Route Irish

Route Irish

Fergus (Mark Womack) returns to his native Liverpool for the funeral of his childhood friend Frankie (John Bishop), a fellow private security contractor who has been killed on Route Irish, the deadly and now infamous stretch of road between Baghdad airport and the Green Zone. Refusing to accept the official account of his best friend’s death, Fergus launches his own investigation, fuelled by the discovery of a cell phone on which Frankie had recorded the shooting of an innocent Iraqi family just days before his own death. 2.7 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
Route Irish

Omniscore:

Certificate 15
Genre Drama
Director Ken Loach
Cast Andrea Lowe, John Bishop Mark Womack
Studio Artificial Eye
Release Date March 2011
Running Time 109 mins
 

Fergus (Mark Womack) returns to his native Liverpool for the funeral of his childhood friend Frankie (John Bishop), a fellow private security contractor who has been killed on Route Irish, the deadly and now infamous stretch of road between Baghdad airport and the Green Zone. Refusing to accept the official account of his best friend’s death, Fergus launches his own investigation, fuelled by the discovery of a cell phone on which Frankie had recorded the shooting of an innocent Iraqi family just days before his own death.

Reviews

Empire Magazine

David Hughes

Imagine In The Valley Of Elah, written by Alan Bleasdale and directed by Mike Leigh, and you’re on the right track... Womack is a little too much of a tough guy to be truly sympathetic. Someone with a softer side — perhaps Paddy Considine, Michael Fassbender or Loach favourite Ian Hart — might have helped the film engage not just the brain and the guts, but the heart as well.

19/03/2011

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

Instead of developing the plot or the characters, the film gets hung up on the message that waterboarding is a bad thing, and that it's wrong to profit from the deaths of Iraqi citizens.

20/03/2011

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The Observer

Philip French

Scripted by his regular screenwriter Paul Laverty, Route Irish is a characteristic Loach film, a gripping conspiracy thriller not unlike Hidden Agenda, his film on the Troubles... In Route Irish the audience is initially inclined, indeed invited, to think that a former torturer being waterboarded is getting the treatment he deserves. But this isn't a Stallone movie, and we come to realise, as Fergus himself does, that his revenge strategies only expose his own corruption.

20/03/2011

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Loach has boldly mixed non-professionals with professional actors, and there is unevenness in the dialogue and performances. But Mark Womack is good at showing Fergus's unprocessed, unaccommodated rage and guilt...

17/03/2011

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Time Out

David Jenkins

Recalling elegiac war crime procedurals like ‘In the Valley of Elah’, it’s a tougher and more genre-inspired work that we’d expect from social-realist doyen Loach... Dialogue scenes have an impressive, semi-improvised fluidity, while action set-ups mostly fall flat: one where Fergus bugs the car of an old colleague he suspects of foul play is handled in a disappointingly inert fashion.

17/03/2011

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The Times

Kate Muir

The film favours didacticism over drama in its attempt to expose the privatisation of war.

18/03/2011

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Total Film

Total Film

His target – the privatisation of war – is a thoroughly deserving one, but shouty acting and heavy-handed plotting drown out the powerful, cogent message, leaving us with a left-wing version of Death Wish.

04/03/2011

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The Sunday Times

Edward Porter

There are signs here that Loach and Laverty could have made a solid film by confining Womack’s exploited and traumatised mercenary to a plain drama. By making him an avenger up against a deadly conspiracy, they enter a genre in which they simply aren’t at home.

20/03/2011

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

...increasingly clunky and didactic...

17/03/2011

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

...ready to take any short-cut, no matter how undignified, to audience indignation.

16/03/2011

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

The film isn’t a write-off, because Loach’s simmering rage gives it a sporadic rawness and voltage. Sadly, it also clouds his vision.

18/03/2011

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

Adidactic thriller about the Iraq war, with wearisomely predictable villains and a profoundly unsympathetic hero.

18/03/2011

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