Raises hard questions about Ireland's uncanny ability to kneecap itself. 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.
[Loach is] the master of the docu-drama or the realist social film, and Wind is one of his masterpieces. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
... 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
... despite its length (over two hours) and some structural problems, it is an absorbing, worthwhile and often passionate movie. full review
The Wind that Shakes the Barley is dense, brutal, with moments of shattering emotional power, and the cast performs with fierce conviction. full review
A truly Irish tale, The Wind That Shakes the Barley demands some work from American audiences. full review
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. full review
... 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
What does come through is Loach's characteristic disdain for cheap romanticism and easy answers. full review
... 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.
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
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. full review