Belfast Poster

Belfast (2021)

Drama  
Rayting:   7.7/10 3.9K votes
Country: UK
Language: English
Release date: February 24, 2022

A young boy and his working class family experience the tumultuous late 1960s.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

rannynm 6 November 2021

Belfast is the equivalent of a stormy, rainy day, creating a perfect calm-before-the-storm kind of feeling. Written and directed by Kenneth Branagh, this family story is a tasteful, bittersweet masterpiece.

Set in a small neighborhood in Northern Ireland during the late 1960s, Buddy (Jude Hill), a young boy from a small-town family, experiences life in tumultuous times. As religious tensions between the tight-knit community members grow, his family dodges shady neighbors and argues the question of moving out of Belfast while Buddy tries to ace his time tables. Belonging to the struggling working class, Buddy's father (Jamie Dornan) often travels for weeks at a time leaving him and his older brother (Lewis McAskie) to explore Belfast on their own. However, their father and mother (Caitriona Balfe) are always there to protect them when danger comes their way.

Four things really stand out to me watching this film. First, the use of black and white with some color is really outstanding. It creates a sense of nostalgia and the few choice moments with color helps those scenes stand out. Second, the sound is absolutely fantastic. In every scene, there is a sound effect that enhances it, it's the sound of rain, fire, or a buzzing television. The quality of the sound effects is astounding, adding another layer of engagement when watching this film. Third, the acting is especially impressive. Young talent Jude Hilly, especially, is quite a star and steals the show. I also love the talent of Caitriona Balfe, who masters the strength and emotion of a mother. Lastly, every scene is very intimate; the camera is always up and close to the action and the family, making audiences feel closer to the main characters.

Kenneth Branagh's film, based on a true story from his own childhood, touches audiences' hearts with an intimate view of family and the struggles of the working class. Parents should be aware there is some profanity, mention of religion, aggression and minor violence.

I rate Belfast 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. This film opens in theaters November 12, 2021. By Abigail L., KIDS FIRST!

richard-1787 27 November 2021

"Belfast" is a deeply moving film that recounts, often from a young boy's perspective, what it was like to live n Belfast in 1969 at the outbreak of that round of Protestant-Catholic violence. It held me riveted to my seat from almost start to finish. The acting was uniformly first rate. Some of the action was hard for me to understand because I don't know the history of that conflict well. Perhaps that could have been helped with more exposition?

My one real problem with segments of this movie was the accents. Just as the mother worries that, if they were to move to England to follow her husband's job, they would not be understood by half of the English, so I had real problems understanding some of the dialogue, because I am not used to hearing the Irish speak.

But this should not dissuade anyone from seeing the movie! Not at all. I mentioned this problem to the manager of the theater (Regal) after the show, and he told me that the theater could have supplied me, free of charge, with glasses that would have let me see the movie's evidently embedded closed captions.

So, if any of you go and get discouraged because you can't understand all the dialogue, ask if your movie theater has such spectacles. I wish I had known about them They would have saved me a certain amount of aggravation.

As it is, I will rent the movie when it comes out on dvd so that I can watch it with closed captions and see what I could not understand. It's definitely a movie that is worth a second viewing.

st-shot 16 November 2021

Director Kenneth Branagh returns to his childhood past in Belfast, a black and white memory of the age old struggle between Protestant and Catholic during heightened tension between the two in the late 60s and early 70s known as The Troubles. Branagh and clan left early in a conflict that would go beyond Northern Ireland borders and last 30 years so the title can be a touch deceptive in that it deals more with a family in conflict than present an all encompassing overview of a city and its people under duress that certain places (ex: Dunkirk) evoke.

Belfast is mostly seen through the eyes of a child, impressively played by Jude Hill, as he tries to make sense of all the calamity as well as understand the logic of his parents and grandparents. As the parents in crisis Caitriona Balfe and Jamie Dornan share some powerful scenes together while Ciaran Hinds turns in his standard solid work and Judy Dench delivers some touching moments as the grandparents.

