The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2007)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Bleak and uncompromising, but director Ken Loach brightens his film with gorgeous cinematography and tight pacing, and features a fine performance from Cillian Murphy.


Movie Info

Ireland 1919: workers from field and country unite to form volunteer guerrilla armies to face the ruthless 'Black and Tan' squads that are being shipped from Britain to block Ireland's bid for independence. Driven by a deep sense of duty and a love for his country, Damien abandons his burgeoning career as a doctor and joins his brother, Teddy, in a dangerous and violent fight for freedom. As the freedom fighters' bold tactics bring the British to breaking point, both sides finally agree to a … More

Rating: PG-13 (for crude and sexual humor, language, a comic violent image and some drug references)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Paul Laverty
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 4, 2007
Box Office: $1.8M
Runtime:
IFC First Take - Official Site

Cast


as Damien O'Donovan

as Teddy O'Donovan

as Bernadette

as Steady Boy

as Terence

as Volunteer

as Man in Pub

as Volunteer

as Father Denis

as Volunteer

as Volunteer

as Volunteer

as Volunteer

as Volunteer

as Volunteer

as Singer at Wake

as Station Guard

as Policeman

as Woman in Search

as Sir John Hamilton

as Johnny Gogan

as Elderly Man

as Elderly Woman

as Sweeney

as Mrs. Rafferty

as Boy on Bike

as Mother of Sick Child

as Member of Ceilidh Ba...

as Member of Ceilidh Ba...

as Member of Ceilidh Ba...

as Member of Ceilidh Ba...

as Member of Ceilidh Ba...

as Newsreel Piano Accom...

as British Soldier Serg...

as British Soldier Serg...

as British Soldier Lieu...

as British Soldier Inte...

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier

as British Soldier
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Wind That Shakes the Barley

All Critics (116) | Top Critics (35)

Gripping, powerful, heart-breaking.

Full Review… | August 4, 2007
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 11, 2007
Miami Herald
Top Critic

The film's stark outrage exposes the pussyfooting that these days passes for 'political'

Full Review… | August 27, 2009
CinePassion

Pickings must have been pretty slim at Cannes last year because Barley isn't much of a standout piece.

Full Review… | August 28, 2008

Loach delivers a moving and often beautiful story that captures the essence of the conflict, with all its unintended consequences and personal tragedies.

Full Review… | July 19, 2008
San Francisco Examiner

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.

Full Review… | March 11, 2008

Audience Reviews for The Wind That Shakes the Barley

A pair of working class Irish brothers are caught up in the troubles during the social upheaval caused by the fight for independence in 1920. Set during the same period as Neil Jordan's Michael Collins, The Wind That Shakes The Barley is a far more personal representation of the events depicted; while Jordan concentrated on the political movers and shakers of the period, Loach is far more concerned with the ordinary soldiers on the ground and the divisions that were created by the treaty of 1920. Although it centres around the ordinary working class folk of Ireland, I couldn't help the feeling that we didn't really get to know any of them on a personal level leaving little room for emotional attachments; we saw their political views and passions but learn little of them as people. Although its documentary style is more believable and gives a real sense of "being there" I felt Michael Collins had a stronger centre in the form of Liam Neeson's powerhouse performance and the wider scope had more value as a piece of entertainment. This film is still a powerful window on a tragic piece of Irish history however and if watched in conjunction with Jordan's biopic, makes for a extremely interesting companion piece.

garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

This film tackles head on the all-consuming power of an idea and the evolving nature of that idea in the face of reality. Like other films about the liberation movement in Northern Ireland such as Paul Greengrass' Bloody Sunday or Steve McQueen's Hunger, it is brutal, difficult to watch, and enraging. However, even in the face of these atrocities committed by the British, Loach shows that this isn't the timeless battle of good vs. evil, but rather one group of humans subjugating another. The monsters are in many ways innocent themselves and the oppressed are capable of the same barbarism showcased by their oppressors. It is an important film and one that is exceptionally well made.

axadntpron
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

½

A well-done, powerful story concerning the battle for Ireland amongst the IRA (led by Cillian Murphy) against the power-hungry British during the 1920's. Director Ken Loach picked out some really gorgeous backdrops to film this story, and this add to his overall epic scope concerning the themes of loyalty, freedom, and family. Murphy's wonderful turn can not be understated, as he remains a scrawny but intense hero whose shift in character is handled exceptionally well. The movie overall is not a masterpiece, given it has some slow parts as well as a mega-depressing ending that needed a little more closure. Still a fine film in many respects, and definitely worth a view.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

The Wind That Shakes the Barley Quotes

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