Indie Gems: '71

Left behind.

Gary Hook (Jack O'Connell) is a young British solider whose platoon is sent to Belfast in 1971 to assist with looking for weapons hidden by the I.R.A. When a riot breaks out, he's injured and left behind. He tries to navigate his way back to his barracks, but he can't tell who he can really rely on as everyone has their own agendas. 

O'Connell is really shaping up to be one hell of an actor. I'm sure those in Europe probably already knew that, but for me, seeing him in this and Starred Up was wonderful. He's very intense. In a film where a lot of the characters sort of blend with the rest, O'Connell makes our lead stand out. He's backed up by some great smaller performances as well. Corey McKinley, who plays one of the most amusing children I've ever seen, and Richard Dormer because Beric Dondarrion. 

At first, I found a few things hard to follow. They explain the different factions of the I.R.A at the beginning of the film, and there were a few times I had a bit of an issue with remembering who belongs to who. But it makes sense more sense as we go along. This film was a very brutal and interesting ride.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Why didn't he take you with him?" - Loyalist Kid (Corey McKinley)


  1. I saw the preview recently, and since then I've been excited about this movie. I'm glad to hear it's pretty good.

  2. I've heard about this one and am pretty keen to see it. Jack O'Connell was unforgettable in Skins and he's really doing some great work recently including this flick it seems.

    1. He's a very talented actor. I haven't seen him give a bad performance.

  3. I haven't heard of this film but the IRA was so strong until recently and one didn;t want to visit parts of Ireland because of the clashes

    1. My IRA knowledge is unfortunately limited to what I see in movies, but I can believe that.

  4. I'm all in for this. Can't wait to see it. O'Connell has such intensity behind his eyes, but a softness, almost charming fragility...I can't wait to see where his career goes!

  5. Glad you liked it! I really hope O'Connell continues to get great roles. He's so compelling.

    Another young actor worth checking out is Jack Reynor, who gives a terrific, award-winning debut performance in What Richard Did. Though he was in Transformers 4, he's in Macbeth w/ Fassy, and he's got more interesting projects on the way. He's not as intense as O'Connell, though.


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