The Devil's Own

An earnest, thoughtful, surprisingly well-written (given the number of writers who worked on it) drama about guilt and betrayal that features excellent performances by Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt and dares to defy the juvenile wham bam thank you ma'am aesthetics that have turned mainstream action pictures into feature-length video games. If only it didn't...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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An earnest, thoughtful, surprisingly well-written (given the number of writers who worked on it) drama about guilt and betrayal that features excellent performances by Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt and dares to defy the juvenile wham bam thank you

ma'am aesthetics that have turned mainstream action pictures into feature-length video games. If only it didn't feel quite so good for you. IRA foot soldier Frankie McGuire (Pitt) is sent to New York with a false name, Rory Devaney, and a mad mission to buy Stinger missiles. He's placed with

the family of cop Tom O'Meara (Ford), whose Irishness doesn't extend much beyond an appreciation of Guinness, corned beef and step-dancing. Surrounded by a wife and three daughters, O'Meara takes to the polite Irish lad, who in turn sees in O'Meara the benevolent father he lost to the violence at

home when he was a child of 8. Pitt does fine work here (proving, among other things, that Hollywood hunks can do accents if they try), and Ford -- looking tense and worried -- lets painful slivers of vulnerability show through the sober shell he's spent the better part of the decade

constructing. The movie's look is pure glum, deglamorized '70s -- PRINCE OF THE CITY springs to mind, and not just because Treat Williams is on hand as Irish-American gunrunner Billy Burke -- and it's a little hard to stomach the fact that this kind of low-rent grit now costs $90 million.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: R
  • Review: An earnest, thoughtful, surprisingly well-written (given the number of writers who worked on it) drama about guilt and betrayal that features excellent performances by Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt and dares to defy the juvenile wham bam thank you ma'am aes… (more)

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