Writer/director Peter Mullan's second feature is as powerful and honest a piece of filmmaking you'll see this year. An angry howl at the Catholic Church's hypocrisy, it's a chilling exposé of the horrific Magdalene Laundries, where unfortunate girls experienced hell on earth to pay penance for their "sins".
Using simple shots and minimal music, Mullan wisely lets the weighty subject matter and his superb cast do the talking. The end result is a hard but rewarding film, mercifully gilded with flashes of humour (one nun has a crush on JFK) and memorable images (a sister's face reflected in a girl's bloodied eye).
Not convinced? Well, the Vatican condemned the film as "an angry and rancorous provocation". What greater endorsement do you need?