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      The General

      R Released Dec 18, 1998 2 hr. 3 min. Biography Drama List
      82% 49 Reviews Tomatometer 80% 2,500+ Ratings Audience Score This fact-based film begins with the murder of Martin Cahill (Brendan Gleeson), one of Ireland's most infamous and violent criminals. Dying, Cahill reflects on his life -- being raised on the hardscrabble streets of Dublin, his years in reform school, learning to steal at an early age and rising from petty thief to powerful crime boss known for his brazen armed robberies. And throughout, tenacious policeman Ned Kenny (Jon Voight) dedicatedly pursuing him. Read More Read Less

      Audience Reviews

      View All (100) audience reviews
      william s A nice solid movie right down the line with the usual terrific acting by Gleason to keep it centered. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Great acting, funny plot. John Voigt and Brendan Gleeson face off as "The general" and Irish criminal robs everything imaginable, from pennies in an arcade to a beautiful Vermeer. He lives with two sisters and sleeps with both, robs presents for his nine children by the two women. Seems like the ideal life, but Boorman does show how the likeable Cahill spends a lot of time in lock up, and has to deal with henchmen who are drug addicts and incestuous molesters. This modern Robin Hood, who wins his community over by gifts of food and diapers, falls afoul of the Irish Republican Army, the bête noire of the author of the book the movie is based on. Fast paced, lol-worthy. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Audience Member It's overlong and surprisingly boring, but The General is a well-acted, witty re-telling of a modern Robin Hood. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/29/23 Full Review Audience Member Not sure why this film is in black and white, and i am definitely sure this drama makes some really bad choices with the music. Its like bad 80's porn music. besieds brendan gleeson being great there is nothing good about this movie. Maybe i have seen to many films similar to this that have come after that are better. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 01/29/23 Full Review Audience Member Written and directed by John Boorman, (Deliverance (1972), Excalibur (1981) and Hope and Glory (1987)), this crime drama was based on the true life story of Martin Cahill, who was one of Ireland's most notorious criminals during the 1980's. Shot in a very stark and moody black and white, Boorman makes a very atmospheric and tense drama, which has some very good performances throughout. Martin Cahill (Brendan Gleeson), whose daring robberies made him a hero with the Dublin underworld as well as the masses. However, his activities attract the attention of the Garda Síochána, led by Inspector Ned Kenny (Jon Voight), who wants to see Cahill brought to justice, however, he always manages to get away with it, and despite some small sentences, he's never brought to justice for his crimes, and the Garda had Cahill under watch. But Cahill always managed to get out and do more crimes, but he's on borrowed time. The film came about as Boorman was a victim of Cahill's crimewave, (he made off with a gold record Boorman had for Deliverance), but it manages to be compelling and a good picture of the Irish underbelly, and one of it's most notorious criminals/heroes, and it helped put Gleeson on the map in Hollywood. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review flixster f I thought the movie is about some military general. And quite a brave one for that matter, when the beginning describes him as a legend. Apparently, I was amazed when it turned out about some legendary Irish criminal who pulled out heists outwitting the legal authorities. While ruthless and mean to the rest of the world, Martin Cahill cared enough for his family. He even extended his generosity to his sister-in-law. The way he embarrassed the police authorities was a stroke of brilliance. Jon Voight, playing Ned Kelly, does fair enough as an Inspector who is now and again left in an embarrassing position by Martin as he seems to get a kick out of it. Brendan Gleeson portrays Cahill outstandingly. He's simply par excellence. However, his covering the face with one hand constantly caused me a bit of irritation initially. But after a while, I got used to it. How's one to know (if need be, let it be known that there are always exceptions) that the legendary Martin too used to do so for real. Quite an intriguing & worthwhile stuff, and that too based on real events. Sufficient & efficient enough for me. Might not have been so appealing with the foreknowledge about this incredible scumbag, infamously known as The General. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

      View All (49) Critics Reviews
      Richard Schickel TIME Magazine Neither film nor actor tries to resolve Cahill's contradictions or anyone's feelings for him. Apr 1, 2019 Full Review Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader I can no longer stomach the premise in so many Anglo-American crime pictures that mavericks are admirable simply because they're mavericks May 1, 2012 Full Review Derek Elley Variety A movie that says more about the rebellious Irish psyche than a heap of overtly political pictures. Mar 26, 2009 Full Review Roger Moore Tribune News Service Before he was Mad Eye Moody, before he took Colin Farrell to the woodshed "In Bruges," before "The Guard," the great Irish actor Brendan Gleeson was the infamous Irish crook known as "The General." Rated: 3/4 Jun 11, 2012 Full Review Film4 The General is a welcome return to basics for Britain's most adventurous and visionary director, who has always stayed faithful to his love of cinema. May 1, 2012 Full Review Ken Fox TV Guide The film has little of the visual dazzle often associated with Boorman's movies, but the somber, black-and-white cinematography helps even out the often larger-than-life tone. Rated: 3.5/4 May 1, 2012 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis This fact-based film begins with the murder of Martin Cahill (Brendan Gleeson), one of Ireland's most infamous and violent criminals. Dying, Cahill reflects on his life -- being raised on the hardscrabble streets of Dublin, his years in reform school, learning to steal at an early age and rising from petty thief to powerful crime boss known for his brazen armed robberies. And throughout, tenacious policeman Ned Kenny (Jon Voight) dedicatedly pursuing him.
      Director
      John Boorman
      Executive Producer
      Kieran Corrigan, Betsy Davis, P.J. Pettiette
      Screenwriter
      John Boorman, Paul Williams
      Production Co
      Irish Film Board, Merlin Films, J&M Entertainment
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Biography, Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Dec 18, 1998, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jul 1, 2018
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $1.2M
      Sound Mix
      Surround
      Aspect Ratio
      Flat (1.37:1), Scope (2.35:1)