The Wind That Shakes the Barley

As political tensions brew in early 1920s Ireland, brothers Damien and Teddy (Cillian Murphy and Padraic Delaney) abandon their civilian lives and take up arms to liberate their country from the oppressive "Black and Tan" squads of Britain. Winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, Ken Loach's provocative drama examines a microcosm of civil war in Cork, Ireland. Liam Cunningham co-stars.
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Netflix Rating: 3.6
Rotten Tomatoes® Scores
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

See all The Wind That Shakes the Barley Reviews

Gripping, powerful, heart-breaking.
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer  full review
Raises hard questions about Ireland's uncanny ability to kneecap itself.
Kyle Smith, New York Post  full review
[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.
Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News
[Loach is] the master of the docu-drama or the realist social film, and Wind is one of his masterpieces.
Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune  full review
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.
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader  full review
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.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution  full review
The humanity that Loach and his compassionate screenwriter bring to their story prevents it from being another polemic about how the British screwed Ireland.
Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle  full review
Director Ken Loach is full of astonishments. In this film, he stages raid and counter-raid, big gunfight and small, with stunning dynamism.
Stephen Hunter, Washington Post  full review
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.
Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
... 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.
Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star  full review
... despite its length (over two hours) and some structural problems, it is an absorbing, worthwhile and often passionate movie.
Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine  full review
The Wind that Shakes the Barley is dense, brutal, with moments of shattering emotional power, and the cast performs with fierce conviction.
David Ansen, Newsweek  full review
A truly Irish tale, The Wind That Shakes the Barley demands some work from American audiences.
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger  full review
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