Dave Johns (Daniel Blake) and Hayley Squires (Katie) are a great duo, constantly bringing emotion into their roles. There is a scene in this film that reminds me of the emotion brought up in the argument between Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams in Manchester By The Sea. If you don't like slow character development, then this movie might not be for you. There is not a lot of action and crazy things rushing around the screen, but there is the subtlety of emotion provided by the cast. I had not seen a film from Ken Loach (The Wind That Shakes the Barley) before this one, and I'm interested in watching more of his works now.
The film is very heavily British and sometimes hard to understand because of its foreignness to American audiences. I would recommend seeing it with subtitles because I would have missed a lot of dialogue without them. Some research on the British healthcare system might also work in the viewer's favor, but it is not necessary if you have a basic understanding of the welfare system. Furthermore, a general outline of the film is predictable for this genre. There are no real twists in the film, with the typical dramatic themes that Paul Laverty (The Wind That Shakes the Barley) chooses to follow.
The Bottom Line: While this film is well-acted and quite emotional, it is predictable to viewers that are familiar with the genre and style of this filmmaking.