Parents' Guide to

Michael Collins

By Tom Cassidy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Irish revolutionary biopic has strong violence and language.

Movie R 1996 133 minutes
Michael Collins Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

The film was excellent! My issue is the description provided here saying that Ireland only gained independence in 1949 when in fact the gained it in 1922. Ireland left the commonwealth in 1949 which is a totally different thing. A bit of research on the authors part wouldn’t have hurt

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Leaders who help bring about huge change are often gifted with a charisma that will spur a nation into action. Liam Neeson, as Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, has just that. Director Neil Jordan pitches Neeson as a charming every man with a burning desire for freedom. The movie begins with Collins and his collaborators under siege during the 1916 Easter Rising. He spends two years in jail and once out, begins his guerilla campaign. Filmed in a rousing and cinematic way, the mixture of war scenes, jailbreaks, spy drama, and courtroom battles are thrilling. Amid this, the complex and fast-moving historical details are kept clear with title cards that detail the year and what's happening. This proves a tidy way to keep the action flowing without characters having to stop and explain what's going on.

Native Irishman Neeson is the standout in, what is on paper, a solid cast. Alan Rickman's Irish accent is shaky as Collins' partner and later enemy, Eamon de Valera. Similarly, Julia Roberts' Irish accent is rocky but rarely heard as she's given a paltry part but makes the best of it. Michael Collins works on many levels. It's a political thriller, a war movie, and a comprehensive overview of a turbulent time in recent history. The movie has been criticized for fabricating a few details for dramatic effect but it never detracts from a fascinating story of turmoil and triumph.

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