Peterloo

Critics Consensus

Peterloo proves writer-director Mike Leigh's populist anger remains undimmed - but that righteous fury occasionally overpowers the narrative.

66%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 158

42%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 105

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Movie Info

In 1819 a cavalry charge on a peaceful protest at St. Peter's Field in Manchester, England, results in the Peterloo Massacre.

Cast & Crew

Rory Kinnear
Henry Hunt
Neil Bell
Samuel Bamford
Vincent Franklin
Magistrate Rev Etlhelson
Karl Johnson
Lord Sidmouth, the Home Secretary
Tim McInnerny
Prince Regent
David Bamber
Magistrate Rev Mallory
Nico Mirallegro
John Bagguley
Leo Bill
John Tyas
Mike Leigh
Screenwriter
Gail Egan
Executive Producer
Lizzie Francke
Executive Producer
Peter Hampden
Executive Producer
Norman Merry
Executive Producer
Dick Pope
Cinematographer
Jon Gregory
Film Editor
Gary Yershon
Original Music
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News & Interviews for Peterloo

Critic Reviews for Peterloo

All Critics (158) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (104) | Rotten (54)

Audience Reviews for Peterloo

  • May 05, 2019
    Mike Leigh is a famed writer/director who often writes from a working class perspective, so it's no surprise he would go back to a notable 1819 British massacre where local ruling magistrates and abusive militia mowed down and killed a dozen citizens that had gathered in Manchester to rally for worker rights and voting representation. I was ignorant to the injustice in history but went in suspecting a horrible confrontation by the end. When the tragedy does strike, it's searing and upsetting and moving. The problem is that it takes forever to get to the moment that we've been waiting for and that finally provides meaning for the movie. Peterloo is far too long at two and a half hours and it takes a solid two of those hours just to finally march our characters into the awaiting tragedy of its title. Leigh paints a realistic mosaic of the many working class and middle-class people of the time, families struggling for work, men processing PTSD from the recent Napoleonic wars, political leaders articulating the pathways for reform measures, and Leigh and his production team are very good at recreating the industrial Manchester reality with care and precision. Leigh's ear for dialogue is almost documentarian. However, for those two hours, Peterloo amounts to a slice of life of relatively boring people living boring lives until the big incident that makes them notable, namely that they were abused and died horribly. It becomes a waiting game where you get anxious for the tragedy to arrive. Another choice that harms the film's impact is how incredibly over-the-top the villains are written and performed; these are mustache-twirling caricatures of greedy, venal business men, factory owners, and power brokers and their performances are so slimy that they feel like they transported from the most black-and-white of fantasy tropes. It feels like these people would be relaxing by putting their feet up over a pile of child corpses. It gets to be downright campy how the villains are portrayed. Peterloo is ultimately an enraging movie that is far too boring for far too long to feel much more than a sense of relief when it's over. Nate's Grade: C+
    Nate Z Super Reviewer

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