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Mercy, The (12A)

Biography, Drama

The incredible story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst and his solo attempt to circumnavigate the globe. The struggles he confronted on the journey while his family awaited his return is one of the most enduring mysteries of recent times.

The critical consensus

Colin Firth does brave, moving work as sailor Donald Crowhurst in a somewhat successful biopic.

***(*)(*)Angie Errigo, The List, 05/02/2018

A noble attempt to fictionalise an impossible story.

***(*)(*)David Jenkins, Little White Lies, 05/02/2018

Despite the hint of a stiff-upper-lip kind of reserve, this is astonishingly brutal. And Firth’s performance makes this dark, dark story land.

****(*)Andrew Lowery, Empire Online, 05/02/2018

It remains a puzzling and ambiguous tale. In Marsh’s hands, it is part comedy, part adventure, part love story and a large part horror movie.

****(*)Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent, 07/02/2018

Though there’s certainly an intriguing story buried in here somewhere, the film abandons it in its efforts to valorise Crowhurst and his foolhardy dream while demonising the press for doing its job.

**(*)(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 08/02/2018

The tragic fibber of the high seas’ descent into despair and delusion is subtly explored by Firth, but the film flinches from the sailor’s horrible denouement.

***(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 09/02/2018

The Mercy has the feel of an old-fashioned Ealing-style drama.

****(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 09/02/2018

Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz can’t save this dramatisation of a tragic real-life yachting adventure from foundering.

**(*)(*)(*)Wendy Ide, The Observer, 11/02/2018

A doomed, depressing tale and often two-dimensional tale saved by Firth and the sea.

***(*)(*)Tamarin Fountain, The Wee Review, 12/02/2018

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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