Five Minutes of Heaven
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Five Minutes of Heaven
The idea of reconciliation between two men from opposite sides of a life-and-death struggle is perhaps impossible or even incredibly naïve. Five Minutes of Heaven, a film that tracks the lives of two men from the same town but different sides of the Irish political divide, is unlike any other on this subject. One man, Alistair, is a killer; the other, Joe, is the brother of the man he killed. One feels he dare not ask for forgiveness; the other feels incapable of giving it. And so the scene is set in this masterfully conceived drama, written by Guy Hibbert (Omagh) and perfectly directed by… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A director whose breakthrough was the story of a madman's last stand has exceeded that feat with the story of an angry man's next step."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"So many movies set in Northern Ireland are about the Troubles that we might justifiably ask, why another? Five Minutes of Heaven is far from the best of the breed, but it does at least take a new tack."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"Un drama reflexivo y quizás alegórico sobre las heridas que permanecen años después de un conflicto como el de Irlanda del Norte. Sus dos principales actores salen airosos de las quizás inevitables simplificaciones del guión."
‑ Enrique Buchichio, Uruguay Total
"... about real people shaped by real situations and experiences that echo through their being long after the events are over."
‑ Sean Axmaker,
"The economy of the screenplay provides an intense and focused film that ultimately delivers a gentle and controlled payoff"
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"Two marvelous performances from two Irish actors turn Oliver Hirschbiegel's Five Minutes of Heaven into a tour de force."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"Ultimately, Five Minutes of Heaven is stronger as a whole than its individual parts."
‑ Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"Tense tale of guilt and atonement in Northern Ireland."
‑ Don Groves,
"...intelligent and provocative"
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Acclaimed director Oliver Hirschbiegel gives us much more than we expect in a complex and superbly executed film, whose subject matter may be specific but whose themes of humanity are universal"
‑ Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile
"The movie might have been more tense had it been a little more quiet. Neeson and Nesbitt, however, are so good that narrative hiccups never threaten to lose us..."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"It's an original movie idea that feels written for the stage, all the more so since so much of our attention is diverted to admiring how the actors act, in roles with a high degree of technical
‑ Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"The film deserves credit for not offering any easy answers, but it also fails to ask any interesting questions."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"Pitch-perfect performances and an incredibly powerful first two acts do a lot to make up for the film's loss of momentum towards the end."
‑ Alice Tynan, Concrete Playground
"Five Minutes of Heaven is actually 75 minutes worth of buildup to an ending that's much more fizzle than sizzle."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
More reviews for Five Minutes of Heaven on Rotten Tomatoes