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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
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Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
John Hurt
Hugh Dancy
Claire Hope Ashity.
Directors
Michael Caton-Jones.
Screenwriters
David Wolstencroft.
Running Time
115 minutes

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Shooting Dogs
John Hurt and Hugh Dancy star in this story from the Rwandan genocide.


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Plot
Kigali, Rwanda, 1994. When Hutu militias begin slaughtering thousands of Tutsi, many flee to the safety of a school — also a post for UN soldiers — run by Father Christopher (Hurt). Also present is Joe Connor (Dancy), a young Englishman straight out of college who’s looking to 'make a difference'.


Review
Shooting Dogs

Among so many painful moments in Michael Caton-Jones’ latest, there is one that best sums up the atrocious state of affairs: a Tutsi man — the head of a family living in the school that has become a refugee camp — politely asks, with all the dignity he can muster, for the UN soldiers who are about to leave to shoot them; it will be quicker and less painful than being hacked to death by machetes. It’s offered up without grandstanding, and it’s typically, utterly heartbreaking.

Shooting Dogs shares common ground — at some points crossing over — with last year’s Hotel Rwanda (comparisons will be as inevitable as they are obvious). But here, by telling the story primarily from the point of Father Christopher and Joe, the burden of white Western guilt is pressed upon us more specifically.

As the world-weary priest fast running out of faith, Hurt plays the type of role he might as well get trademarked, never missing a beat. He’s ably supported by Dancy, Horwitz and newcomer Ashitey, but everyone in front of the camera owes a debt to David Wolstencroft’s understated script, which has the feel of on-form Loach and only ever falters in its final scenes.


Verdict
There’s no way this story could ever have made a bad film, but a script that refuses sentimentality and fine acting elevate it just short of greatness.


Reviewed by Sam Toy

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Shooting Dogs
Empire Star Rating

An impressively mounted film nears - the emotional impact is almost overwhelming. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 19:02, 21 January 2007 | Report This Post


... More

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Posted by Luca Brasi at 19:52, 05 November 2006 | Report This Post


the Disagree-er

hello. My name is Ryan, and i disagree with the average. I foung this film magnificent, and down-right powerful. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by young ryan at 11:47, 01 April 2006 | Report This Post


Awful

i think most reviewers must find it hard to criticise a film on such a heart-wrenching subject, based on the notices this movie has been getting. the film is sickening for all the wrong reasons. its a sanatised version of a genocide - made palatable for Britain's white middle classes. that such a dramatic and horrific event could be turned into what amounts to a boring film makes my stomach turn. its central white characters are painfully dull and every Tutsi is portrayed (to the poi... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by fluffyrussell at 08:51, 28 March 2006 | Report This Post


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