In the Name of the Father [1993]

Based on a true story, this rousing and tough-minded film details British overzealousness in prosecuting an IRA bombing in the 1970s. Grabbing up a pair of small-time thieves (Daniel Day-Lewis and John Lynch) and their families, the government concocts a conspiracy case against them and tosses them all in jail. Until then, Day-Lewis has been a ne'er-do-well, an apolitical goof looking for a quick score. But confronted with the toughness of his own father (Pete Postlethwaite) in the face of British torture, he begins to realize just what the stakes are. In the Name of the Father is at times grueling and never less than compelling, with a complex performance by Day-Lewis and a strong one by Emma Thompson, as the lawyer who finally cracks through the British obstructions to the truth. --Marshall Fine

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