7.6/10
62,141
144 user 223 critic

Hunger (2008)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | 31 October 2008 (Ireland)
Trailer
1:33 | Trailer
Irish republican Bobby Sands leads the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike.

Director:

Steve McQueen
Reviews
Popularity
4,864 ( 327)
45 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Shame (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A sex addict's carefully cultivated private life falls apart after his sister arrives for an indefinite stay.

Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale
Fish Tank (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Everything changes for 15-year-old Mia when her mum brings home a new boyfriend.

Director: Andrea Arnold
Stars: Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender, Kierston Wareing
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender
A Single Man (2009)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An English professor, one year after the sudden death of his boyfriend, is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960s Los Angeles.

Director: Tom Ford
Stars: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode
Frank II (2014)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jon, a young wanna-be musician, discovers he's bitten off more than he can chew when he joins an eccentric pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank.

Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Macbeth (2015)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

Director: Justin Kurzel
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jack Madigan
The Master (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic lazy leader

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen
Drama | History | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. Who is responsible?

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Christian Friedel, Ernst Jacobi, Leonie Benesch
Caché (2005)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A married couple is terrorized by a series of surveillance videotapes left on their front porch.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Bénichou
Hunger I (2009)
Action | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Hunger is a dark exploration into the breakdown of humanity. How far would you go to survive in the most extreme of circumstances? Five strangers awaken to find themselves trapped in an ... See full summary »

Director: Steven Hentges
Stars: Lori Heuring, Linden Ashby, Joe Egender
Funny Games (2007)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stuart Graham ... Raymond Lohan
Laine Megaw ... Raymond's Wife
Brian Milligan ... Davey Gillen
Liam McMahon ... Gerry Campbell
Karen Hassan ... Gerry's Girlfriend
Michael Fassbender ... Bobby Sands
Frank McCusker ... The Governor
Lalor Roddy ... William
Helen Madden Helen Madden ... Mrs. Sands
Des McAleer Des McAleer ... Mr. Sands
Geoff Gatt Geoff Gatt ... Bearded Man
Rory Mullen Rory Mullen ... Priest
Ben Peel Ben Peel ... Riot Prison Offficer Stephen Graves
Helena Bereen ... Raymond's Mother
Paddy Jenkins Paddy Jenkins ... Hitman
Edit

Storyline

Hunger follows life in the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland with an interpretation of the highly emotive events surrounding the 1981 IRA Hunger Strike, led by Bobby Sands. With an epic eye for detail, the film provides a timely exploration of what happens when body and mind are pushed to the uttermost limit. Written by Icon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A compelling and unforgettable portrayal of life within the maze prison at the time of 1981 IRA hunger strike. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Ireland | UK

Language:

English | Irish

Release Date:

31 October 2008 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Hunger See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

GBP1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,980, 7 December 2008

Gross USA:

$154,084

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,185,113
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Hunger is known for its unbroken 17 minute 10 second continuous shot, in which Catholic priest Father Dominic Moran tries to talk Bobby Sands out of the Hunger Strike he and his fellow 75 IRA members plan to start. The camera remains in the same position throughout the scene. To prepare, Liam Cunningham moved into Michael Fassbender's apartment, and they rehearsed the scene 12-15 times per day. On the first day of filming, the actors got it perfect after 4 takes. See more »

Goofs

Raymond Lohan's Ford Granada is a Mk2 Facelift, which was released in winter 1981 and would've appeared on Irish roads in 1982. See more »

Quotes

Bobby Sands: I have my belief, and in all its simplicity that is the most powerful thing.
See more »


Soundtracks

Industry
Performed by Maya Beiser
Composed by Michael Gordon
Published by Red Poppy in association with G. Schirmir, Inc.
Bang On A Can - Classics CA21010
Cantaloupe Music October 08, 2002
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Provocative, vivid and engrossing, but at times it gets close to hagiography
15 November 2008 | by Robert_WoodwardSee all my reviews

Hunger is a powerful and disturbing feature-film debut for the visual artist Steve McQueen. The film takes place almost exclusively within the confines of a high-security prison in Northern Ireland, where many members of the Irish Republican Army are interned. The small confines of the prison serve as a microcosm of the wider Troubles in Ireland. The conflict between the British wardens and the Irish inmates escalates steadily, with each indignity and abuse inevitably leading to another.

The conditions revealed in the prison are deeply disturbing, with the inmates fouling the jail with effluent and the guards responding with ritual humiliation and savage beatings. McQueen's camera is an unflinching witness to the squalor and cruelty, and with the vivid imagery and forceful sounds it is almost possible to smell and feel the frightening environs of the film.

Although the focus of the film ultimately falls on Bobby Sands, the IRA member and inmate who leads a fatal hunger strike within the prison, we are not introduced to the main protagonist until a third of the way through the film. This approach works remarkably well in setting the scene for the main narrative, but it is disappointing that the different perspectives on each side are somewhat sidelined thereafter, as Sands's personal struggle takes centre stage.

The terrible squalor of the prison cells provides some of the film's most powerful images, but it is the second third of the film that is the most gripping, as Sands converses and argues with a visiting Catholic priest. An unmoving camera is trained upon these two protagonists for what must be nearly half an hour, as Sands reveals his plan for a new hunger strike and defends his methods of achieving political goals, ultimately berating what he sees as the priest's despondency and inertia. This is an utterly compelling piece of cinema.

However, at the end of this gripping conversation, the director sees fit to insert a somewhat tortured analogy as Sands recalls for the priest a defining moment of his boyhood. This is an unnecessary effort to inject conventional beauty into Sands's story, and sits awkwardly with the general tone of the film.

In the final third of the film, the hunger strike is depicted in by now characteristically brutal detail. Lead man Michael Fassbender clearly underwent a very painful regime to portray the wasting and withering of Bobby Sands in his last days. Unfortunately, amidst the impressive attention to detail, McQueen goes further in romanticising his main protagonist through a series of flashbacks to Sands's childhood. This again jars with the realistic feel of the rest of the film, and points to McQueen's obsession with Sands, which he has admitted to having had since a young age.

Although at times steering a little close to hagiography, McQueen's directorial debut is still a bold and engrossing film that cultivates an understanding for the very different people caught in up in the Troubles in Northern Ireland. It will be fascinating to see what his next project will be.


62 of 85 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 144 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed