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VERONICA GUERIN

The true story of a driven Dublin journalist who was murdered by the drug dealers she had exposed.

CAST: Cate Blanchett, Gerard McSorley, Ciaran Hinds, Brenda Fricker, Don Wycherley, Barry Barnes, Simon O’Driscoll, Emmet Bergin

DIRECTOR: Joel Schumacher

"Veronica Guerin, a fearless Dublin journalist murdered by powerful drug dealers, was a real-life heroine who deserves better than ‘Veronica Guerin,’ an example of Hollywood schlock from the team of Joel Schumacher (director) and Jerry Bruckheimer (producer) that lacks the faintest trace of imagination or genuine feeling… It cannot be overstated that there is nothing in ‘Veronica Guerin’ -- visually, verbally or even musically -- that is not a cliché…Though the filmmakers are clearly anxious to portray Guerin as a martyred saint, she comes across at first as irritatingly, inexplicably smug and later, naive to the point of stupidity." --Jonathan Foreman, The New York Post

"There's no airbrushing of character. She's played with intelligence whipped clean of any airs and poses by the always cleanly intelligent Cate Blanchett, who makes Guerin a 3-D woman, not a 2-D heroine…Her death was shocking; this well-made telling of her life is inspiring." --Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

"…a flat-footed, overwrought crusader-against-evil melodrama, in which Ms. Blanchett's formidable gifts as an actress are reduced to a haircut and an accent…the filmmakers have succeeded in making Guerin's fascinating story tedious and formulaic, and in making a real-life drama seem as phony as mediocre television…the storytelling is so clumsy that very little intrigue develops. Nor does much genuine emotion, a defect that Mr. Schumacher tries to overcome with clever editing and loud, swelling music. ‘Veronica Guerin’ is disappointing in its lazy glibness; it wastes a somber and heroic story that could have made a fine movie." --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"I kept imagining the movie it might have been before director Joel Schumacher and producer Jerry Bruckheimer got their hands on it. A great subject has been slicked up…As might be expected, her story is heavily weighted toward blood and bullets; we never feel that we know this woman as anything but a crusader…Blanchett has the right white-hot intensity to play Guerin…But she’s never allowed to develop much subtlety or richness, because the filmmakers keep upping the mayhem…A character as psychologically complex as Guerin—whose drive may not have been fully comprehensible even to herself—needs a lot of room to expand on screen. Schumacher and Bruckheimer box her in." --Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

"…a powerful, no-nonsense, well-made engrosser that offers another strong star vehicle for the ever-rising Cate Blanchett…Blanchett is, warts-and-all, letter perfect. Assuming an Irish brogue that never gets theatrical and never lets down, she powers through this movie with the riveting intensity and aching, poignant credibility of Meryl Streep in her prime." --William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Cate Blanchett plays Guerin in a way that fascinated me for reasons the movie probably did not intend. I have a sneaky suspicion that director Joel Schumacher and his writers (Carol Doyle and Mary Agnes Donoghue) think of this as a story of courage and determination, but what I came away with was a story of bone-headed egocentrism…We cringe at the flamboyant risks she takes…Their Veronica Guerin dies, essentially, because the excitement of a great story robs her of all common sense." --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"As played by Cate Blanchett, Guerin's motives cannot fully be surmised, even by herself. She's an altruist, to be sure, but also a careerist, a noodge and an extrovert with a relentless competitive streak…Our sense that Veronica's pursuit is just a little bit neurotic and even possibly not worth it makes it all the more interesting, emphasizing the protagonist's unique nature while lending a note of ambiguity…A fraction of the people who see ‘Kill Bill’ or ‘Charlie's Angels’ will see ‘Veronica Guerin,’ but this is the real girl-power movie." --Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

"The film presents Guerin as so heedless and unreflective in her crusade that it makes you believe she actively provoked her murder…the character's confidence is so impregnable that she must have the fear literally beaten into her… the film is missing any sense of outrage or shock or politics… a self-congratulatory exercise in poor taste…Seediness and violence are what really turn the movie on. Schumacher and Bruckheimer can't seem to help themselves. These are the same people who brought you such leering and lurid entertainments as ‘8MM,’ ‘Coyote Ugly,’ and television's ‘CSI.’ True to their natures, they've come up with an action flick passing as a eulogy." --Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe

"Vigorously directed by Joel Schumacher, the film is closer to a suspense thriller than a journalistic report. But it gains energy and credibility from skillful acting by a largely Irish cast, including such standbys as Brenda Fricker and Gerard McSorley. Not to mention Ms. Blanchett, even if she does hail from Australia rather than Ireland itself. She's a charismatic star whose presence in the Oscar race wouldn't surprise me in the least." --David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor

"Blanchett carries this earnest bit of hagiography from director Joel Schumacher. She brings class, dignity and charm to the standard Erin Brockovich type, the sexy crusader pursuing The Good against all odds. She is not a vamp. Nor is she a pit-bull journalist. She is charisma incarnate…Blanchett makes a tragic figure come to life with such richness that her death hits home." --Philip Kennicott, The Washington Post

"There are some baffling inconsistencies…Could someone as street-smart and savvy as Guerin really have been so oblivious in the last minutes of her life as to fail to notice several murderers lying in wait? … Wouldn't she keep an eye out, given her status as a target of vicious criminals? …the film belongs to Blanchett, whose star turn as the brazen, cocky and committed journalist lingers well after the credits have rolled." --Claudia Puig, USA Today