Brad Pitt can't get over his typical I'm-so-suave look that appeals to the middle aged ladies of the world. Simply scrambling your vowel sounds and saying "fook's seek" frequently doesn;t quite make you sound, what,Oirish! It does make you painfully insufferable though.
Thirdly, even more laughable than the accents are the action scenes, which are so poorly choreographed and edited, it's hard to believe the film is a Hollywood product. First there is Sean and Frankie's shootout with "half the fookin' army," which they predictably win -- with a shotgun. Then they escape because the British forget to watch the back door. Hmm. Then, there is the mysterious appearance of a vast forest in the middle of downtown Belfast, into which IRA terrorists can conveniently ease into when cornered. Next there is the shootout with Billy Burke, in which Frankie somehow manages to fire three rounds from a double-barrelled shotgun (taking out a sniper who, oddly enough, falls forward from the impact of a shot in the chest), retrieves his pistol and fires the same shot twice--hitting Billy Burke, who for some reason counted to ten before lunging for his own gun.
Long and short of it, this is a passable movie you could consider renting, but keep your expectations low. Nothing you'd be seen talking about I am sure.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
2 great actors. I love it
Published 6 days ago by Shaun Courtney
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Well acted. Interesting, if depressing story (regarding the never-ending troubles in Ireland).
Published 1 month ago by Otto Herrmann
4.0 out of 5 stars J'adore
Published 1 month ago by sonia
2.0 out of 5 stars poor
Brad and Harrison Fiord together should equal a good film. It does not. Pitts Irish accent is clearly not to his character, the film drags for 90% of the time and the bias is... Read more
Published on Nov. 9 2007 by A. Murphy
4.0 out of 5 stars A good movie, but slightly flawed...
I thought this movie was 'grand'. It's one of the best movies I've seen Harrison Ford in (I actually havn't seen many of his movies, except Indiana Jones!). Read more
Published on Aug. 17 2005
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed? To be sure. Still worth it? Oh, yeah
Ford and Pitt do great things together in this movie. While watching, you sort of wonder how much of the film made the cutting floor... Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2003 by Alicia Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Ford and Pitt bash headon
Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt deliver great character performances in a movie about Pitt who moves from Ireland and moves into Ford's home and Ford is a cop and Pitt is a criminal. Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2003 by Michael Bolts
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as Bad as Some Would Have You Think
Not a 1 star picture, either. I think Pitt's accent is alright, he sounds a fair bit like my Irish-Canadian buddy's parents and they are straight outta Belfast. Read more
Published on Sept. 8 2003 by Petar Ticinovic
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really that 'offensive' at all...
This is one tired film... bland, boring and sermonising (bit like this review... if sermonising is a word) it's chief interest lies in its representation of the northern irish... Read more
Published on July 1 2003 by SockPuppetTheatre
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Movie, If Not A Great One
... Apparently a number of viewers, seeing Harrison Ford in the cast, expected a big action picture and were disappointed; others are riled at the perceived "pro-IRA" slant of the... Read more
Published on March 5 2003
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