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‘In the Land of Saints and Sinners’ Review: Liam Neeson Takes His Particular Set of Skills Back to Ireland for a Fanciful Thriller

Liam Neeson and Kerry Condon star in "In the Land of Saints and Sinners," a new thriller set among the Troubles in Ireland.

His latest vehicle, “ In the Land of Saints and Sinners,” arrives with an unusual distinction: Directed by Robert Lorenz, the film premiered in Venice a month before another Neeson movie, the maligned bomb-threat thriller “Retribution,” hit U.S. screens. The opening bombing’s dangling of collateral damage is rather tasteless, and even less nuanced is the abuse that one young girl suffers at the hands of McCann’s brother, Curtis (Desmond Eastwood) — a grievance that Murphy notices and punishes, vigilante style, sparking the long fuse that leads to a climactic shootout between himself and the IRA soldiers. The feature finds its essential tension in its approach to Neeson’s on-screen image — here, playing a gentle elder embedded in a quiet town, but also unforgettably an actor that has buttered his bread shooting up criminal henchmen for nearly two decades now.

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