From acclaimed director Mike Leigh comes this epic portrayal of events surrounding the infamous 1819 'Peterloo Massacre' in Manchester, when armed government forces charged into a crowd of 60,000 peaceful protesters who were desperate for greater democracy and improved working conditions. Featuring stellar performances from Maxine Peake and Rory Kinnear, 'Peterloo' is an explosively visceral retelling of a defining moment in British history.
A Story that Needed to be Told
- Peterloo review by PS
If you've never heard of Peterloo this is a very good place to start. It is a very thoughtful and well produced film which has a lot of authentice touches. As it's a certificate 12 it is suitable for young people, though it is a trifle over-long and the long scenes of speeches at the beginning were rather didactic and may be off-putting to younger audiences. Otherwise, well worth seeing.
I love the story of Peterloo! I love radical history, I didn’t not love this film. Made a fascinating story very boring. So upset. Mike Leigh makes films that lack interest for me in general.
3 out of 5 members found this review helpful.
Another socialist manifesto
- Peterloo review by Alphaville
This is basically another socialist diatribe from director Mike Leigh, full of tell-don’t-show speechifying in place of character and plot. He has previous. Watch with scepticism. “Liberty or death,” chant the crowd. The suffrage meeting in Manchester 1819 was certainly so poorly policed by the cavalry that it caused a disaster, but this is for the indoctrinated only.
2 out of 10 members found this review helpful.
Ironically, as condescending as the upper-classes it sets out to mock.
- Peterloo review by TR
I don't like being fed expository dialogue about the Corn Laws and Habeus Corpus, like I was some uneducated idiot. I expect authenticity and scenes that aren't just a series of speeches lazily stitched together. I've long since lost faith in Mike Leigh, but this represents a new low. Condescending and full of its own self-importance, not unlike the elites it purports to mock.
No shortage of money spent on scenery, props and extras. You just wonder why this story justified such expenditure. Who authorised it?
It's done well enough but never really captures the moment. There are much better ways to spend over two hours of your life.
1 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
Excellent piece of history
- Peterloo review by IanF
Peterloo gives you a powerful impression of it's time in history - 1819 - a strange, long ago time when we do not really understand how hard and different things were. This is a powerful, big scale film of a little known story. Well acted, well filmed, long but engrossing. They should show it in history lessons in secondary schools. It was a time when demanding one man/ one vote could get you locked up, shot, or as in this film, run through with a sabre by a charging cavalryman.
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
Overlong Socialist Polemic about an Interesting Historical Event
- Peterloo review by PV
Mike Leigh often focuses on left wing causes and improvised dialogue etc - and this film is worth watching if only for the interesting dialect (still present in places like Sheffield where they say YourSEN not yourself). But it is a bit of a long slog.
Now I know some won't hear a word said against Mike Leigh and his stablemate Ken Loach, but the sad fact is these two have enjoyed way too much praise and subsidy for what has been mediocre work, despite their 1970s triumphs.
Good to see this event in a film despite all the bias and the wicked King George IV such a cartoon character baddie he could have had a waxed moustache. The Great Reform Act 1832 is something that deserves a film too.
We both really looking forward to watching Peterloo , but in all honestly just got bored.. Such a interesting part of our history , made boring .. Good actors and some wonderful characters , but still couldn't get into the story .. All very one sided politically .. Sorry Mike Leigh not for me
I was looking forward to watching this, but I found a bit of a slog. I was also surprised at the pantomime baddies. It's a "worthy" film, but disappointing.
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
Film ruined by its ditrector
- Peterloo review by MT
We were looking forward to watching this film, unfortunately it was far too long and distorted by the directors Corbin type view of history and society . It would not have been as bad as it was if the bad guys were not portrayed as being completely stupid. The majority of the mill owners may have been bad and evil towards their workers but they were successful entrepreneur and certainly not stupid.
Could have been a good historical film bur ruined by the directors/ screen writers view of history.