Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 3 out of 19
  1. 100
    The film is never less than a satisfying mix of compelling entertainment and social critique. The performances are uniformly superb.
  2. 88
    Will this movie change anything, or this review make you want to see it? No, probably not. But when you come in tomorrow morning, someone will have emptied your wastebasket.
  3. There's every reason to watch Bread and Roses for what Loach really does best: He involves us directly in the desperate lives of his characters, who are forced to live without security and who have to compromise to make ends meet. And, above all, who feel as real as moviemaking allows.
  4. Full of pungent and telling observation.
  5. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    The reason Bread and Roses works as well as it does is that as didactic as it sometimes gets, its heart is always bigger than its ideology.
  6. 70
    There are scenes here that fill one with rage or bring tears to the eyes.
  7. Bread and Roses" hits home when one of Maya's co-workers observes, "When we put on uniforms, we become invisible." It's a truth as uncomfortable as it is undeniable.
  8. He plies his viewers with plenty of bread -- chewy and, to some tastes, dry and starchy scenes -- but he also scatters petals of whimsy and delight to nourish the senses.
  9. It's a passionate film powered by the righteous anger of injustice.
  10. As is often the case in Loach's films, all the acting is exemplary. Padilla, who learned English only shortly before making the film, is a natural actress, a smoldering presence.
  11. What's somewhat ironic about Bread and Roses is that it's bound to be more interesting to people outside of L.A. than in it.
  12. It would be easy to pigeonhole this as "Norma Rae" en L.A., and Padilla is at least as ingratiating and as much of a guy magnet as Sally Field was in that movie.
  13. Loach has gotten hold of a marvelous subject -- the invisibility of the working poor in the environs of the rich -- that keeps you watching despite all the banner-waving.
  14. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The director's knee-jerk anti-capitalism often sticks in my (white, well-fed) craw.
  15. 40
    A genuine consciousness-raiser, but it's less a social-realist narrative than a high-volume rally.
  16. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Its politics and dramatic line are familiar and far from convincing.
  17. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Suffers from clumsy acting (mainly Hispanic amateurs), an obvious screenplay by Paul Laverty, and a simplistic view of the characters.
  18. Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty draw everything in simplistic, overstated terms. The good guys are pure and spunky, the bad guys bellicose and one-dimensional, the conflicts stripped of nuance.

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