Joan Allen, Kevin McNally. A hard-nosed Dublin journalist, wife and mother deals with thugs, drug dealers and mobsters in this gripping thriller. 2000/color/106 min/R.
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This gray portrait of the Dublin underworld, produced in the United Kingdom, is a refreshing--though brutal--change from the usual aren't-they-quaint Hollywood portrayals of the Irish. Joan Allen stars as Sinead, a feisty reporter who is waging a crusade against the Dublin heroin trade. The story and character are based on real-life Irish reporter Veronica Guerin, but the movie is far from an idealized portrait. Allen lets Sinead's occasional cocky manner and foolhardiness show through as clearly as her convictions. While it is at times hampered by the constraints of budget (the soundtrack is particularly noticeable in that regard), When the Sky Falls offers a realistic portrayal of both the viciousness of a crime scene and the frustration of the police. Allen is more than ably backed by a terrific supporting cast of Irish actors. And yes, she does the accent just fine. This movie is not a masterpiece, but it's well worth a look. --Ali Davis
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