Loach's argument is often convincing, but it's also one-sided enough that his left-wing message feels as black and white as the film's monochromatic colour scheme.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
The equivalent of your grandad lecturing you about how things aren't like they used to be.
| Original Score: 3/5
The film ends up as a tale told by an ideologue, full of sound and fury, of question-begging certitudes and the siege engines of self-righteousness.
| Original Score: 2/5
Preaching to the choir.
A thin, misleading and sentimental account of history, and how we got from there to here.
This is not so much a documentary as a barking mad Marxist fantasy.
| Original Score: 0/5
The Spirit of '45 is an important piece of cinema to go and see, and one that truly represents the essence of Britain.
| Original Score: 4/5
This is undeniably an admirable film but it would have benefited from a little more of the titular spirit.
The veteran director Ken Loach hoists the red flag with The Spirit of '45, a polemical documentary filled with hope and heroism, which takes a look at the resurrection of Britain after the war.
The unspoken, underlying truth beneath Loach's tenor is that every government has successes and failures, while all enduring issues of fairness surely ought to be seen as non-political.
A fond postcard from Ken Loach from the era when British socialism with a democratic spirit gripped the nation in a post-war embrace. His sense of cinema serves him well and he knows how to elicit emotions with the various tools at his disposal
A thought-provoking history lesson.
The film works all at once as a lament, a celebration and a wake-up call to modern politicians and voters.
Demanding balance from a Ken Loach film is a little like wanting a goat to do a handstand.
This is at its strongest when celebrating the simple fairness and basic decency of the welfare state and ends on an optimistic note.
Films are rarely this committed or, indeed, persuasive.
It serves as a moving reminder of how, following the sacrifices of WWII, the British people collectively established a fairer society.
Often fascinating and impassioned, Loach's doc lapses into polemic towards the end, an understandable side-effect of his granite-strong convictions.
This film reminds us that admiring the health service has become a distinctively patriotic virtue.
Using eloquent archive footage and contemporary interviews not exactly representative of the other side of the argument, Loach hammers his points home one by one.