Critic Reviews



Based on 26 critic reviews provided by
Loach's realism always carries a distinct sense of humor, volatility and, most alarmingly in this hypercapitalist new century, a socialist passion for The People.
At age 76, Loach also decided to offer his characters, and audience, some hope - at the bottom of a glass.
Brannigan is terrific as Robbie, and the entire supporting cast is superb.
The setting and themes are pure Loach, and he's handled comic scenarios with skill before. But he and his longtime screenwriter, Paul Laverty, have added a lighthearted buoyancy - enhanced by a spirited if obvious soundtrack - that might lead some to call this a feel-good crowd-pleaser.
Leaving this improbably feel-good movie, you'll wish Robbie all the luck in the world, and the mentors to go with it.
Our advice: Forgive any conflicting elements and just drink them right down. They might be a peculiar blend, but they're well crafted, just as you'd expect from Loach.
At its heart, this is a compassionate character study. Robbie's tenderness toward his son and his remorse for a street fight are the raw ingredients of a ripening consciousness.
A few clumsy touches do not seriously diminish the charm of a film that is ultimately a heart-warming celebration of kindness, friendship and forgiveness. Like a fine whisky, the angry old man of British social realism seems to be mellowing with age. It suits him.
Ken Loach better watch out. From the start of his illustrious career his name has been synonymous with left-wing politics expressed in remarkably fine, consistently serious social-realist dramas, most of them set in England or Scotland. Now he has gone and directed a comedy from a script by his longtime collaborator Paul Laverty, and it's so delightful that his fans will be clamoring for more.
The prolific 76-year-old British creator of character-rich, social dramas steeped in natural realism (usually) has whiffed it and whiffed it hard with this one. It's not that it's just “lesser Loach.” It is, in my opinion at least, humiliating.

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