McCann At The Movies: ‘Michael Inside’ Will Leave A Lasting Impression

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Our movie guy, John McCann, says ‘Michael Inside’ is a compelling social prison drama that deserves all the critical acclaim it’s getting…

Written and directed by Frank Berry, Michael Inside tells the story of  Michael McCrea, (played by Dafhyd Flynn)  an impressionable eighteen-year-old who lives with his grandfather Francis (Lalor Roddy) in a Dublin housing estate.

After, he is caught holding a bag of drugs for his friend’s brother, he is sentenced to three months in prison.

The film, which was researched and workshopped with former prisoners from the Irish Prison Service’s Pathways Programme, is a vivid expression of many real-life experiences and takes a realistic look at the circumstances that lead to Michael’s conviction, his time in prison, and how prison affects his thinking, behaviour and ultimately his future.

Continued below…


With the strong commercial and critical success of films such as ‘Cardboard Gangsters’ and ‘Maze’ over the last twelve months, the prison drama/thriller is a genre well and truly conquered by Irish film makers.

‘Michael Inside’.

What sets ‘Michael Inside’ aside from the rest however, is that Frank Berry has created a compelling and insightful piece of film without losing any of the trademarks of the sterotypical prison drama.

Documentary type reality combines perfectly with the tension and emotionally heartwrenching scenes created throughout.

As much as this film will grip and hold the audiences attention thanks primarily to Berrys direction and two extraordinary performances from Lalor Roddy and Dafhyd Flynn, this is predominantly a film that deals with the social problems that exist within the prison system in this country and one that gets it’s strong message across in the most apt manner avoiding schmaltzy drama and instead armed with a tension and emotional drama that resonates for days after viewing.

A social lesson as much as wonderful piece of film, this feature would sit as comfortably in the classroom as well as the cinema theatre.

A well merited IFTA for Best Irish Feature , as well as a highly successful run in the film festival circuit, with the Dingle International Film Festival screening it in March, ‘Michael Inside’ is a truly compelling and important film that unquestionably deserves all the critical and commercial acclaim that will surely comes it’s way.


• For more of John McCann’s movie reviews, check out his Facebook page here and website here

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