Handsome Devil (2016) Poster

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9/10
Could be about anyone that doesn't fit in, and it would still have the same message.
Hellmant19 May 2017
'HANDSOME DEVIL': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

An Irish coming-of-age drama film, about an outcast and an athlete that are forced to share the same bedroom at their boarding school. They of course bond in the process. The movie was written and directed by John Butler. It stars Fionn O'Shea, Nicholas Galitzine, Andrew Scott, Moe Dunford and Michael McElhatton. Being an outcast myself, all of my life, I enjoyed the film quite a bit.

Ned (O'Shea) is a gay outcast that's forced to attend a new boarding school. Conor (Galitzine) was a star rugby athlete, at his old school (who got into too many fights there), and he's now forced to attend the same school. The two are also forced to share the same bedroom together, and they both immediately hate the idea. Over time they bond though, and they even form a two member band together. This doesn't go over well with some of the authorities though, at the rugby obsessed school, and their new friendship is tested.

This is a movie I hadn't heard anything about before seeing it. Then my friend asked me if I wanted to review it, for his website Film-Arcade.net. So after reading about it on IMDb, I said yeah. He sent me the screener, and I was very pleasantly surprised by it. It's a really touching coming-of-age tale, about being an outcast and not fitting in. This film is more specifically about being gay, but it could be about anyone that doesn't fit in (to the social norm) and it would still have the same message. I've been bullied my whole life, for being different (and more specifically for looking different). So many people have socially rejected me for this that it's really caused some serious emotional (and mental) issues. So this movie really spoke to me. I loved it!

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7/10
New Twists to Boarding School Tale
Raven-19692 April 2017
When you spend your life trying to be someone you are not, who is going to be you?! Ned, a fiercely independent teen at a rugby obsessed boarding school, struggles with the answer to this question. Isolated and bullied just because he is different, Ned figures that keeping his head down is the best option to endure the school year. Yet how quickly things can change. A dynamic teacher and omnipotent rugby star, each grappling with their own demons, transfer to the school. Meeting them is the worst and the best thing to happen to Ned. He discovers that what is more important than being cool, is what is beautiful. Yet beauty has its price.

In Handsome Devil, new twists are added to the familiar tale of a teen attempting to stand up in the face of bullying, and reconcile athletics with learning. The added perspectives include a faculty member and a star athlete who face harassment and threats as harsh as those faced by the main character. While the film is predictable in places and the scenes and acting not as exquisite as they might be, I enjoyed the rich dialogue and the new angles on the characters. I really liked the director's previous film, the Stag, for its humor and unique approach to a familiar theme (in this case, a wedding and bachelor's party). Seen at the Miami International Film Festival.
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9/10
Dead Poets Society remake with a slightly different spin
bdivjak-90-77605022 June 2017
I loved the movie. The only reason it's not a 10/10 is that it's way too similar to the Dead Poets Society. Same English teacher with his unorthodox pedagogy, same sports vs. arts dilemmas, except this time the characters are openly gay and that adds a dimension.

It's equally moving, with the same twist of pupils taking sides, which is the climax of the movie. The acting is great too. I wouldn't be surprised if 5-10 years down the road we see some of these same faces playing in the top gear movies, running for the top prizes. Certainly worth watching - it's not just a coming out of age and a coming out of closet movie, but also a touching young folks' drama set up in a realistic environment. Great piece!
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10/10
A movie we all can relate to
refstar29 July 2017
I picked this off Netflix on a boring Saturday afternoon. Boy I wish I had seen it sooner.

I was totally shocked at how good it is - the story line is something we can all relate to - a world that often isolates those who don't "fit in".

Fionn (Ned) and Nicholas (Connor) are absolutely relatable in their roles, and I loved the cameo by the English Teacher. While some may critique the ending as "predictable", but IMO any other type ending would destroy this movie. After the emotional roller-coaster of the film, we NEEDED that ending.

Thoroughly recommend it for all - especially for those who think that anyone who is different is a lesser individual.
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7/10
Great Irish Indie On Rugby, Boarding School and being 'different'
t-dooley-69-3869169 August 2017
Ned hates school his father has remarried and decided to send his only son off to a boarding school. It is one of those schools where sports rule and in particular – rugby. Yes the ultra macho contact sport where beef, brawn and attitude count. My school was very similar. Ned is not sport minded and as such is an outcast being sneered at for being 'gay'.

