The Wind That Shakes the Barley - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Wind That Shakes the Barley Reviews

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Cliff Doerksen
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 4, 2007
Gripping, powerful, heart-breaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Marta Barber
Miami Herald
May 11, 2007
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jim Emerson
RogerEbert.com
May 11, 2007
While this may be a historical piece, it's history told in the vivid present tense.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
April 27, 2007
Raises hard questions about Ireland's uncanny ability to kneecap itself.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
April 27, 2007
[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.
| Original Score: B+
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
April 27, 2007
[Loach is] the master of the docu-drama or the realist social film, and Wind is one of his masterpieces.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
April 27, 2007
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.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
April 20, 2007
You'll be heartbroken in the course of the film's two hours.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
April 12, 2007
The Wind That Shakes the Barley isn't interested in being a straightforward or romanticized history lesson. Rather, [director] Loach offers an examination of the very nature of rebellion, as filtered through the particulars of the Irish troubles.
| Original Score: B
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
April 7, 2007
The humanity that Loach and his compassionate screenwriter bring to their story prevents it from being another polemic about how the British screwed Ireland.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
April 5, 2007
Director Ken Loach is full of astonishments. In this film, he stages raid and counter-raid, big gunfight and small, with stunning dynamism.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 20, 2007
Great film. Ken Loach is such an important filmmaker, he's made so many great films over the years, and it's great to see another director, like Eastwood and so many others in his 70's, who continues to be at the top of his game.
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Noel Murray
AV Club
March 17, 2007
[Director] Loach and [co-screenwriter] Laverty are still capable of creating moments startling in their naturalism -- almost like a window into the past.
| Original Score: B
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
March 17, 2007
This dramatization of Ireland's early struggles for independence falls short of a certain originality or flair.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
March 16, 2007
... you can feel the panic, rage and fear of the participants, and there's a rare sense in the movie of history being less recreated than relived.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
March 16, 2007
... despite its length (over two hours) and some structural problems, it is an absorbing, worthwhile and often passionate movie.
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David Ansen
Newsweek
March 16, 2007
The Wind that Shakes the Barley is dense, brutal, with moments of shattering emotional power, and the cast performs with fierce conviction.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
March 16, 2007
A truly Irish tale, The Wind That Shakes the Barley demands some work from American audiences.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
March 16, 2007
The acting is solid all around -- so convincing that the rough Irish accents are appropriately indecipherable at times, and the story itself is as tragic and complicated as that moment in history.
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
March 16, 2007
... Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes the Barley may be the most powerful look yet at the guerrilla-styled Irish rebellion against occupying British forces in 1920-22.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
March 16, 2007
What does come through is Loach's characteristic disdain for cheap romanticism and easy answers.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
March 16, 2007
... the history presented in "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" hardly feels like a closed book or a museum display. It is as alive and as troubling as anything on the evening news, though far more thoughtful and beautiful.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
March 15, 2007
Loach has the gift of finding the intensely moving private emotions in broad, societal dilemmas. He does that with his fine new film, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, and he does a few new things as well.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
March 15, 2007
This is a classic example of [director Ken] Loach's work with his longtime screenwriting partner Paul Laverty, meaning that it blends colorful scenery with meticulously rendered sociology, straightforward family drama and tendentious political debate.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
March 15, 2007
Loach has a long and honored career as a political filmmaker, and The Wind that Shakes the Barley is more accessible -- i.e. conventional -- than most of his other films.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
March 15, 2007
Folks who are heavily invested in stereotypes of thuggish terrorists may balk at Loach's portrait of articulate IRA ideologues. But there is no denying his ferocious grip on our emotions. Barley is one tough and beautiful film.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
March 15, 2007
A profound consideration of the fog of wars that rage between not only nations but, all too often, within their own borders.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 14, 2007
The ferocity of [director Ken] Loach's moral wrath carries the movie, makes it ignite on screen -- at least, until he tries to dramatize the fatal split of Ireland through Damien and Teddy, the brothers in arms.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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David Denby
New Yorker
March 12, 2007
Refusing the standard flourishes of Irish wildness or lyricism, Loach has made a film for our moment, a time of bewildering internecine warfare.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
March 7, 2007
Ultimately, Barley is the antithesis of a feel-good entertainment -- but it is to be commended for its unflinching seriousness.
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Globe and Mail
September 23, 2006
An earnest, handsomely shot and often effective, if overly schematic, drama in the service of a political message.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
June 24, 2006
A stirring lament for good human beings caught in the crossfire of history.
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Derek Elley
Variety
May 18, 2006
[The film] lacks the involving sweep of Loach's earlier historical-political yarn, Land and Freedom.
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Ray Bennett
Hollywood Reporter
May 18, 2006
Atmospheric but pedestrian.