Ken Loach - Rotten Tomatoes

Ken Loach

Lowest Rated:   57% Poor Cow (1967)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, UK
Often labeled a "social realist" but averse to pigeonholing himself as such, Ken Loach is renowned for his reverent depictions of the politics of everyday life. Studiously avoiding Hollywood's siren call, the British director has etched out a reputation for himself in his native country, as one of the film industry's more respected and idealistic figures.Born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, on June 17, 1936, Loach attended Oxford, where he planned on studying law. Instead, he gravitated toward acting with the university's Experimental Theatre Club and following a stint with the RAF, began his career acting in regional repertory theatre. Loach became a director for the BBC in 1961, where an alliance with producer Tony Garnett led to a series of docudramas. One of these, the 1965 Cathy Come Home, was a searing exposé of the problem of urban homelessness and the welfare state in Britain. One of the most controversial films ever produced by the BBC, it led directly to changes in the country's homeless laws. Loach made his feature-length directorial debut in 1968 with Poor Cow. Featuring a very young Terence Stamp as a working-class thief who is thrown in jail, the film blended kitchen-sink realism with New Wave-like stylization, and in focusing on the hardships faced by the wife of the jailed man, provided a glimpse of things to come in the director's future work. His subsequent effort, Kes (1970), went on to be widely recognized as one of the best films ever to be made in Britain. The poignant story of a young boy whose alienation at school and troubles with his family are temporarily allayed when he finds and trains a young kestrel, Kes was a captivating, uncomprimising exercise in grim reality.Unfortunately, following the success of Kes, Loach's career suffered a number of blows, mainly due to poor distribution of his films and the refusal to broadcast some of his TV work, most notoriously his documentaries covering a 1984 miners' strike. However, the 1990s brought with them a revival of Loach's career and he spent much of the decade turning out one critically acclaimed film after another. Hidden Agenda (1990), a political thriller set in Northern Ireland, was condemned by conservatives for its strongly leftist stance but won the Jury Prize at Cannes and was unique in being one of the few true examples of anti-Stalinist leftism to reach a mainstream audience. Riff Raff (1991) and Raining Stones (1993) were more humorous treatments of working-class politics and struggles, and both won a number of honors at Cannes.Loach's next film, Ladybird Ladybird (1994), was one of his most acclaimed. The harrowing account of a single mother's struggles against the British social service system to get custody of her children, it featured both a brilliant turn by Crissy Rock in the role of the mother and an eloquent, devastating critique of the government's treatment of the poor. The film won a number of international honors, including top prizes at the Berlin Film Festival.Land and Freedom (1995) and Carla's Song (1996) were two of Loach's more poorly received films, although both -- the first an account of the Spanish Revolution of the 1930s and the second a love story set against the backdrop of the Nicaraguan Revolution -- offered clear-eyed vibrancy and strong performances from their leads (Ian Hart and Robert Carlyle, respectively). A similarly strong lead performance was one of the selling points of Loach's next feature, My Name Is Joe (1998). As the film's title character, an unemployed, recovering alcoholic trying to make a living in one of Glasgow's worst neighborhoods, Peter Mullan won the Cannes Festival's Best Actor award. A romance between Mullan's Joe and a social worker (Louise Goodall), set against the turmoil of the neighborhood, the film was inspired by the first half of Carla's Song.

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
91% I, Daniel Blake
  • Director
2017
100% Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach
  • Actor
2016
77% Jimmy's Hall
  • Director
2015
No Score Yet The Save The Children Fund Film
  • Director
2014
88% The Angels' Share
  • Director
$0.7M 2013
74% The Spirit of '45
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2013
No Score Yet The Price of Coal: Meet the People
  • Director
2011
65% Great Directors
  • Actor
$18.4k 2010
85% Looking for Eric
  • Director
$0.3M 2010
74% Route Irish
  • Director
2010
No Score Yet What Do You Know About Me? (Di me cosa ne sai)
  • Actor
2009
No Score Yet What Do You Know About Me?
  • Actor
2009
No Score Yet 40 X 15
  • Actor
2008
83% It's a Free World
  • Director
2007
88% The Wind That Shakes the Barley
  • Director
$1.8M 2007
No Score Yet Cathy Come Home
  • Director
2006
No Score Yet Carry on Ken
  • Actor
2006
71% Tickets
  • Director
2005
88% A Fond Kiss
  • Director
2004
97% Sweet Sixteen
  • Director
$0.3M 2003
100% The Navigators
  • Director
2003
78% 11'09''01 - September 11
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2002
65% Bread and Roses
  • Director
2001
88% My Name Is Joe (Mein Name ist Joe)
  • Director
1999
83% Carla's Song
  • Director
1998
No Score Yet Which Side Are You On
  • Director
  • Producer
1997
82% Land and Freedom
  • Director
1996
67% Ladybird Ladybird
  • Director
1994
100% Raining Stones
  • Director
1993
90% Riff-Raff
  • Director
1991
83% Hidden Agenda
  • Director
1990
No Score Yet Fatherland (Singing the Blues in Red)
  • Director
1986
No Score Yet Looks and Smiles
  • Director
1981
No Score Yet The Gamekeeper
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1980
No Score Yet Black Jack
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1979
No Score Yet Family Life
  • Director
1971
100% Kes
  • Director
1969
No Score Yet Up the Junction
  • Director
1968
57% Poor Cow
  • Director
1967
No Score Yet Diary of A Young Man
  • Director
1964

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