Film Review: Danny Boy – 7/10

‘British soldiers get away with murder…’

As we are still dealing with the insidious fallout of the Iraq War on an almost daily basis, it is no surprise that that particular conflict has been the subject of a slew of films, documentaries and books. Some brilliant, some not so brilliant. The BBC’s most recent foray into the Iraq War lands somewhere in the middle…

Phil Shiner (Toby Jones) is a campaigning civil rights lawyer on a hot streak who finds himself in hot water when he is perhaps a little too vociferous in his pursuit in prosecuting British soldiers who served in the Iraq War. One of those soldiers is Brian Wood (Anthony Boyle). A man scarred by his experiences at war and struggling to adapt to civilian life, despite the best efforts of his wife Lucy (Leah McNamara) and his Dad Gavin (Alex Ferns).

I enjoyed Danny Boy, but like the film itself (1 hour 23 mins), I’m going to keep this fairly short and sweet. Jones is captivating as ever in yet another chameleonic role that showcases the best of one of Britain’s finest actors. I wasn’t familiar with Anthony Boyle going into Sam Millar’s film but he is excellent here, all brooding intensity and fragile vulnerability. There is the lingering feeling that this story could have been given a little more time to breathe, but on the whole, Danny Boy is a concise and compelling look at two very different men and the similarities that brought them together.

Not a life changing film, but one that adds to the complex tapestry of a grubby conflict.