Rated 4.0

TV and music-video director Yann Demange makes an extremely promising debut with the harrowing thriller ‘71. The film takes place over the course of one hellish night in Belfast during “The Troubles,” when the city was split into Catholic/IRA and Protestant factions warring even within themselves. Demange's film follows a British soldier (Jack O'Connell, more magnetic here than in his supposed breakthrough role in Unbroken) trapped behind “enemy lines” after a riot separates him from his platoon. The Bloody Sunday meets Escape from New York set-up provides the film with a gut-seizing, action-thriller hook, but Demange makes it clear that everyone is trapped in the crossfire. The violence in '71 is sudden and devastating and immediate—you feel it—and although the characters are often a little light, Demange navigates this 1970s urban war zone with the intensity and clarity of a born filmmaker. D.B.