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Route Irish (15)

Route Irish (15)

The critical consensus

At the end of Route Irish you might find yourself asking the question Ken Loach perhaps intended you to, albeit for very different reasons: how on earth did it come to this?

Michael MacLennan, STV, 24/02/2011

Shouty acting and heavy-handed plotting drown out the powerful, cogent message, leaving us with a left-wing version of Death Wish.

***(*)(*)Total Film, 04/03/2011

Not every performance is as successful, Loach’s habit of filling out his cast with unknown faces resulting in some unconvincing scenes. But they don’t detract from the righteous anger of regular collaborator Laverty’s script, which culminates not in bullets and explosions, but quiet despair.

****(*)Chris Buckle, The Skinny, 10/03/2011

Womack’s portrayal of a broken man simmering with pain, rage and combat stress, hell-bent on finding the truth no matter what, is a devastating one but he is let down slightly by some less than compelling performances around him.

***(*)(*)Brian Donaldson, The List, 10/03/2011

As urgent as Hidden Agenda was, Loach’s latest is insightful and explosive, so torn from today’s headlines it leaves newsprint on your hands.

****(*)David Hughes, Empire Online, 14/03/2011

A clunky, rather average thriller.

**(*)(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 15/03/2011

The faster it runs, the shallower this Liverpool-set story...becomes.

**(*)(*)(*)Nigel Andrews, Financial Times, 17/03/2011

The drama tends towards the overwrought, but Womack convinces as a tough guy forced to confront someone else’s past, and his own.

***(*)(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 17/03/2011

This film, written by Paul Laverty, will, on consideration, go down as a minor Loach work – yet there are powerful moments and valuable insights.

***(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 17/03/2011

Quickly degenerates into a lot of shouting and swearing while failing actually to provide any compelling drama or empathy.

Paul Greenwood, Evening Times, 17/03/2011

The portrayal of private security firms running amok in the Middle East is depressing, but I don't see this film doing much to outwit the forces of darkness.

**(*)(*)(*)Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 17/03/2011

Ken Loach at his worst.

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Chris Tookey, Daily Mail, 18/03/2011

The condescending, exposition-heavy script is torture enough to sit through (whatever happened to 'show, don't tell'?), but the amateur-hour acting and melodramatic, cop-out ending expose Loach's faux attempts at realism to be as phoney as anything produced in Hollywood.

**(*)(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 19/03/2011

A downbeat but compelling conspiracy thriller.

Henry Fitzherbert, Daily Express, 18/03/2011

he film isn’t a write-off, because Loach’s simmering rage gives it a sporadic rawness and voltage. Sadly, it also clouds his vision.

**(*)(*)(*)Tim Robey, The Telegraph, 18/03/2011

Ken Loach brings the horrors of the war in Iraq back home to Liverpool in this gripping conspiracy thriller.

Philip French, The Observer, 20/03/2011

Instead of developing the plot or the characters, the film gets hung up on the message that waterboarding is a bad thing, and that it's wrong to profit from the deaths of Iraqi citizens. Even if several films hadn't made those points already, most people could have figured them out for themselves – and certainly most people who go to see Ken Loach films.

Nicholas Barber, The Independent on Sunday, 20/03/2011

Features about Route Irish (15)

The search for truth: Paul Laverty on Route Irish

Brian Donaldson, The List, 02/03/2011

Security contractors can abuse and be abused without a trace

Paul Laverty, The Observer, 06/03/2011

Interview: Ken Loach, director

Catherine Deveney, The Scotsman, 15/03/2011

Listening, luck, loss and Loach

Alison Rowat, The Herald, 17/03/2011

I suffered post-tramatic stress after being waterboarded on Ken Loach set, says actor

Morwenna Ferrier, The Independent, 18/03/2011

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

Edinburgh Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Tuesday April 26, 2011, until Thursday April 28, 2011. More info:

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