User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 59
  2. Negative: 3 out of 59
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  1. Jul 29, 2011
    10
    Cilian Murphy Was AMAZING,The Whole Film Was Brilliant With Brilliant Filmmaking And Superb Acting,Mesmerizing Music,Cinematography Was Excellent.

    Great Film

    10/10.
  2. Feb 18, 2011
    8
    Brothers at war - Damien O'Donell sacrifices his possibilities of having a career as a doctor in order to fight for Ireland with his brother during the Irish war of independence in 1920. Outmaneouvered and understaffed by British Black and Tans patrols, they join the Irish republican army with their closest friends. All though significantly outnumbered, they refuse to give away theirBrothers at war - Damien O'Donell sacrifices his possibilities of having a career as a doctor in order to fight for Ireland with his brother during the Irish war of independence in 1920. Outmaneouvered and understaffed by British Black and Tans patrols, they join the Irish republican army with their closest friends. All though significantly outnumbered, they refuse to give away their independence to the United Kingdom and retaliates with unconditional patriotism. As the war increases and lives are lost, Damien falls in love with his childhood friend Sinead, who operates as their informant and provides them with food and artillery. The democracy amongst the inhabitants in Ireland are beginning to doubt their chances against the Brits, and the differences in opinion are about to complicate the relationship between Damien and Teddy.

    In "The Wind That Shakes the Barley", the great humanitarian Ken Loach went far back in history to depict the Irish War of independence (1919-1921) and the Irish Civil War (1922-1923). He also moved to new surroundings, and unlike most of his films which are set in cities: "Riff-Raff" (1990), "LadybirdLadybird" (1994), "My Name Is Joe" (1998) and "Ae Fond Kissâ
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  3. May 1, 2014
    8
    The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a war film that is far more than your typical war film. It is dark, yes, but it is deeply emotional and entirely tragic, yet beautiful all the same. From the shots of the lovely Irish countryside to the interactions amongst the characters to the costumes, the film was very much a beautiful one. However, it is the acting and characterization of theThe Wind That Shakes the Barley is a war film that is far more than your typical war film. It is dark, yes, but it is deeply emotional and entirely tragic, yet beautiful all the same. From the shots of the lovely Irish countryside to the interactions amongst the characters to the costumes, the film was very much a beautiful one. However, it is the acting and characterization of the characters that really help to make this film a home run. In war films, there is typically a plethora of action with little-to-no character development. However, here, we get both. We are not shielded to the carnage of war as there is plenty of "action", but we also get the emotional trauma that accompanies war in the characters' interactions with one another and their families. Cillian Murphy and cast also kill their roles and really handle this one perfectly, as does the director, Ken Loach. Another strength for the film is the delicacy with which is handles the tension between the British and the Irish. Yes, the British are depicted as evil and unjust, but we are not given a romanticized version of the IRA either. Instead, we see them doing exactly what the British do, but since we are seeing the war through their eyes, we are not angered by their actions. But, by showing them doing exactly what the Brits do, especially at the end, the film allows us to realize that there is no true bad guy and both sides have rotten elements to them. Nobody is truly innocent on either side. At the end of the day though, the violence and trauma depicted effect everybody involved in the war effort, whether directly or indirectly. A beautifully tragic film, The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a very good film. It is not a great one, but it is hard to ask for much more from a film of this kind. Expand
  4. Nxx
    Dec 26, 2010
    7
    With Ken Loach as the driving force behind this story nascent nationhood, it's no surprise that the 'occupying force' is treated with very little sensitivity. But, that said, 'The Wind That Shakes the Barley' spends almost equal time examining the implosion of civil war and it effects. It's both a harrowing and beautiful film to watch, with strong performances. Loach's occasional delvingWith Ken Loach as the driving force behind this story nascent nationhood, it's no surprise that the 'occupying force' is treated with very little sensitivity. But, that said, 'The Wind That Shakes the Barley' spends almost equal time examining the implosion of civil war and it effects. It's both a harrowing and beautiful film to watch, with strong performances. Loach's occasional delving into improvised dialogue can sometimes come off as a little like dodgy takes, but for the most part they work here. Expand
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Atmospheric but pedestrian, it is a retelling of the classic tragedy of all civil wars, from the U.S. to Vietnam to England, where brother is pitched against brother.
  2. 90
    A sombrely beautiful dream of the violent Irish past. Refusing the standard flourishes of Irish wildness or lyricism, Loach has made a film for our moment, a time of bewildering internecine warfare.
  3. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    60
    Though tastily lensed and with a convincing cast led by Cillian Murphy, essentially small-scale picture lacks the involving sweep of Loach's earlier historical-political yarn, "Land and Freedom."