Hunger (2009)

The final months of Bobby Sands, the Irish Republican Army activist who protested his treatment at the hands of British prison guards with a hunger strike, are chronicled in this historical drama, the first feature film from… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: March 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 16, 2010
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Critic Score: 90% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Unflinching, uncompromising, vivid and vital, Steve McQueen's challenging debut is not for the faint hearted, but it's still a richly rewarding retelling of troubled times.

J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader

Midway through the movie there's an epic 24-minute the claustrophobic cell block the protesters have already internalized their cause so deeply that the world of words seems distant and inconsequential.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Hunger is not about the rights and wrongs of the British in Northern Ireland, but about inhumane prison conditions, the steeled determination of IRA members like Bobby Sands, and a rock and a hard place.

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Matt Singer
The Rumpus

There is very little context, because on the inside, prison has no context. There is just horror. And maybe, sometimes, in the least expected places, beauty.

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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

It's a strength of this carefully composed, almost obsessively controlled picture that it has no interest in the conventional biographical focus on a subject.

Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail

Hunger -- the disturbing, provocative, brilliant feature debut from British director Steve McQueen -- does for modern film what Caravaggio did to Renaissance painting.

Derek Smith
Tiny Mix Tapes

There is no attempt to set Sands up as a great martyr, no Jesus pose or sentimental music to manipulate emotions. Hunger is interested in none of this. Instead, [McQueen] lets the bodies that sacrificed themselves tell the story they created.

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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer

Hunger is daunting and powerful work.

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Peter Howell
Toronto Star

Relying on images more than words, it's a plea for humanity in times of insanity.

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Ryan Gilbey
New Statesman

The stylistic palette of McQueen's picture, and its grasp of cinematic vocabulary, elevate the film to a purely visceral realm, so that it seems to bypass your eyes and ears and go straight for your nerve endings.

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More reviews for Hunger

Flixster Audience Score: 83% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
McQueen's debut is gripping and intense, with some amazing long takes and a disturbing story that depicts the horrendous impact of a hunger strike on the… More
Julie B
Well, that was depressing. But holy monologue, Fassbender!
Christian C
I have never seen such a brutal, gut-wrenching prison film in my life! Complex emotionally and philosophically, the tensions never let up. Fassbender's… More
Alex roy
Steve McQueen's debut feature is a stunning picture about the 1981 hunger strike carried out by members of the IRA. What I love about Steve McQueen (not to… More
Daniel Perry
To me, the whole film boils down to the long conversation, between Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender) and Father Moran (Liam Cunningham), a scene that takes up… More
Mark Walker
In 2011, "Shame" was released. It was a powerful piece of cinema and one of the most provocative and controversial film's of the year. It was… More