The Wind That Shakes the Barley
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The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Two brothers are caught on differing sides of the battle for Irish freedom in this politically minded historical drama from veteran British filmmaker Ken Loach. It's 1920, and Damien O'Donovan (Cillian Murphy) has recently graduated from medical school. Damien plans to leave the small village in Ireland where he was born to take a job in London, much to the annoyance of his brother Teddy (Padraic Delaney), who is an Irish loyalist and wants to see the British stripped of their rule of his land. While visiting Peggy (Mary Riordan), a longtime friend of the family, Damien and Teddy… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Gripping, powerful, heart-breaking."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"[Loach] has made an often handsome, always sobering movie that does what the best movies do: leave us a whole lot less sure about what we ought to think."
‑ Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News
"The film's stark outrage exposes the pussyfooting that these days passes for 'political'"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Loach is on fire here. A masterfully executed mix of politics and passion, this is an example of that increasingly rare beast in modern cinema: a serious, thought-provoking film for grown-ups."
‑ Ian Winterton, Film4
"Ultimately, the politics outweigh the poetry ... but it succeeds despite its hesitations and far-reaching ambition"
‑ Chris Cabin,
"The Wind that Shakes the Barley is a multi-layered story, and the more you see those different aspects, the more you'll enjoy the film."
‑ Marta Barber, Miami Herald
"[Loach is] the master of the docu-drama or the realist social film, and Wind is one of his masterpieces."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"Pickings must have been pretty slim at Cannes last year because Barley isn't much of a standout piece."
‑ Heather Huntington,
"Gripping old-fashioned political drama."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Laverty's screenplay is not a simple-minded exercise, although there is a schematic aspect to it. He and Loach want to be fair to both sides of the Irish debate ..."
‑ Ted Murphy, Murphy's Movie Reviews
"Raises hard questions about Ireland's uncanny ability to kneecap itself."
‑ Kyle Smith, New York Post
"As frequently happens in both Loach films and history, the betrayal of ideals, socialist and otherwise, leaves a harsh aftertaste, which made me feel sadder but not much wiser."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Loach delivers a moving and often beautiful story that captures the essence of the conflict, with all its unintended consequences and personal tragedies."
‑ Rossiter Drake, San Francisco Examiner
"A brutal film...deeply moving yet painful to watch."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"The performances are shattering, made all the more harrowing by the situations the characters find themselves in."
‑ Jason Gorber, Film Scouts
More reviews for The Wind That Shakes the Barley on Rotten Tomatoes

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