The General

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Released 1998

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The General

Movie Summary

Director:
John Boorman
Released:
1998
Rating:
R

The General is a 1998 biographical drama about the real-life Irish gangster and folk hero Martin Cahill (Brendan Gleeson), who stole an estimated $60 million over his 20 year career. The film begins with the young Cahill at a reform school, already breaking the law. As an adult, he forms a gang with Noel (Adrian Dunbar), Gary (Sean McGinley) and Jimmy (Eanna MacLiam), always managing to stay ahead of Inspector Ned Kenny (Jon Voight) with elegant alibis. His personal life involves two sisters, his wife, Frances (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and mistress, Tina (Angeline Ball). He achieves folk hero status for his ability to dodge authority while pulling off impressive jewelry heists and bank thefts until the Irish Republican Army puts a stop to his attempt to enter politics. Director John Boorman won the prestigious Cannes Film Festival award for Best Director for this fascinating character study of a charming criminal that could also heartlessly put lives and livelihoods in danger.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    A near-masterpiece, it is one of the most effective and convincing studies of a criminal ever put on screen. [22 Jan 1999, p.A]

  • 100

    San Francisco Chronicle Edward Guthmann

    Boorman enlivens The General with a number of scenes, like that one, that play against the con ventions of crime movies. He and Gleeson, both of whom were denied the Oscar nominati...

  • 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    At 65, Boorman flawlessly handles his actors and expertly orchestrates action in one of the widest-looking black-and-white Panavision frames since 1967's In Cold Blood. [18 Dec 199...

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Categories

Action & Adventure

Themes

Crime