User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 38
  2. Negative: 3 out of 38
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  1. Oct 19, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Great action movie, based in a real events, maybe is not with top actors of the media, but great actors, great action, we learn some history at least this movie makes sense, lately I have been disappointed with movies like the last Hunger Games, waist of money to watch, just makes no sense in the end. This movie have sense at least, well done. Expand
  2. Jul 22, 2014
    4
    Paul Giamatti is very good as King John, unfortunately the film is amazingly Drab.

    There are Templer's but only one, and the Lannister Father from Game Of Thrones... but mostly it's Giamatti as a disheveled King John demanding his Castle back. The French come to the rescue! Can you believe it? The French! If only it had been about Giamatti's King John without all the rest.
    Paul Giamatti is very good as King John, unfortunately the film is amazingly Drab.

    There are Templer's but only one, and the Lannister Father from Game Of Thrones... but mostly it's Giamatti as a disheveled King John demanding his Castle back.

    The French come to the rescue!

    Can you believe it? The French!

    If only it had been about Giamatti's King John without all the rest.

    THE VERDICT: STAID/49 Of 100
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  3. Dec 3, 2013
    10
    There is much more to be taken from this movie than people think. Not only that, but Paul's performance as King John captured the energy of a king perfectly. Movies aren't all about images, they are about feelings and moods, and conveying those to the viewers. To say this is just another action movie is a complete fallacy.

    Not only is it great fun to watch, it is down right terrifying
    There is much more to be taken from this movie than people think. Not only that, but Paul's performance as King John captured the energy of a king perfectly. Movies aren't all about images, they are about feelings and moods, and conveying those to the viewers. To say this is just another action movie is a complete fallacy.

