why Cranky is in pain
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do     Contact    Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

OFCS

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

Michael Collins
Starring Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea,
Alan Rickman and Julia Roberts
Written and Directed by Neil Jordan

The Irish woman I walked out of the theater with told a tale of an uncle of hers who had fought in the Irish Civil War during 1920s. Her friend nodded and mentioned the picture that hung prominently in the household. As for Michael Collins one lady said it "was overdramatized a bit" to which her friend responded, "It didn't need any dramatization."

When I was a boy, Michael Collins was a name completely unfamiliar to me. However Eamon De Valera, the President of Ireland was the man lionized on television programs like the original series of Biography. Michael Collins is Neil Jordan's recreation of the final years of the man who founded the Irish Republican Army, and then negotiated the treaty which led to the creation of a Free Irish State and the partition of Northern Ireland.

Enough History, let's focus on the story, of which there is plenty.

We begin with the quashing of the Irish Easter Uprising of 1916 and the introduction of Eamon De Valera (Alan Rickman) and Michael Collins (Liam Neeson). De Valera fancies himself a statesman of the diplomatic kind and is known to the British as a leader, and he escapes the firing squad solely due to his American citizenship. Collins, Irish born, wants to fight but is told to bide his time. Both men do jail time, but Collins gets out first. With his friend Harry Boland (Aidan Quinn), Collins leads the formation of the next wave of Irish resistance, and develops the guerrilla warfare style that would empower the I.R.A.

Collins and Boland both fall for the same woman, Kitty Kiernan (Julia Roberts). Collins rabble rousing convinces Ned Broy (Stephen Rea), the government man assigned to tail him, to become the IRA's mole within the Brit police force. De Valera is broken out of prison and takes Harry to the U.S. as his number two, hoping to meet with President Wilson in his role as "president" of the non-existent Irish State.

While Collins' IRA limit their attacks to soldiers, the British do not respond in kind. By the time De Valera returns, the Irish are engaged in bloody warfare.

There are three stories and two conflicts at play here, only one of which may be intentional. Collins and Boland for the hand of Kiernan. Collins and De Valera for the leadership of the Irish people and the loyalty of Boland. By the end of the film, the question of who is the greater statesman is left to you. Director Jordan closes the film with a quote which leaves no question as to where he stands.

Jordan and his team have done a marvelous job of creating the the Dublin of 75 years ago. Liam Neeson's portrayal of Collins is a unique step forward for the actor. He is a fighter who is forced into the role of peacemaker and then must fight his own to maintain the peace. His friends and compatriots become enemies; the woman he makes swear never to fall for him does. Collins' gets buffeted from every angle and Neeson handles the demands of the role well.

On the other end is Alan Rickman's De Valera, a characterization in contrast to what the history PR machine generated for TV all those school years ago. That the Roberts and Quinn characters are pulled back and forth between the two is just the mark of a continually changing and enthralling piece of cinema.

I was thoroughly impressed with Michael Collins at almost every level. A movie is something you can sit and munch popcorn to. You lick the golden topping (butter if you're lucky) off your hands and suck down a cold soda and have a good time.

You won't want popcorn for this one.

This film fixes your eyes to the screen and they will stay there for the two hours and five minutes (my watch) that it will take to go from start to finish. It is the kind of film that gives you much to talk about on the way out and on the next day. I was moved.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price for Michael Collins, he would have paid . . .

$7.50

Movies are real easy to turn around and walk back in. Films, the way I define them, require thought and discussion with your friends before you go back in. Michael Collins is a very impressive film.

Click to buy films by Neil Jordan
Click to buy films starring Liam Neeson
Click to buy films starring Aidan Quinn
Click to buy films starring Stephen Rea

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2016   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.