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The Guardian

Mike Leigh brings an overwhelming simplicity and severity to this historical epic, which begins with rhetoric and ends in violence. There is force, grit and, above all, a sense of purpose; a sense that the story he has to tell is important and real, and that it needs to be heard right now.

Read review Peter Bradshaw

When Peterloo?s unaligned fingers form a fist, for a punching, unyielding, robustly choreographed finale of rage against the right-wing machine, the film makes good on its most taxing demands.

Read review Guy Lodge
The Hollywood Reporter

The intent is noble and the attention to detail admirable, but the overall effect is obstinately unmoving.

Read review Stephen Dalton
The Washington Post

The end result is a movie that feels oddly detached, especially considering the raw intimacy of Leigh?s previous films.

Ann Hornaday
New York Times

Leigh?s narrative is touched by the literary spirit of the later 19th century. Peterloo has the sweep of Tolstoy and the bustle of Dickens.

Read review A.O. Scott
Time Out

The authenticity is immersive, even if the historical exposition occasionally feels like prep for an exam no one?s warned you about.

Read review Phil de Semlyen

Mike Leigh?s expansive, exhaustive, and extraordinarily thorough portrait of early 19th-century political activism is, to put it one way, deliberate in pace and tone. To put it bluntly ? and in an argot more readily familiar to its cast of working-class characters ? the film is bloody well dull.

Read review Ben Croll