The greatest films of all time as voted on by the Criterion subreddit using a ranked top 10 methodology from…
The story of Bobby Sands, the IRA member who led the 1981 hunger strike in which Republican prisoners tried to win political status. It dramatises events in the Maze prison in the six weeks prior to Sands’ death.
Usually I need an emotional connection to be drawn into a film with as harrowing a subject as Hunger has. Once again McQueen proves that with his detached, clinical but unflinching style he still manages to achieve just that despite the distance between the audience and the film.
From the get go it is clear that McQueen will pull no punches. The prison and its inhabitants are gritty and rough. The violence is brutal and yet McQueen manages to inject humanity into both prisoners and guards. He doesn't seem to want to make a statement, he seems to be more interested in documenting a very troubled era in a nation's history.
At the centre of this is Bobby Sands (a…
Steve McQueen's feature film debut is a brutally intense, downright disturbing & extremely upsetting cinema covering the infamous Irish hunger strike of 1981. And while it makes up for a very difficult sitting due to its graphic depiction of the brutality that was inflicted on the prisoners, it also marks a terrific start to the directional career of one of modern cinema's boldest new filmmakers.
Set in Northern Ireland around the early 1980s, Hunger explores the life in Maze Prison where Republican inmates are protesting to regain their political status which was revoked by the British government a few years ago. After depicting much of the gruesome torture, the plot finally focuses on the events leading to the 1981 IRA hunger…
This is one of the very best films I've seen in a good while. It was Steve McQueen's debut? Fuck, I can't believe it. It's a beautiful, thought-provoking, haunting and brutal film. And I mean BRUTAL.
If, for some reason you are not yet convinced that Fassbender is one of the best actors working right now, watch this film and you will be among the doubting no more. He delivers a performance that should and will be remembered forever. Looks like he almost lost as much weight as Bale did for The Machinist. Ah, maybe not quite, but it's scary as hell.
There is a conversation that takes place around the middle of the film and goes on for almost half an hour. And it's gripping. It's nearly uncut, too. I think there is a shot that lasts about 16 minutes uncut. Amazing. Just do yourself a favour and watch this film.
PTAbro's World Tour Stop 1: Ireland
Finally, a prison movie that's not afraid to show the lighter side of incarceration.
Steve McQueen’s debut film is one of the forgotten little gems of the past decade. It’s a hard movie to watch. Like Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange it’s a movie that puts a mirror in front of us and shows all the wrongs and brutalities of our race. Violence will bring more violence and one day humans will reach a point that they won’t be able to solve their problems without using some violence against each other. Bobby Sands is representative of all men and women in the history who have sacrificed themselves for freedom and peace, and those are the states that will never be achieved easily. Their price must be…
"I have my belief, and in all its simplicity that is the most powerful thing."
I've noticed a trend in Steve McQueen's films. In Shame, Hunger, and 12 Years a Slave a sense of helplessness permeates the screen. McQueen subjects the viewer to a situation that's brutal, dark, and thought-provoking; and very much outside of the normal comfort zone for viewing a film. What makes these scenarios so affecting and emotional is McQueen's much-talked-about sense of realism. His camera is always unflinching, unafraid of long-takes, nudity, graphic violence, and disgusting scenery. It makes his films feel almost documentary-like in nature. It's easier to empathize with a realistic situation rather than a fanciful one, which is, in part, how he succeeds.…
"When your answer is to kill everything you've blinded yourself and you're scared to stop it. Afraid of living. Afraid of talk and peace. [...] Freedom Fighters? They're the men and women working out there in the community. And that was you once upon a time."
"It's a time to keep your beliefs pure. I believe that a united Ireland is right and just. [...] But I knew I did the right thing by that wee foal. And I could take the punishment for al our boys. I had the respect of the other boys now, and I knew that. I'm clear of the reasons, Dom. I'm clear of all the repercussions. But I will act, and I will not stand by and doing nothing."
It's the first Michael Fassbender movie I watched back in 2010, and possibly still the most memorable to date. The single shot 20+ min scene with the priest is one of my fave scenes in cinema. Really poignant and provocative.
Steve freaking McQueen, man. Powerful stuff
Fassbender gives a bone-chilling and extremely believable performance in his portrayal of Bobby Sands. Not an easy film to watch, but a worthwhile one. Extraordinary directorial debut by Steve McQueen.
Brutal, harrowingly realistic Irish prison drama in which member of the IRA fight for rights as political prisoners and not criminal prisoners.
The justice system enforced by Maggie Thatcher's Great Britain in 1981 refuses to give them their political recognition and only see them as criminals.
After a brutal no wash and no clothes protest-Bobby Sands decides to stage a hunger strike until the prisoners are met with their demands.
Steve McQueen directs this astonishing debut feature film with incredible honesty, simplistic but perfected technical execution, and gives a true meditation on the human mindset when kept in captivity.
There's a 17 minute single shot when Bobby and the Prison Priest debate the merits of his plan-both actors deliver their…
Stark, grim, compelling.
Some very interesting scenes in this film, especially in terms of shot length and composition. It is pretty extraordinary (and horrifying) that people actually went through this torture in the 1980s under Thatcher's rule.
I really wanted to write a lengthly review talking about this movie and its story and acting and cinematography, but after completing it, I found myself speechless. I spent a few days sitting on it, trying to think of a way to sum it up, but I honestly think you'd have to watch it for yourself and savour it well.
There isn't much said in this film, and rightfully so. McQueen has great use and understanding of his camera and shows exactly what he wants you to see and feel, and you find yourself weaving through this story on your own without the characters even having to tell you that things are shit--literally. You see it. You feel it. You're there. And that, I think, should be one of the end goals directors strive for.
I went into this film aware of the struggle with Northern Ireland and the arduous struggle for Irish independence. I primarily watched this film for a paper in class, but I also really wanted to see the film regardless. That being said, this is an insanely powerful film. This is one of the many films I would suggest seeing if you're looking for "show don't tell". There are a number of incredibly long shots, including a 17 minute one take of a conversation between Michael Fassbender and Liam Cunningham, that are just astounding to view. The performances are incredible, especially Fassbender's portrayal of Bobby Sands. This is definitely not a film for those with a weak stomach or fond of nudity. It's a gripping film that gave me chills, and I applaud Steve McQueen for such an amazing first feature. 9/10
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…