    Not only is it great fun to watch, it is down right terrifying at times. That danish commander is a scary man, and you even get to see life from his point of view at one point, if even just for a second. There is much to learn from the templar.
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  4. Mar 31, 2013
    6
    A Siege in the dark ages was probably very much like it was in this film: much waiting, starving, boredom interspersed with moments of extreme bloody violence. For the 25m$ budget they got a decent cast and nice landscapes but you can tell that there weren't many extras to save on crowd duplication VFX shots and also to save on costumes. This causes the film to miss the epic scale thatA Siege in the dark ages was probably very much like it was in this film: much waiting, starving, boredom interspersed with moments of extreme bloody violence. For the 25m$ budget they got a decent cast and nice landscapes but you can tell that there weren't many extras to save on crowd duplication VFX shots and also to save on costumes. This causes the film to miss the epic scale that siege battles need. Maybe I'm a bit harsch for this film, it's good fun, but they should have made it a bit shorter (about 15 mins) to keep the pace flowing. Collapse
  5. Jan 1, 2013
    9
    This is one of my favourite movies of all time, despite what others say. It has many of the aspect of Braveheart, although it focuses much less on freedom and the rights of the people (though that's the main storyline) and much more on the actual combat. The combat scenes here are great; there's so much decapitation and blood and cleaving people in half. This, for me, balances out anyThis is one of my favourite movies of all time, despite what others say. It has many of the aspect of Braveheart, although it focuses much less on freedom and the rights of the people (though that's the main storyline) and much more on the actual combat. The combat scenes here are great; there's so much decapitation and blood and cleaving people in half. This, for me, balances out any subpar-ness of the plot. It's like when you're playing something like Skyrim--when you've jumped on top of a dragon and are pounding its skull with an enchanted mace, do you really care why you're doing it? Expand
  6. Feb 27, 2012
    5
    Poor plot, seeing this type of films in a row, may drop my score under the "5". Still has good points like the scenography, the characters are pretty weak in all sense, but the best thing as I've read in other comments, is tha massive amount of action in the sword fight sense. If you like the medieval type film the is worth giving it a shot... but apart from this, a film that can bePoor plot, seeing this type of films in a row, may drop my score under the "5". Still has good points like the scenography, the characters are pretty weak in all sense, but the best thing as I've read in other comments, is tha massive amount of action in the sword fight sense. If you like the medieval type film the is worth giving it a shot... but apart from this, a film that can be skipped with no problems (TV maybe) Expand
  7. Feb 23, 2012
    4
    In the genre of action adventure, Hollywood has earned a reputation of painting idealized realities for viewers to delve into. Realities that depict virtuous heroes, worthy adversaries, adequate character development, enlightened conclusions, and the triumph of good over evil. This brief combination of themes and techniques offers viewers glimpses into ideal worlds. The films Gladiator,In the genre of action adventure, Hollywood has earned a reputation of painting idealized realities for viewers to delve into. Realities that depict virtuous heroes, worthy adversaries, adequate character development, enlightened conclusions, and the triumph of good over evil. This brief combination of themes and techniques offers viewers glimpses into ideal worlds. The films Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, and Robin Hood are just a few which more often than not follow this basic outline, earning audience's admiration and love in regards to the heroes and heroins and the film's ideological pursuits and conclusions. In comparison to the a fore mentioned films, Ironclad paints a more brutal and realistic picture of medieval life and warfare, focusing more so on brutal action than on plot and character development which is nearly non existent and comically terse. The audience primarily, and almost singularly, receives a rich visual experience of what weapons can actually do to the human body while also not receiving the privilege of well rounded developing characters. The heroes don't survive battles with merely a scratch to the head or a cut to the arm, but rather with life threatening gashes and blows that gush fatal amounts of blood. It nearly appeared that the director of the film was eager to discover just how many different ways a sword can slice and puncture a human body. The visual experience is not romantic, nor heroic and certainly not for the faint of stomach. Even the hero of the film explains that it is not a "noble" thing to kill a man and we as viewers quickly understand why nobility is not a direct product of bloodshed. With the film primarily focusing on brutal battles and nearly not at all on maintaining the human interest side to the story, the end result seems unbalanced and incomplete. At times, the film offers viewers an occasional comically serious scene between one note characters which ultimately hints to the film's desperate attempt not to forget that there are actually characters involved in the bloody event. This stark contrast between Ironclad and other medieval films such as Gladiator, brands Ironclad as incomplete, desperate, and unbalanced while films like Gladiator are rich, balanced, and complete while being inspirational. On the flip side however, Ironclad offers something that very few films do: an honest education on the grim and vicious reality of war. In this respect, Ironclad has, dare I say, nobly shed the fantastical curtain of Hollywood and offered audiences true reality, communicating that nobility is obtained from a "life serving others" rather than killing and dominating on the battlefield. This conclusion is sobering as it is refreshing, for not all adventures are as decorated and dynamic as that of Gladiator. Lastly, I must honestly state that after viewing this film, any office working man who secretly dreamed of being a medieval knight would seriously reconsider his fantasy for one that did not nearly guarantee to rip him to shreds. Expand
  8. Jan 7, 2012
    5
    A brutal film that pulls very few punches, particularly in its portrayal of violence. Although this might be to the films detriment.
