Both a masterpiece and a holy hell: Watching it, you feel you're being punished for a crime you didn't commit. Which puts you, come to think of it, in the same frame of mind as those poor Magdalene girls.
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Mullan's increased maturity as a director is evident in his skill at manipulating light and dark dramatic tones, and shifting between moods of anger and plaintive melancholy.
A pungent, powerful film that points an accusing finger not at religious beliefs but at flawed human institutions. It also targets social and cultural mores that are almost medieval in their patriarchal bias against girls and women.
A disturbing and compelling motion picture that depicts the forces that try to suppress the human spirit, and the strength of these girls in overcoming it.
A powerful document of cruelty and sadism.
Mullan errs by making all the sisters dragon ladies. Still, the film gets to you; it's a powerhouse.
Grim, grueling and triumphantly powerful.
It is passionate and angry and rousing where you might expect it to become numbing and depressing.
The Magdalene Sisters would be too painful to watch if it didn't have a silver lining. Suffice it to say that it is possible to fly over this religious cuckoo's nest and remain free. All it takes is courage and the timely kindness of strangers.
Blistering and brilliant work.