For a while it looked as though Jimmy’s Hall would be Ken Loach’s final feature film, considering those were the very words he uttered. But since retracting from that statement, the critics have had their say on the Palme d’Or contender, and Jimmy’s Hall doesn’t do the British film maker’s career the justice it deserves.

Ken LoachKen Loach will probably direct another feature following Jimmy's Hall

“This is exasperatingly thin stuff from Loach and Laverty, who have in the past built far more textured narratives, peopled by far richer characters, even while maintaining the fierce, politicised charge they aim for here. Think of The Angel’s Share, which won the Jury Prize here at Cannes in 2012, and of course The Wind That Shakes The Barley, which was awarded the Palme d’Or in 2006,” wrote The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin.

More: check out the latest from Cannes 2014

“Reports of Ken Loach's "retirement" have been greatly exaggerated -- which is welcome news, as the frustratingly inert Jimmy's Hall would have been a bathetic end to such an important and inspirational career,” suggested Neil Young of The Hollywood Reporter. “What we're left with is an odd, only fitfully engaging hybrid of The Quiet Man and Footloose, which neither packs much of a punch nor is particularly nimble on its feet.”

More: click for the trailer for 'Jimmy's Hall'

Finally, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian was slightly more positive, awarding the film 3 stars. “It is a watchable and thoughtful, if slightly pedagogic film, with some wonderful moments, presented with great clarity and seriousness, absolutely unflavoured by irony or cynicism,” he said, adding: “The movie is at its best when it simply expounds an idealism, with its own distinctive frankness.”