Cillian Murphy Gets 100% On Rotten Tomatoes With New 1980s Thriller

By Jason Collins | Published

cillian murphy

Cillian Murphy’s recently released movie, Small Things Like These, has debuted to critical acclaim, earning an impressive 100 percent critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Small Things Like These is a historical drama directed by Tim Mielants. Besides starring in the film, Cillian Murphy also served as its producer, along with Matt Damon.

Small Things lIke These, The Novel

The movie is based on the same-name novel by acclaimed novelist Claire Keegan.

The film is set in 1985 and focuses on Ireland’s notorious Magdalene Laundries, which were horrific asylums run by Roman Catholic institutions between the 18th and late 20th centuries. Cillian Murphy, who gained massive prominence following his collaboration with Christopher Nolan in The Dark Knight trilogy and his portrayal of Thomas Shelby in Peaky Blinders, portrays Bill Furlong, a coal merchant who makes a discovery at a local convent that makes him confront secrets of his small Irish town.

The Magdalene Laundries

For context, the Magdalene Laundries were the church’s homes for unwed mothers who were made to work in horrible conditions and shame and had their babies taken away and sold to foster parents. Upon delivering coal to the Laundries in Small Things Like These, Bill witnesses these women, these terrified girls reduced to abused serfs, and recognizes his own poor unmarried mother, who would probably suffer the same fate if she had not been taken in by a wealthy local woman. However, Cillian Murphy’s Bill wasn’t actually supposed to see how these poor girls are treated.

Sister Mary

Such treatment bordered on slavery, and authoritative figures surrounding Magdalene Laundries knew very well what was happening behind the asylum walls. The church sister, Sister Mary—portrayed by Emily Watson—becomes aware that Cillian Murphy’s character now knows a secret that could damage her and that the possible objection he might make as a man carries more weight than her own. She then invites him for tea in her office and applies intimidation tactics through a seemingly cordial conversation about Bill’s family.

Cillian Murphy Is Exceptional

cillian murphy

Small Things Like These is a piercingly painful and rather sad story that juxtaposes the details of the present with the flashback memories of the past. Cillian Murphy did a fantastic job when it came to his portrayal of a reserved but decent man who appeared to be loaded with silence and pain. The Devil is in the details, and Murphy does an exceptional job of conveying a world of hurt from the past that’s yanked back to the surface of the present by a rather startling revelation of asylum’s practices, as well as his internal struggles over what to do about the horrific treatment he witnessed.

More About The Personal Than The Historical

Admittedly, Small Things Like These isn’t really about the Magdalene Laundries. The film’s primary theme revolves around shame and institutional abuse and how those two represent how dirty secrets can fester. It’s a somber drama led by Cillian Murphy‘s achingly sensitive performance. As stated at the beginning, Small Things Like These earned 100 percent on the Tomatometer. The audience score is basically non-existent at this point, which isn’t all that surprising, considering that the movie had its worldwide premiere on February 15, 2024, at the Berlin International Film Festival.

No Release Date Yet

cillian murphy

Those who want to see Cillian Murphy in this tight-lipped Irish drama will have to wait; unfortunately, Small Things Like These still doesn’t have an official theatrical release date. While we wait for the release date, Cillian Murphy’s fans should watch Oppenheimer if they haven’t already—the actor delivered yet another fantastic performance.