Then new boy Connor arrives under a cloud from his previous school. Only he is also a top rugger player and gets placed in the same room as Ned. The Jock and the 'gay' are not best suited and neither boy is happy. However, the two soon form a bond based on mutual interests but it soon becomes apparent that the natural order of things is only allowed to be in flux for so long before the forces, that be, must exert themselves and return everything to its proper place.

Now this is a film supported by The Irish Film Board and has a cast peppered with talent including Ardal O'Hanlon, Moe Dunford ('Vikings') and Amy Huberman ('Moone Boy') and everyone puts in good performances. It can be light hearted and lack in character development in places, but it is a well rounded drama which focuses on those that we chose to exclude and how that fear of revulsion changes a person – and not always for the better. It is a scenario that is familiar to many and not one that any of us ought to be proud of for taking part in. It is also a ruddy good watch with perfect timing and drama to keep you hooked till the credits roll – easily recommended.
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9/10
Excellent Movie
tonysloane23 July 2017
This was a film that I could absolutely relate to. Like Ned I had to hide my true feelings.It was a very lovely film, but essentially just a film.It does not have the intensity of "Monster Pies" or the heartbreak that "Center of my World" evokes. Maybe "Fair Haven" would adequately describe the emotion that this film arouses in me. Having said that, I would watch it again, if only for the pleasure of seeing "Conor" running around the Rugby pitch. Watch and enjoy.It was a pleasure that will last.
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9/10
Handsome Devil is feel good coming out
michael_gurley9 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Handsome devil is a feel-good story about two teenagers learning to come out in a boarding school full of rugby crazed adults and students. This one as well acted, is dramatic, has interesting characters, and isn't too after school special to be fun to watch. Sherlocks own Moriarty takes a turn as the Dead Poets Society level English teacher that inspires them all to be better people. I didn't like how the school allowed massive bullying and physical aggression from teachers and students. The subplot was intriguing, came to a good conclusion, but still left me interested to hear more about it. The ending is a little hokey but we could all use a little cheer now and then. This one is just a fun story that leaves us wanting more, and by Moore I mean I wanted more romance, but I'll settle for the ending I got.
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8/10
Brilliant Film
Nicowallis6 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Really really amazing film. Any outcast or anyone who's just a bit different really, can relate to this film.

I relate to Ned a lot, school isn't very fun, I'm different from everyone else, a**holes tend to take an interest in me, never quite fit in, and I actually did what he did with the song lyrics once. I also relate to Connor in the fact that I'm gay and closeted and I understand that fear, I have had some bad experiences, gotten into some fights so I understand that bit about him. Because I relate to the characters, all the experiences these guys went through felt very real to me and I loved the way they were portrayed. The acting and dialogue were great and the way this was written and shot was amazing.

So yea definitely give this a watch, its a brilliant film.
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7/10
Dead Poets Society does Rugby
donegalcat17 August 2017
The age-old story of an unlikely friendship between the athlete and the outsider with a large dose of Dead Poets Society thrown in.

Its not original but the film is heart-warming and full of charm. Well acted throughout with many well known names in cameo roles. The most well known is Andrew Scott who plays the unconventional English teacher who tries to encourage the outsider while helping the developing friendship with the schools star rugby player. The film is emotionally manipulative at times, pulling familiar tricks to get the viewers sympathy but its easy to forgive when the characters and dialogue are so charming. The use of voice-over and split screen are not always effective and detract from the film at times. And the lead characters could have been developed more. But overall Handsome Devil is a charm and an easy pleasure to watch.
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7/10
Music, sport and then there's gay.
Reno-Rangan4 January 2018
I have seen many gay films, but I never felt very satisfied as this one. It removed all the cliches. You don't get a product like that often. I mean, despite being a gay film, there's no romance in it. But everything was told from a different aspect, like whether it is in the eye of sport, music, et cetera. Maybe if one film that families should watch regarding gay theme, that could be this one. Of course the families should be open minded on LGBT for that. Because the film does not promote gayism, but in a normal tone to say, it's about harassment being whatever you are. And at the end gives a fine message.

Welcome to T18. I mean happy new year. This is my first review of the year. It is a good start for me being a cinephile. As I've said, it is a rare gem. An Irish film, but in English language. Remember, it is not even a British or Aussie, so the cast and crew are completely unknown. That means it is like watching some B movie. The initial setup reminded me 'Wild Child'. But that was an American film, from Americans perspective, how they see British boarding school. So if you are regular Hollywood teen film watcher, then you might feel slightly strange watching this. Because the students are obedient against their teacher, unlike American rebellious kids.

