This 2010 Palme d'Or nominee by Ken Loach is a ferocious and impassioned assault on the culture of war profiteering as it traces one ex-soldier’s investigation into the death of his colleague and friend.
Fergus (Mark Womack) returns to his native Liverpool for the funeral of his childhood friend Frankie (John Bishop), a fellow private security contractor who has been killed on Route Irish, the deadly and now infamous stretch of road between Baghdad airport and the Green Zone. Refusing to accept the official account of his best friend's death, Fergus launches his own investigation, fuelled by the discovery of a cell phone on which Frankie had recorded the shooting of an innocent Iraqi family just days before his own death. As his investigation ramps up – via frequent Skype conversations with former security colleagues in Iraq and his interrogation of security firm officials in the UK – Fergus soon attracts the attention of forces within the security firms, with the dirty war transferring to the streets of Liverpool.
Featuring strong performances by Womack and Bishop, and delivering fresh insight into the moral and political corruption at play in post-conflict Iraq, particularly in the way it explores the abuses perpetrated by private security firms, Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty’s film is a damning expose of the effects of combat on security contractors.
★★★★ "You don't expect Ken Loach to make thrillers, but this one is an angry and relevant film" - Derek Malcolm, Evening Standard
★★★★ "Insightful and explosive" - David Hughes, Empire