    This picture is brimming with action scenes. Lots of action scenes. So many that it you start to feel that you've just seen this sword choreography ten minutes ago. Thankfully however, most off these scenes do contain at least one memorable sequence, but this
    A brutal film that pulls very few punches, particularly in its portrayal of violence. Although this might be to the films detriment.
    This picture is brimming with action scenes. Lots of action scenes. So many that it you start to feel that you've just seen this sword choreography ten minutes ago. Thankfully however, most off these scenes do contain at least one memorable sequence, but this does not excuse director Jonathan English's apparent arch-nemesis; shakycam. The first two action scenes in the film are rendered impossible to watch due to an easily exited cameraman who took every opportunity to zoom-in-and-out whilst maintaining all the slight of hand of a paranoid 'tickle-me Elmo'.
    However, it must be pointed out that the shakycam does gradually subside, even if it doesn't completely disappear, along with the violence. At the start of the film we are exposed to some brutal scenes that don't cut away; this is in contrast to the third act of the film which seems to not be as explicit as the start as it develops a habit of implying violence and showing aftermath. These scenes of implication are actually more effective that their brasher predecessors, although it is probably due their contrast.
    The acting is exactly what you came for; its not going to win any Oscars but it does convey enough appropriate emotion in order to allow the plot to trundle along. James Purefoy does seem to be doing all he can in a role that doesn't provide him with much emotive acting to do, but it still makes an awkward chemistry with love interest Kate Mara.
    All in all, if you are looking for Shakespeare, why did you even consider watching this film? But if you want something cool to watch with a few mates, then you may want to give this a try if you've already seen 300.
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  9. Dec 31, 2011
    6
    Ironclad gives you just what you want from a down-and-dirty action-oriented historical thriller. The story keeps you engaged throughout, and the film as a whole is tense and exciting. The film doesn't pull any punches when depicting the often savage nature of medieval warfare - the battle scenes are grittily realised and shockingly brutal - you're right in the middle of the action and canIronclad gives you just what you want from a down-and-dirty action-oriented historical thriller. The story keeps you engaged throughout, and the film as a whole is tense and exciting. The film doesn't pull any punches when depicting the often savage nature of medieval warfare - the battle scenes are grittily realised and shockingly brutal - you're right in the middle of the action and can almost smell the blood and sweat as it sprays across the screen. You also get a standout performance from Paul Giamatti, playing a psychotic King John - he steals every scene he's in, and makes for a captivating antagonist. The heroes of this story are a little less compelling - James Purefoy's Templar Thomas Marshall is wooden and underdeveloped, and the rest of the cast is filled out with old reliables from British TV (Jason Flemyng, Mackenzie Crook) and thesps (Brian Cox, Derek Jacobi). Charles Dance is also in the film, and is great as always, but has far too little screen-time to make any real impact. Ironclad's script leaves a lot to be desired, but is far from woeful - it does its job, that is to say, providing the cement that sticks together the numerous set pieces. Ironclad makes for an engaging thriller set in a fascinating period of English history. So long as all you're looking for is a piece of diverting entertainment, the film has a lot to offer. And perhaps most pleasingly, Ironclad isn't the least bit pretentious, unlike another Medieval epic centering on a certain inhabitant of Sherwood forest released the year before... Expand
  10. Jul 23, 2011
    9
    Ahh what better than a good hack and slash to finish off the end of the week. While the basic story may not be totally accurate, the actual siege mechanics and reality of fighting at that time were pretty spot on I thought, with a little bit of elaboration here and there... Thumbs up.. (before they are chopped off).
  11. Jul 19, 2011
    6
    Hey if you are a friend of crusader age warfare and a LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTT of sword fighting with blood this is your movie otherwise..............
  12. Jul 13, 2011
    8
    What can I say this is a fun movie. If you blood and gore this movie is for you, but if you like movies with well thoth script and hakespeareansacting skip this one.
  13. Jul 12, 2011
    2
    James Purefoy did his best in "Solomon Kane", but in this movie - he's blank.
    Oh, well. In the other hand, no one really ACTS in this movie.. But poor acting is not the only problem. Its historically inaccurate and naive. Believe me, you dont have to be a history scholar to notice it.
    And it becomes really annoying, if you actually know something about medieval ages. Is it worth
    James Purefoy did his best in "Solomon Kane", but in this movie - he's blank.
    Oh, well. In the other hand, no one really ACTS in this movie.. But poor acting is not the only problem. Its historically inaccurate and naive. Believe me, you dont have to be a history scholar to notice it.
    And it becomes really annoying, if you actually know something about medieval ages. Is it worth watching? Yes, if you like brutal sword fights... because there's nothing more in here.
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  14. Jul 10, 2011
    9
    A great action movie. Some of the most brutal medieval swordplay I've ever seen on screen. Sure, it's probably not too historically accurate, but this ain't a goddamn textbook, it's just a summer thrill ride. A nice break from all the super hero movies, I might add. Good acting, good script, great action. What more do you want?
Metascore
42

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 14
  2. Negative: 4 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Jul 8, 2011
    40
    Though the hambone acting quotient is high (and not necessarily unenjoyable), the loud, closely photographed limb-hacking becomes as monotonous as the movie's unrelentingly gray palette.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jul 8, 2011
    75
    As a critic who complains about painless and brainless action movies, I hoist a glass of mead to the men and maidens of Ironclad.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jul 8, 2011
    63
    A long way from his TV portrayal of John Adams, Giamatti seems to be having an especially good time as a splenetic King John, who would not be out of place in a Monty Python movie.