-xX] There will come a point in the future when you won't have to lie anymore. [Xx-

The film title might hint strongly that it is a gay romance, but as I said it was not. This is the story of two boys, but most of it was narrated from Ned's perspective. When his parents moved to Southwestern Asia for work, he was left behind at a boarding school. Among bullies, he's very popular for his sexual orientation. But it was never been confirmed, until a new roommate joins him. He's handsome and a rugby player, but they both put together for a talent show, where they have to prepare a song to sing. So the conflict of interest between sport and music surface and fuels further complication in what it is already out of control.

This film was made last year, before that year was when the same-sex marriage legalised in Ireland. But the timeline of the film is unknown. Mostly like it just before the legalisation. Because seeing how the story happened, it all makes sense. Still a mixed response from the people, the gays are hesitating to come out of the closet. So the harassers still targeting such people, that's what this film is about. In addition to that, the story was told from the teenager's perspective, but I loved that small part of aspect from a teacher. That kind of looked like a bonus advantage of the film.

Regarding Rugby, it was part of the storytelling, not the whole story. So whatever happen in the sporting event was a normal result than considered as a cliche. The same goes for the music part of the film too. It did delivered the message cleverly. The best of it was how these two themes were merged to get a wonderful awareness film. Not just one of the best gay film, but one of the best films of the year. Totally worth a watch!

7/10
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7/10
Inspired and disappointed at the same time !
Hanfrn16 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I really liked it. Reminded me the book "The third pillow" (Original title: O Terceiro Travesseiro) but I was misled that Ned and Connor had more than a simple friendship. I was expecting some romance between them not only a true friend supporting someone to come out. Much more could be explored. It was not a complete waste of time because Ned's and Conor's personality is captivating.
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so simple...
Kirpianuscus6 September 2017
provocative. and real simple. touching. and surprising. a coming of age film. and little more. because, not being extraordinary, it gives, after the final credits, a special state. first - its target is very large. because it is a film about youth and its challenges. in same measure, it is a film about difference. the second - it gives a coherent message. and it escapes from moralistic/pink cages. be yourself ! it is the axis. and that does the gay coming up almost a pretext. because it has the science to mix humor with bulling,social masks with deep honesty, teenager sensibility/cruelty with the portrait of the teacher well known from many other films, changing everything (Andrew Scott does an admirable job ). a film like a challenge. good actors, good script, an amazing Fion O Shea and the right director. and, sure, a so simple story.
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10/10
Review
mailtilida15 August 2018
This movie, i like it. ANOTHER!

A sequel would be nice, i'd love to see how Conner and Ned's relationship will evolve.

Also Andrew Scott is great at playing a teacher, i love his work!
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9/10
A charming coming of age film
johnkilcullenlucan27 April 2018
I loved this film. I went to a rugby school in Ireland in the 1960s but wasn't any good at rugby myself. I'm gay too but back then it was something to keep quiet about., A lot of people have assumed that the character, Ned, is gay. In fact the film never makes clear whether he is or not (this was confirmed by the director). I loved how Fionn O'Shea played the character. He may have been picked on for being different but he wasn't a shrinking violet and verbally gave as good as he got. I also marveled at how Nicholas Galitzine, a young English actor, got the middle class south Dublin accent so right. The rugby scenes are as authentic as any you will see in a movie.The director used Leinster under 19 players. I met him at a festival and he told me that they assembled them for the filming of the rugby scenes but hadn't told them who the choreographer was going to be. They were both gobsmacked and delighted when it turned out to be Brian O'Driscoll (for those unfamiliar with rugby he is widely regarded as Ireland's greatest ever rugby player - his wife played Ned's mother in the film). As others have noted the upbeat ending was really necessary in this film.
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8/10
8
Edvis-199710 December 2018
Very good film about everything literally. It's showing bullies, boarding school hazing rules, people's choice who they want to be. A little bit propaganda like at the ending where almost all team supported those 2(gay couple). The ending was pretty good still missed at least 1 kiss between them.
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10/10
Perfect Movie!!!!
pantelg15 December 2018
I didn't expect that, but you have to watch this movie, made me so happy!!!!!!
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8/10
Handsome Devil Review
felipepm1711 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
It's not original, but at least not bad either. Andrew Scott as always saves the film. I think the film could have given a little more time to develop the friendship between Ned and Conor. I liked that at no point did Ned become confused about his feelings for Conor, he always saw him only as a friend.
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9/10
It's all about belief
tweakinghigh27 February 2019
It is not the type that you are that defines you, it is what you are as a complete composition that matters the most. If we stop seeing the difference and start seeing the obvious similarities each and every day would end positively
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7/10
So many emotions.
egeaydiniz11 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I felt when I watch this movie, the real emotions when I coming out to my friends and the people who's aroud me. The expression in the movie "Not to speak in a borrowed voice" is so special, be yourself, don't act like someone else...
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9/10
Any film named after a Smiths song has to be great right?
Handsome Devil. A little Indie about a gay student rugby player at a public school in Ireland trying to hide who he is against the backdrop of institutional homophobia. An absolute gem of a film. Genuinely funny, moving and loveable. Not all great films are bleak..... Up there with Sing Street for feel good value. Currently on Netflix. A surprisingly brilliant 9 out of ten
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10/10
I caught this on Netflix!
juanmuscle18 October 2018
And what a find! Wow, terrific writing, nothing felt forced or cliched or absurd or disjointed or lamo, no this was pure original creative art just flowing and doing its thing, it felt nice. I don't know what else to say, but that I don't know nor care the first dang thing about rugby, but I found myself rooting for the gay team with the happy players lol, this was terrific! I would love to see more from this gentleman in Irish town? Wherever that is, who cares, does it matter, as long as Netflix or someone picks the gems up and delivers the goods to people that enjoy fun new creative things....
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4/10
Heinously plagiaristic.
kitellis-981218 July 2018
This is a messy, confused little film, which is unlikely to appeal to any of the demographics it targets.

