Belfast movie review - Aussieboyreviews


Inspired by the life of Kenneth Branagh, who also wrote and directed this film, Belfast is an enjoyable coming-of-age drama. It’s not masterful, but is well made, and sets itself in the late 1960s during living through conflict.


A young boy and his working-class family experience sectarian conflict in their once-peaceful Belfast neighbourhood during the late 1960s.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Jude Hill, Caitríona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, Colin Morgan, Lewis McAskie
Writer: Kenneth Branagh
Release Date (Australia): 3 February 2022
Runtime: 98 minutes/1h 38m
Genre: Drama, Biography
Country: UK
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (M)

Themes in the film centre on sectarian conflict and features riot scenes.

Violence (M)

The film features lengthy riot scenes.

Coarse Language (M)

The film contains a single use of “f**kers”, frequent use of “bloody”, and uses of the words “arse”, “hell”, “damn” and “shite”.

mpaa rating

PG-13 (for some violence and strong language)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Kenneth Branagh captures the sweetness and innocence of a young child’s perspective in a 1960s-set black-and-white drama. Belfast is a semi-autobiography film written, directed and briefly based on the childhood life of Branagh himself. He executes it not really as a story, but also not as a proper character study either; it’s more of a portrayal of the late 1960s during sectarian conflict.

11-year-old Jude Hill gives one of the best child performances of the year, especially considering this is his first time working on a movie set. He plays a young child named Buddy who’s sweet, sometimes silly and childish enough to send off vibes that can remind anyone of their own childhood. Looking at these matures themes through the eyes of a 9-year-old boy really delivers a sense of childish innocence and naivety.

As a result, Belfast is a movie that makes you feel like a young child living through the late 1960s during a sectarian crisis. And don’t worry, it’s not depictions of childhood memories and POVs of playing with toys that bring the whole thing together; it’s several thematic events that unfold and give the portrayal a bit of drama. It’s not so much enjoyable or entertaining that you’d watch it again, but it does its job.

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