Aroview: Thoroughly gripping Cannes winner from "kitchen sink" exponent Ken Loach, retelling with parochial force Ireland's tumultuous twenties, where the Republican uprising against British occupying forces fuels a potent clash of violence, nationalism and timely political thought.
Perhaps overly sympathetic in its portrayal of the IRA's conception and subsequent at-all-costs bid for independence, Loach's unflinching eye for realism and impassioned, largely anonymous Irish cast (headed strongly by Cillian Murphy) nevertheless galvanizes throughout, a stirring tempo further elevated by scenes of lively political debate between characters divided and displaced by civil war. The bigger picture, however, tends to quash much of the human intimacy Loach is regarded for, with the idea that history repeats itself the film's dominate course.
4 stars (Very Good) Gripping drama set during the early days of the Irish Republican Army, it portrays a young man gradually turn from reluctant fighter to single-minded dedication to the cause. Perhaps a little one-sided, but still a powerful and mesmerising film.~GenXGirl