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Bloody Sunday

Bloody Sunday

5.0 2
Director: Paul Greengrass, James Nesbitt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Nicholas Farrell

Cast: Paul Greengrass, James Nesbitt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Nicholas Farrell


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Bloody Sunday contains a small collection of extras that provide excellent information. The most compelling entry is a commentary from writer/director Paul Greengrass and actor James Nesbitt. Greengrass does most of the talking and injects plenty of interesting views. A second commentary comes from co-producer Don Mullan, who penned the source book,


Bloody Sunday contains a small collection of extras that provide excellent information. The most compelling entry is a commentary from writer/director Paul Greengrass and actor James Nesbitt. Greengrass does most of the talking and injects plenty of interesting views. A second commentary comes from co-producer Don Mullan, who penned the source book, Eyewitness Bloody Sunday. The author is obviously very knowledgeable, and he does provide some compelling insights, but serious breaks exist during the commentary. This disc also includes two informative featurettes that nicely complement the two commentaries. "Bloody Sunday: History Retold" covers about 13 minutes and provides intriguing conversations with the director, producers, and actors. "Bloody Sunday: Ivan Cooper Remembers" gives a brief look at modern Derry from the perspective of the real Ivan Cooper. He discusses the pivotal sites with Nesbitt in this seven-minute piece, which provides a worthy connection to the real events. Bloody Sunday's handheld cameras and muted colors make grading its technical aspects more difficult. Much of the picture looks grainy, but that matches the realistic, documentary-style tone of the film. Luckily, this 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer succeeds and makes the chaotic events easily viewable. Despite a bit of expected haziness, this transfer works very effectively. This release is interesting because it contains two English versions of the 5.1 channel Dolby Digital transfer. The first one stems from the domestic U.S. release, and the other presents the original U.K. theatrical version. Both versions offer impressive sounds that convey significant power. The complexity is not especially amazing in the rear speakers, but it only slightly diminishes the transfer.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
A dramatic re-creation of perhaps the darkest day in Northern Ireland's history unfolds with documentary-style realism in this gritty, critically acclaimed drama from writer-director Paul Greengrass. In 1972, a civil rights march led by an Irish M.P. (James Nesbitt) becomes a bloodbath when British soldiers open fire on unarmed protesters, killing 13 and wounding 14 others. Bloody Sunday takes a Dogme-esque approach to staging the events, brilliantly capturing the chaos that leads to a most tragic aftermath. The soundtrack plays a crucial role: It's an agitating cacophony of voices, ringing telephones, and squawking two-way radios -- that is, before it becomes a sea of shouts, screams, and gunshots. The massacre itself has a graphic veracity that is truly disturbing to watch. Bloody Sunday makes no bones about its allegiances: The British are at fault, not only for the loss of life but for further violence as well. (The massacre became a recruiting point for the militant IRA.) Indeed, the greatest tragedy portrayed is that of the idealistic M.P., who, after trying to follow the peaceful path to reform, ultimately loses his faith in nonviolent solutions. The result is a truly gripping film that demands to be seen.
All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Paul Greengrass' Bloody Sunday has been a film festival favorite, and received a good deal of critical praise, but despite the importance of the subject matter and the visceral power of Greengrass' filmmaking, the film is far from flawless. Greengrass has cited Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers as an inspiration for his film, the earlier film's influence is evident in Bloody Sunday's vérité style and his use of non-actors in many of the smaller roles. Greengrass' background as a documentarian is also evident in the film's use of handheld camera and a chaotically realistic sound mix. But the film's considered approach to its subject matter is too calm and thoughtful for agitprop, and the thinness of its characterizations makes it a failure as straight drama. In the film, the actual massacre is perpetrated, for the most part, on nameless, faceless characters, in the style of the opening battle sequence in Saving Private Ryan. But Spielberg's decision to begin his depiction of a huge war with carnage amid anonymous soldiers is much more understandable than Greengrass' decision not to differentiate among the 13 unfortunate victims of this much smaller-scaled tragedy. His decision to inflate the role of Ivan Cooper (James Nesbitt), the Protestant politician and civil rights leader who helped organize what was supposed to be a peaceful march that day, is questionable, particularly as it takes time away from the everyday residents of Derry who should be the film's real story. The film has an undeniable immediacy, and is still a powerful indictment of the British government's actions on that day, and in response to the incident. But one can't help but feel that it could have been something more.
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman
It's a mad cycle of arrogance and despair, and Bloody Sunday etches it onto your nervous system.
New York Times - Elvis Mitchell
The level of accomplishment in the filmmaking is overwhelming.
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan
Once positions hardened, tragedy was all but inevitable, and Bloody Sunday does the spirit of that awful day full and unforgettable justice.
A stunning work, revisiting controversial events with journalistic objectivity and a meticulous eye for detail. Scott Foundas
New York Magazine - Peter Rainer
The most visceral and cumulatively powerful account of civil war since Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Closed Caption; "Bloody Sunday: History Retold" - interviews with the cast and crew; "Bloody Sunday: Ivan Cooper Remembers" - interview with the real Ivan Cooper as well as James Nesbitt, the actor who portrays him; Commentary by writer/director Paul Greengrass and actor James Nesbitt; Commentary by co-producer Don Mullan, writer of the original book, "Eyewitness Bloody Sunday"; Widescreen version enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs; Dolby Digital: English 5.1 Surround (domestic theatrical version), English 5.1 Surround (original U.K. theatrical version); English subtitles

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Nesbitt Ivan Cooper
Tim Pigott-Smith Major General Robert Ford
Nicholas Farrell Brigadier Maclellan
Gerard McSorley Chief Supt. Lagan
Kathy Kiera Clarke Frances
Allan Gildea Kevin McCorry
Gerard Crossan Eamonn McCann
Mary Moulds Bernadette Devlin
Carmel McCallion Bridget Bond
Declan Duddy Gerry Donaghy
Joanne Lindsay Mary Donaghy
Simon Mann Colonel Wilford
Christopher Villiers Major Steele
Mike Edwards Soldier

Technical Credits
Paul Greengrass Director,Screenwriter
Albert Bailey Sound/Sound Designer
Rhidian Bridge Consultant/advisor
Dinah Collin Costumes/Costume Designer
Colin Coull Consultant/advisor
Pippa Cross Executive Producer
Clare Douglas Editor
Ros Hubbard Casting
John Hubbard Casting
Luke Johnston Asst. Director
John Paul Kelly Production Designer
Arthur Lappin Executive Producer
Simon Mann Consultant/advisor
Dominic Muldowney Score Composer
Don Mullan Co-producer
Paul Myler Co-producer
Padraig O'neill Art Director
Mark Redhead Producer
Jim Sheridan Executive Producer
Rod Stoneman Executive Producer
Ivan Strasburg Cinematographer
Paul Trijbits Executive Producer
Tristan Whalley Executive Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Internment Without Trial
2. Maximum Aggression
3. The Question of Guns
4. Major General Ford
5. To Avoid Confrontation
6. One Day We Can Be Normal
7. The March Begins
8. "Aggro" Corner
9. Escalation
10. A Belief in Nonviolence
11. The Soldiers Open Fire
12. Finding "Justification"
13. 13 Dead
14. Statements
15. Truth and Shame
16. End Credits


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Bloody Sunday 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ivan Cooper, all Irishman know the story from the propaganda of the English Empire. The English shot at mostly unarmed civilians in a peaceful demonstration. If those out there don't understand Irish anger toward the Brits watch it please.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A really powerful ( although depressing movie) despite not being irish I think its a real peice of art that should be viewed by everyone. Thumbs up for sure. The ending had me almost in tears.