Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
  1. 75
    Marshall, who helmed the underrated horror film, "The Descent," has a flair for the visual. Some of the mountainscapes, captured by use of a helicopter, are nothing short of spectacular.
  2. Compared with, say, Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto," which featured this sort of stuff in practically every frame, Marshall's film is downright Disneyish.
  3. The real message: Life's ultimate pleasure lies in extreme fighting - to the death.
  4. 63
    The profanity is delightful. And the general atmosphere is grim. The movie just isn't terribly inspired.
  5. 58
    Centurion offers little beyond viscera for its own sake, without anything like the bold abstraction of "Valhalla Rising."
  6. 80
    Centurion has its moments of manly cornpone camaraderie and certainly isn't blazingly original, but it offers riveting storytelling, gorgeous cinematography and scenery, loads of gore, and a politically complicated history lesson.
  7. 50
    Even if the movie had more shadings, though, Marshall's political point would undo his he-man action-flick format. If you're looking for a rallying cry to make the emotions sizzle, "Quagmire!" isn't it.
  8. Marshall shows off the breathtaking landscape, but with interiors, he populates the ale houses and encampments with cliches - like dueling female warriors, one a mute and the other a white-haired vixen.
  9. It's prime B-movie material put through the Ridley Scott Cuisinart.
  10. Fast-moving, epic-on-a-shoestring tale of one Roman soldier's fight that is by turns heroic, fearsome, funny, fateful and, oh, so brutal, with swords hacking off heads at every turn.
  11. 70
    The film has a resigned bitterness, hard to shake off, that feels right for the experience of tough guys, from whatever period of history, who find themselves at the tattered edge of what they take to be civilization.
  12. Centurion delivers some large-scale action but plays almost like a Roman-era Western in its depiction of a few soldiers trying to get home alive after the slaughter of their comrades.
  13. If I believed in the concept of "guilty pleasures," I'd classify "Centurion" as one, but I think I maybe just kind of enjoyed it.
  14. 70
    If you're like me, and you find yourself retreating to a safe place in your mind whenever human beings are being graphically decapitated on screen, you'll spend the majority of Centurion, horror maestro (The Descent) Neil Marshall's Roman bloodbath, on psychological lockdown.
  15. There are six standard types of violence in film these days: Tarantino, comic book, Scorsese, martial arts, horror and stupid. For stupid, look no further than Centurion.
  16. 80
    "Doomsday," horror-trained British helmer Neil Marshall flexes strong action muscles and carves copious flesh here, creating the sort of broadsword-based bedlam that will thrill fans of ancient martial movies.
  17. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    A gritty, brutal chase movie that's more about swords (and spears, and axes) than sandals - although it could have done with a lot more character-meat on those bones.
  18. 20
    To say that Marshall's technique is so low-brow it may as well be a moustache is being kind--at best this is the sort of lazy, ambitionless hackery that can lead both filmmakers and audiences to write off a genre for dead--or at least until a more skilled storyteller is able to do it right.
  19. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    The plot's pretty thin -- even for a gladiator movie. Fortunately, when it comes to crunchy impalings and messy arterial geysers, Marshall's a maestro.
  20. Reviewed by: F. X. Feeney
    Up to now, writer-director Neil Marshall has specialized in horror movies (Dog Soldiers, The Descent), but here, he imagines and communicates a remote world with terrific energy and a passion for detail.
  21. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    There's little here about soldiers and mercenaries that isn't lifted from other movies, though Marshall elicits a steady seriousness from his actors (especially Michael Fassbender, in an introverted lead performance), which generally keeps the movie from sliding into camp.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 16
  2. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. Aug 28, 2010
    awful. just awful. neil marshall is showing he really has absolutely no talent left after dog soldiers and the descent, i shouldn't really have to mention doomsday... but this movie is filled with cgi blood, pretentious acting and dialogue, horrible editing, and some really stupid PC stuff that was unnecessary and weren't realistic in the realm of the story.

    garbage. avoid.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 27, 2010
    People expecting a sanitized, Gladiator-like epic, might be in for a nasty (or lovely) surprise. There is little honour in this survival story and even less glory. There are, however, many majestic and harsh landscapes and even more brutal, deservedly R-rated spear-to-the-mouth type slayings. In essence, this is â Full Review »
  3. Dec 20, 2011
    Centurion is a pretty decent action-packed historical thriller. The story may be merely diverting rather than compelling, but there's plenty to entertain throughout. The fight scenes are brutal and expertly handled, and I like the comparison made between Pict tactics and modern guerrilla warfare. The cast are all competent, but no-one gives a performance of any particular note, and the script is a little flat. When compared to other films of this type, Centurion is far better than King Arthur (which had few redeemable qualities at all) but it's not quite in the same league as Gladiator (lacking as it does Ridley Scott's visual pinache and well-developed characters). Neil Marshall continues to prove himself as a talent to watch. While there's nothing majorly wrong with Centurion, it doesn't have enough to make it stand out from other releases - perhaps Marshall needs to return to doing something more daring again, like Dog Soldiers and The Descent. Full Review »