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The Devil's Own

3.2 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Columbia
  • VHS Release Date: June 20 2000
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 0800187822
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,284 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)
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Product Description

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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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 problem
Brad Pitt's IRA terrorist seems to belong to the cult of the Hollywood Irish republican 'freedom fighter', he is good looking, mild mannered and thoroughly naive in the ways of oraganised crime as represented by Treat Williams (oh Hollywood if you only knew!). Like Richard Gere in 'the Jackal' Pitt is not a bomber but a 'soldier', it seems Hollywood (and they are not alone) believes one to be less human than the other, witness Tommy Lee Jone's 'mad bomber' in the hilarious 'Blown Away'. This is pretty lazy thinking, is it beyond them to write a complex human being capable of taking civilian lives yet who is not a blood thirsty gestapo like sadist? it always strikes me that the american novelists i have read are totally incapable of writing a believable terrorist... well Hollywood has bypassed this problem by not writing a terrorist!
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