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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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!Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I didn't see any indication that this movie would be in a non-North American format- it was just described as a dvd. Read morePublished 4 months ago by LDempster
Definitely a good crime drama with Harrison Ford AND Brad Pitt ( before Jolie)..You will know the plot right away and you will be heartbroken ladies at the end of of the movie. Read morePublished 6 months ago by mirabel
Well acted. Interesting, if depressing story (regarding the never-ending troubles in Ireland).Published 17 months ago by Otto Herrmann
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 morePublished on Nov. 9 2007 by A. Murphy
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 morePublished on Aug. 17 2005
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. Read morePublished on Jan. 16 2004 by T. Lobascio