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IN THE LAND OF SAINTS AND SINNERS

What You Need To Know:

IN THE LAND OF SAINTS AND SINNERS takes place in a small quiet Irish town in 1974. Liam Neeson plays Murphy, a World War II officer turned assassin who tires of his murderous profession. A band of IRA members bomb an area where children are killed and decide to hide in Murphy’s town. Things take a darker turn. One of the IRA members repeatedly abuses a child in the town. Murphy, the former killer-for-hire, recommits to murder, but this time for something other than money.

IN THE LAND OF SAINTS AND SINNERS has some strong acting and cinematography. Liam Neeson delivers some of his best work. However, others remain unconvincing. The plot also sometimes wanders. Viewers may search through the movie’s brutal and cold assassinations, explosions, stabbings, the implied abuse of a child, and excessive foul language, for the moment when any “sinners” become “saints.” However, they will come up empty handed. The main character wants to bring justice on a child predator, and one character sacrifices his life to help a friend. Other than that, there’s nothing redeemable in this story.

Content:

(B, C, HH, LLL, VVV, S, N, A, D, MM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Light moral, redemptive worldview where a retired assassin seek justice for a child abused by an IRA terrorist, with crosses on bullets, sacrifice, a death scene in a church where the villain says God knows why she did what she did but with no repentance, and pictures of Jesus, Mary and some saints hang on walls, but no real heart is taken from all the religious imagery and content, and the movie delivers a few burned-out killers who search for meaning in life but never find it;

Foul Language:
At least 67 “f” words, 23 other obscenities, two profanities mentioning Jesus, and several British vulgarities such as bloody and bullocks;

Violence:
Excessive, gratuitous violence, which includes cold blooded execution-style scenes, murders, stabbing, drowning, explosions, shootings, choking, punches, terrorist attacks, vandalism;

Sex:
A crude sexual joke and implied child sexual abuse;

Nudity:
A few scenes of upper male nudity, and one skinny dipping scene from a distance;

Alcohol Use:
Drinking and several scenes take place at a bar;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Excessive smoking as movie takes place in the 1970s;

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Rage expressed by the main character, plus elements of a dysfunctional family life.

More Detail:

IN THE LAND OF SAINTS AND SINNERS stars Liam Neeson as a retired professional assassin in a small, quiet Irish town in 1974, who goes against four IRA terrorists when one of the men abuses a child in the town. IN THE LAND OF SAINTS AND SINNERS has an excellent performance by Liam Neeson, but the violence and foul language are excessive, with not enough redemptive qualities in the movie to make up for that.

Finbar Murphy is a World War II Veteran. He returns from war a haunted soul. In addition to living through the horrors of war, his wife has died while he was away. Murphy decides to make his living as a professional assassin.

Flash forward three decades, and Murphy has lost count of the many people he killed and buried in unmarked graves. He picks up his last victim of his killing-for-hire from the local pub. He forces his victim to dig his own grave. On his knees, the victim declares that he’s made peace with his life, and his violent past. He has tried to do good to make up for his offenses. He urges Murphy to leave his violent profession to become a better man. Murphy shoots him point blank. He goes back to his underworld boss, Robert, and officially retires. Murphy commits to live out the rest of his life peacefully in the small, quiet Irish town of Donegal. He even plants a garden.

Meanwhile, four members of the IRA, led by Doreann McCann, bomb a pedestrian site, where children are killed. The violent band of four decide to hide out in Murphy’s quiet town. One of the members, Curtis, abuses Murphy’s friend’s child. Murphy decides to exact justice and get rid of this bad seed who harms innocent children. He returns to his old boss, Robert, to pay for a hit. Robert refuses because he wants nothing to do with the IRA members. Murphy takes matters in his own hands, and murders Curtis, with help of a fellow assassin.

This sets off a chain of reactions because Curtis is the brother of the maniacal female IRA leader, Doreann. Doreann threatens to blow up the whole town in order to avenge her brother’s death.

IN THE LAND OF SAINTS AND SINNERS has some very strong acting. Liam Neeson delivers some of his best work. However, others remain unconvincing in their roles. The scenery in Donegal is breathtaking, and at times gloomy, which adds to the suspense. The plot wanders at times, however.

Viewers may search through the movie’s brutal and cold assassinations, explosions, stabbings, the implied physical and sexual abuse of a child, and excessive amount vulgarity and obscenities, for the moment when the “sinners” become “saints.” However, they will come up empty handed. Even so, one of the main character’s sacrifices his life to help his friend, and the main character wants to bring justice on a child’s predator. In addition, there are crosses on bullets, a death scene in a church where the villain says God knows why she did what she did but with no repentance, and pictures of Jesus, Mary and some saints hang on walls. However, no real heart is taken from all the religious imagery. So, there’s nothing really redeemable in this story.

IN THE LAND OF SAINTS AND SINNERS promises some redemption, but it never comes. Instead, the movie delivers a few burned-out killers who search for meaning in life but never find it.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.