"One Man Trapped by Destiny, and Another Bound by Duty. They're About to Discover What They're Willing to Live, to Fight, and to Die For."
"...a real treat! Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt are at the top of their form! Gene Siskel, Siskel & Ebert
|When new york police officer tom o'meara welcomes irish emirgre frankie mcguire into his home, he is unaware that mcguire is actually an ira assassin with a hidden agenda. Now o'meara and his family are placed in the middle of a deadly conspiracy to smuggle arms back to northern ireland.|
"Tense, exciting, slickly directed by Alan Pakula, and a thrill to watch. Rex Reed, New York Observer
"...two traffic-stopping star turns...Handsomely photographed by Gordon Willis in solemn, brooding style... Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"...a well-directed star vehicle...good, effective filmmaking... Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Tense, exciting, slickly directed by Alan Pakula, and a thrill to watch. Rex Reed, The Observer
"Harrison and Pitt have terrific chemistry. Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle
THE DEVIL'S OWN, Alan J. Pakula's last film, is a character-driven thriller that confronts suspense and gritty realism head-on. Harrison Ford plays Tom O'Meara, an Irish-American cop in New York who opens his home and family to Francis "Frankie" McGuire (Brad Pitt), whom they believe is a refuge-seeking immigrant from Belfast. They later discover that their visitor is an IRA rebel on a terrorist mission. Buoyed by tense, strong performances from both stars, the film is ultimately a tragedy that explores the unexpected friendship of two men of similar ethnic roots, yet of different places, times, and values, and the cruel and senseless cycle of violence they face.
Cast & Crew
THE DEVIL'S OWN is an intelligent suspense thriller by award-winning director Alan J. Pakula. Francis "Frankie" McGuire (Brad Pitt) is an IRA terrorist fueled by the need to avenge his father's execution, which he witnessed as a child in Belfast, Northern Ireland. McGuire comes to New York under an alias on a mission to acquire missiles for use back home in the Northern Irish fight for independence from the British. Needing a hideout, he's placed in the home of Irish-American Tom O'Meara (Harrison Ford), an ethical family man whose background as a veteran cop presents a perfect cover. However, an unexpected bond develops between the two men, and Frankie finds himself viewing O'Meara as a long-lost father figure. Yet the men's friendship is doomed by the weight of Frankie's lies, his secret mission, and the violent world that he belongs to--one that is bound to invade his protector's house. The film, revealing a complex plot and equally complex characters, was the last directorial effort from Pakula, who died in a tragic car accident.
"...[A] subliminally moody dark tone....The movie is crafted by pros..."
New York Times
"...[Pitt] gives a first-rate, madly photogenic performance....THE DEVIL'S OWN delivers two traffic-stopping star turns for the price of one..."
"...[A] quiet, absorbing, shades-of-gray drama....THE DEVIL'S OWN knows the true price of violence..."
The New York Times 8 of 10
In The Devil's Own, Brad Pitt plays an Irish Republican Army operative who flees Belfast and comes to live in Staten Island. He is supposed to be incognito, but he sure is hard to miss. Mr. Pitt moves through this unexpectedly solid thriller with dazzling confidence... In The Devil's Own, directed by Alan J. Pakula in a thoughtful urban style that recalls the vintage New York stories of Sidney Lumet, Mr. Pitt is the supernova to Harrison Ford's seasoned pro. It could be argued that they exist in separate, semi-related movies. But it could also be said that, should the viewer choose not to be an absolute stickler about plot coherence, The Devil's Own delivers two traffic-stopping star turns for the price of one... Handsomely photographed by Gordon Willis in solemn, brooding style, this thriller spends an enjoyably long time simply letting Rory and Tom get acquainted...
- Janet Maslin
San Francisco Chronicle 7 of 10
Harrison and Pitt have terrific chemistry. When they're together onscreen, you want to look at both of them. But they don't try to trump each other. Each steps back to let the other do what's necessary to make his character convincing. For Pitt, that means presenting Rory as neither evil nor a hero, but as someone forced into unsavory actions by circumstances beyond his control. Pitt finds the right tone of moral ambiguity, but at times his Irish brogue is too convincing--it's hard to understand what he's saying. Ford projects Tom's surface calm. When he finally explodes, the contrast is scary...
- Ruthe Stein
ReelViews 7 of 10
For much of its running length, The Devil's Own works as a passable thriller. Certain plot elements (including many of the details surrounding the missile deal) border on preposterous, but that often goes with the territory in films of this genre...Pitt and Ford do credible jobs as Frankie and Tom. Despite his character's brutal, bloody past, Pitt manages to capture our sympathy, in large part because, aside from the killings, Frankie seems like a likable sort of guy. Ford, in a role that's a far cry from the cocky Han Solo, recalls Jack Ryan, the protagonist of Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger -- a hero whose armor is just a little too shiny. Supporting players include Margaret Colin (Independence Day) as Tom's wife, Natascha McElhone (Surviving Picasso) as Frankie's girlfriend, and a nasty Treat Williams as a gunrunner in a suit...While The Devil's Own doesn't do a spectacular job of fulfilling the promise of its cast or its complex politics-and-guns premise, it is nevertheless reasonably well-paced. The less intently you watch this movie, the greater the chance that you'll be pleased by it. Unfortunately, if you're paying attention, it won't take long to notice that very little of the last act holds together. That sort of high-tension, mind-numbing climax makes it difficult for me to retain more than token enthusiasm for the production as a whole.
- James Berardinelli
Variety 8 of 10
"The Devil's Own" is neither the best nor the worst $90 million-$100 million-area budgeted picture ever made, but it must be the one in which the cost is least evident on the screen. A reasonably engrossing, well-crafted suspenser that bears no signs of the much-reported on-set difficulties, Alan J. Pakula's latest is much more interested in the moral stature and culpability of the main characters than in heavy action and thrills...Ford works well enough in his scenes opposite Pitt, but exhibits slight signs of strain in the most emotionally taxing scenes. Both actors get to cry and shoot off a few rounds, which these days is running the gamut...Supporting cast is solid, with Hearn as the covert IRA financier, Williams as the thuggish arms dealer and Natascha McElhone as the Irish contact Rory can most trust making the most of their limited screen time...Physically, pic is impeccable, with Jane Musky's detailed production design, Gordon Willis' astutely graded widescreen lensing and fine Gotham-area locations combining for an exceedingly handsome look whose emphasis on muted midrange colors complements the moral and political gray areas the film explores. The low-key approach of James Horner's score also is very welcome.
- Todd McCarthy