Butch rugby fans will find much better sports movies elsewhere. Angst-ridden gay teens have a whole sub-genre of films just for them. Outcast straight teens in crappy schools have almost an entire movie industry devoted to them. Kids who want to be singers have a small but superior selection to choose from.

Handsome Devil is essentially a scattering of random tropes thrown without much thought or conviction in the general direction of the audience in the hope that one or two ideas might find a willing target.

One of several unfortunate ironies to be found in this film is that one of its central themes is that we should all avoid plagiarism and find our own voice. Ironic since almost every important scene in the film is "borrowed" shamelessly from the far superior Dead Poet's Society:

  • The English teacher who inspires his students by respecting, entertaining, and yes, even yawping at them. (Although here, instead of sounding a mighty yawp, the boys are taught to "project" their voices).


  • The English teacher encouraging a student to perform on stage - in DPS it's an amateur play, in HD it's a talent contest.


  • And most blatantly, the "Oh captain, my captain" scene from DPS, in which the boys stand one by one on their desks, is represented here by the boys moving one by one to the other side of the locker room in solidarity against the nasty teacher; a cookie-cutter homophobe presented in two dimensions by an actor who missed every opportunity to rise above poor direction and writing and use the large amount of screen time he is given to transcend weak material and shine.


The scenes that aren't taken from Dead Poet's Society are borrowed from every other school sports movie that's ever been made, apart from the singing scenes which are borrowed from Sing Street.

Nothing about this film is any better than those it copies, so you may as well watch all of them instead.
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9/10
one of my faves
brokenbtches30 March 2020
This movie is one of my favorite movie, because, first of all, i love andrew scott in this film, his character is such a sweet yet strong person. this story may not be all that complicated, or is may not be the great gay movie you wanted, but it sends a certain message. a message to accept yourself, and others, for who they are. which can seem very cliche and it definitely is. this is a story about being different and still have so much in common. i also love how is this movie, a movie about being gay, they not even say the word 'gay' or 'homosexual' or something like that. very cool.
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10/10
warm and fuzzy
irinaidu27 February 2020
OMG ... a movie that had 2 attractive people as leads and it managed to be about friendship and about being a human being, instead of being about getting a boyfriend ... I am amazed!! The movie in itself is not some great masterpiece, but it is heartfelt and it gives you warm, fuzzy feelings and the leads are attractive ( what do you want, I never said i am not shallow ). And I am truly in awe when a movie manages to be about friendship for real and not use friendship just to somehow end up being about romance.
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6/10
Hope from hopelessness...
CelluRob20 February 2020
Quite an illustrative tale of conforming, this film. It is gay themed, but could equally apply to anyone new to an environment and who struggles to fit in. Here, two classmates who share a room form an unlikely bond; one a star sportsman and the other a bit of a pariah. It has two redeeming features of note - the use of sport as a positive conduit, albeit via a pretty circuitous route; and by allowing initially hostile characters to reprioritise their beliefs and accept a relationship that would otherwise attract their derision (as, indeed, it does initially). Fionn O'Shea and Nicholas Galitzine - with a bit of help from their teacher Andrew Scott - contribute well, with a strong, plausible, script to make for a decent drama.
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