I, Daniel Blake (2016) - Drama

Hohum Score



After having suffered a heart-attack, a 59-year-old carpenter must fight the bureaucratic forces of the system in order to receive Employment and Support Allowance.

IMDB: 7.9
Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires
Length: 100 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 16 out of 168 found boring (9.52%)

One-line Reviews (50)

Though the script is compelling, the real strength of the film is in its silences and counterpoints; the personal care of the food bank volunteers against the largely dispassionate, impersonal government employees.

Far from entertaining, it is gritty, raw, and unrelenting.

The last two films by the great (and he is great, in his way) Ken Loach that I've seen I've found thoroughly enjoyable.

You are embodying everything most filmmakers with some kind of idea of how to make a coherent story, try their hardest not to be, pretentious, repetitive, and boring.

Gripping and moving .

The way I see it, "I, Daniel Blake" is more a personal expression of worry and concern rather than manufactured propaganda with an impersonal agenda.

None of it is really very subtle, and honestly some of the script is quite predictable, and the ending, intended to come off as a shock, you could really see coming a mile off.

' The cinema, in spite of it being a special event, was more than half empty.

It was far too on-the-nose, predictable, saccharine, and tedious for my taste.

Daily programming of 'benefit cheats', 'state scroungers', 'unemployed with 6 kids' in true 1984 state propaganda agenda they keep the vitriol piling up on those suffering.

Ken Loach proves that an entirely bleak and dysmal story about unexceptional people, and in Newcastle, for Christ's sake, can still be captivating and, yes, entertaining.

Ken Loach is a master at this stuff, but the secret to getting on board with such tragedy is twofold - how much you relate to the subject matter, and how contrived are the situations that unfold to prove the point.

Ken Loach continues his lower class cinema with a gripping tale of a man of honor.

So viewed as a 'snapshot' I found this film riveting, it didn't drag, made many salient points and hopefully will make audiences think.

Unfortunately this film is simply propaganda and consequently its extreme view doesn't actually help improve the system.

On the other hand, Loach's piece of well-researched propaganda might very well be the wake-up call the Jobseekers Allowance needs to see our perspective of their industry.

Predictable, very predictable.

It's compelling, invoking and upsetting, showing the great lengths and risks people go through in order to maintain their self dignity.

A lot of it is not easy viewing, and certainly not suitable for a fun night out, but the message it gives about today's society is compelling.

A good film for everyone, only if you understand the notion of the film or else will be a boring film.

There are many interesting, entertaining and touching moments in the movie.

I first thought I was going to see a very boring movie and I only knew it was about British social security.

It is an intense portrait of an ordinary man who struggles to retain dignity in an Orwellian world.

Brilliantly directed and acted with the slowest burning narrative it does just enough to slowly boil your blood.

This is a stunning film despite the obvious political bias.

engaging, lovable, pitiful, nice 'citizens'.

Worth watching.

Bringing to surface an issue that has gradually become a matter of concern yet often goes unnoticed in the grand scheme of things, it is an excellently directed, deftly scripted & aptly performed drama that's carefully handled, comfortably told & is engaging for the most part.

Maybe if I was British I would have enjoyed it more.

The acting is bland and unrealistic.

I can understand that a film with this particular type of repetitive narrative, using the word narrative very lightly, would give the audience something at the end of each scene, showing at least some basic character development.

About 20 minutes into this film, I was willing to give the slow pace the benefit of the doubt, but by the half way point, I came to realize that seeing one boring, dull job center meeting after another, was a clear indication that the pacing wasn't going to pick up anytime soon.

Here, we follow very real characters, delivered by outstanding actors, within an raw and engaging plot, all too real to us.

Its heart is in the right place, but a documentary film or a decent long-form magazine article would have probably succeeded better at engaging me in the issues.

Sometimes it just felt a bit too contrived, for example the food bank scene.

I grew up in poverty and on welfare; nobody in my family would have ever spent their precious free time watching something as tedious as this.

Thus, indeed this movie was sad, I enjoyed it because it's humanist and realistic.

With believable, real characters, excellent acting and an engaging plot, the film really draws you in, and leaves you feeling grateful for what you have.

Winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, the film has a social conscience and does not hesitate to pull out all the emotional stops, but is unfortunately undercut by an excessive amount of speech making, contrived situations, and sentimentality.

Unfortunately, Daniel ends up in a paradoxical position, the likes which Kafka could have devised, where he is not concerned unhealthy enough to apply for sickness benefit and has to therefore apply for job seeker's allowance, coercing him into a pointless cycle of searching for jobs he cannot really take.

But, the "banality" of these great pains is the strength of the movie, it shows how every encounter with the system is the time we face the reality of the system and look for someone who will give a hand us to survive it.

The UK already widely respects Loach, but for those in the US, his work deserves intense study.

The two lead characters have gripping back stories.

Though despite the temporary positivity, things still go from worse to unbearable.

The plot just sort of trudges through the painful everyday lives of its main characters in a poignant yet predictable manner, though with two stand-out scenes (a distressing moment inside a food bank and a cathartic scene outside the job centre).

Much as I admire Ken Loach as an artier I cannot let such a piece of shameless propaganda pass unchallenged.

The movie was engaging throughout.

Very uncomfortable in parts for this reason, but still gripping and highly emotive.

There is only one thing I would criticize concerning the storyline: The ending is a bit too predictable and exaggerated.

We could have had 20 or 30 of these for the price of a ridiculous Xmen or Star Bores.