6.4/10
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9 user 7 critic

When the Sky Falls (2000)

Irish crime-investigating reporter Sinead Hamilton invades the Irish underworld and attempts to expose the illegitimate activities that she has found. Hampered by the system, a police ... See full summary »

Director:

John Mackenzie

Writers:

Guy Andrews (additional dialogue), Ronan Gallagher | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Allen ... Sinead Hamilton
Patrick Bergin ... Mackey
Liam Cunningham ... John Cosgrave (The Runner)
Kevin McNally ... Tom Hamilton
Jimmy Smallhorne Jimmy Smallhorne ... Mickey O'Fagan
Gerard Mannix Flynn Gerard Mannix Flynn ... Dave Hackett (as Gerard Flynn)
Jason Barry ... Dempsey
Pete Postlethwaite ... Martin Shaughnessy
Des McAleer Des McAleer ... Jimmy Keaveney
Owen Roe ... John O'Connor
Gavin Kelty Gavin Kelty ... Tattoo
Vincent Walsh ... Shaw
Frank Grimes ... Paul McCarling
Rúaidhrí Conroy ... Jamie Thornton
Liam Carney ... Dessie O'Reilly
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Storyline

Irish crime-investigating reporter Sinead Hamilton invades the Irish underworld and attempts to expose the illegitimate activities that she has found. Hampered by the system, a police consort is ineffectual at aiding her despite trying to step outside of the normal bounds. Her husband, who hates her activities and the danger in which she places herself. Nonetheless, he grudgingly admires her persistence and encourages her investigation. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

when the truth is hidden when the witness is silenced when the sky falls

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brutal violence, strong language, drug content and some sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Ireland | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 June 2000 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Veronica Guerin See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is based on the real-time story of the Irish Journalist, Veronica Guerin. See more »

Connections

Version of Veronica Guerin (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Sleep with the Ancients - The Spirit of Eden
Composed by Jimmy Smyth, Pearse Dunne and Jenny Newman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Heroism still exists
5 July 2000 | by hammy-3See all my reviews

This is the sort of movie that would be dismissed as being implausible if it was pure fiction, but this tale of modern heroism is only slightly fictionalised. Joan Allen plays a thinly disguised version of Veronica Guerin (pron: GEER-in), an Irish journalist killed by the drug barons she fearlessly challenged.

In some ways the film's greatest asset is it's honesty: it's as uninhibited about tackling the issues involved as Guerin herself was: it doesn't pull any punches in criticising the irish government and police force's timid efforts to deal with the heroin epidemic in Dublin. It doesn't flinch from the fact that Guerin used some wildly unorthodox methods to tackle the drug barons. Also, like John Boorman's far more stylish _The General_, it shows that the Irish police aren't above colluding with terrorists in the drugs war.

In other ways, the film presents often gratingly hackneyed images and some wildly implausible scenes. The Drug baron's hoods are clearly based on the bad guys in Donald Duck cartoons, drinking champagne in Jacuzzis, while the newspaper office is apparenly modelled on _His Girl Friday_. Also, kids are seen shooting up Smack in Dublin streets IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, and no character bats an eyelid. The problem of using sexy Hollywood actresses to repressent real people rears it's finely embrocated head, particularly when Joan Allen is sexually approaced by several hoodlums. The movie also makes the world of Irish journalism and law enforcement seem more misogynistic than they really are.

These are minor quibbles, though. This, for all its flaws and low budget is a truly inspiring film, a film that shows that heroism is still possible and a welcome antidote to the "ironic" designer nihilism of much contemporary US and British crime cinema.


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