Branagh's direction is inconsistent though with some scenes flat and near pointless. His mise en scene rings artificial and some of his minor casting has a falseness to it as well. Branagh also shies away from expressing the deep seeded hatred between the two groups in favor of the family dynamic at play and in doing so dilutes the desperation they face. A mediocre nostalgia piece whose title and place in history deserves much deeper examination.

billcr12 3 December 2021

Kenneth Branagh based this film on his childhood experiences growing up in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s. Belfast borrows in a good way from Hope and Glory, another story seen through the eyes of a child. The cast is a perfect ensemble and I expect another Oscar for Judi Dench and another for Branagh for screenplay and director. As an American with some Irish blood, I have always felt an affinity for the Emerald Isle. As a Catholic, I am aware of the Troubles and the eight hundred years of occupation of the British. Branagh, a Protestant, wisely avoids taking sides in the conflict. As of December 3, 2021, Belfast is my pick for best film of the year.

paul-allaer 3 December 2021

As the opening credits of "Belfast" (2021 release from Northern Ireland; 98 min.) roll, we get full-color shots of today's Belfast, shown at its very best. After the opening credits, we shift to B&W and we are told it is "15th August, 1969". Kids are playing in the streets but as we are introduced to Buddy, an 8-9 yr. Boy. He gets caught in the middle of erupting street violence. Buddy's mom is able just in time to pick him up and they seek shelter in their little house... At this point we are not even 10 min into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this project is a labor of love from writer-producer-director Kenneth Branagh, who has been working on this for years. The little boy Buddy is of course Branagh, who was born in Belfast in 1960 and came of age there as the Troubles between the Unionists (typically Protestants) and the Republicans (typically Catholics) erupted in the late 60s and would last for decades. As a love letter to his childhood and the Belfast he remembers, this movie is just a delight all around. Newcomer Jude Hill as Buddy is sensational, a true child star (and being pushed for the Best Actor Oscar nomination). Judy Dench as Buddy's grannie is the only recognizable name in the cast. The black and white photography is an interesting choice (I was born the same year as Branagh was, but in Belgium--and I don't remember my childhood in B&W at all). The song placements are wonderful--mostly Van Morrison with a bunch of oldies but also a new song. However, the movie is seriously flawed when it comes to the Troubles. The sheer misery, not to mention poverty, deaths and all the other stuff, caused by the Troubles, pops up in "Belfast" here and there but barely. There are a number of other movies that are much better and far more relevant (71; Cal; Bloody Sunday, just to name those)if you really want to get a sense of what the Troubles were all about.

"Belfast" premiered at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, where it promptly own "the people's choice" award. It opened in theaters a few weeks ago. The Wednesday early evening screening where I saw this at was not attended well: exactly 3 people including myself. If you are in the mood for a subjective take on what it was like growing up in Belfast in the late 60s, I'd readily suggest you check out "Belfast", be it in the theater (while you still can), on Amazon Instant Video and other streaming services, or eventually on DCD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.

ops-52535 2 December 2021

Is the first thought that snipes my head. The northern ireland ''issue'' have always lit my attention and ive always seen the cons and pros, the good and the bad, and the heaven and hellish stalled frontiers of religouspolitical mediveal froth that have sparked and ignited love and hate in the streets of belfast since the days of the vikings or kelts or whatever.

But to produce it in a black and white style visually aint my thing, having said that ill admit i know everything over there used to be coloured in all shades of colour grey and black, only the front door stands out with its individual brandmark colour code, just to be sure to find the right one in the drunken haze of misery in the dark, allthough the colourfilled intro was a delight. The street life scenes gives me a very staged impression though where the gags are what you expect and the masquarade is a copy of all the others silverscreen products of the past .

But the story and the acting is stonecold and heartwarming funny at the same time, the main boy actor is taken outta cutting crew, and with van morrisons harsh and false-etted voice scoring the musical picture it gives light to the lighthouse that will forever stay by the name of ''belfast''... much like the film called '' the commitments'' did a few generations ago.

The grumpy old man found this a delight( not turkish) to watch, therefore a seven stars to level out the seven stages of hell, a film that everyone should see, pros or caths, vicars and priests and the son of a gun next door because its sincere and reel.

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