User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 339 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 339

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User Reviews

  1. MarkK.
    Jul 6, 2007
    5
    Ridley Scott should take lessons in how to use action scenes to aid character development from Peter Jackson. 'Kingdom' drags to a crawl too often. The only effective scenes in 'Kingdom of Heaven' are the siege scenes you've already seen in L.O.R. Overall, a 'Kingdom' of a disappointment.
  2. BitBurn
    Jun 5, 2005
    6
    Not a bad movie. Not a very good one either. I found the whole thing building up incoherently and emotionless. Not for everyone, I guess.
  3. SolidS.
    Oct 19, 2005
    5
    I don't know why everybody likes this movie. The story line sucks, the acting is wood, and the action scenes are not up for the task. It is way over rated so I think 5 is very generous for it.
  4. DavidT
    Oct 24, 2005
    4
    Literally put me to sleep. First hour plods along at snails pace - plot is disjointed and the scripting is bland.
  5. FattyM.
    May 6, 2005
    4
    Wow, this was boring. i was expected something good like troy or alexander, but this was just long and pointless. and i don't know why it couldn't have been more gory, i mean, you see hardly any decapitations.
  6. KoolKeith
    May 6, 2005
    5
    I just got back from this movie and foud it to be very disappointing. I was expecting something like Gladitor, but this movie is much slower and it doesn't have very interesting characters. I advise to stay away from this movie and wait for Star Wars or Batman Begins to get your action fix.
  7. JakeM.
    May 7, 2005
    6
    It is a bit muddled. But also glorious. And Orlando is stirring.
  8. DanaM.
    May 9, 2005
    6
    Very good acting considering the average grade story line. With the heavy british accents it was difficult at times to understand the dialogue, especially with the holier than thou conversation. Another save the castle segment like Lord of the rings. Lots of splattered blood and gore. Wait for DVD.
  9. MarkB.
    Jun 2, 2005
    6
    Say what you will about Charlton Heston's limited acting range, but in historical spectacles like Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments, The War Lord and many others, he was damned good at what he did. Without overacting or trying too hard, Heston came across perfectly as everyone's popular conception of a man of the movie's particular historic era, and regardless of what robe, Say what you will about Charlton Heston's limited acting range, but in historical spectacles like Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments, The War Lord and many others, he was damned good at what he did. Without overacting or trying too hard, Heston came across perfectly as everyone's popular conception of a man of the movie's particular historic era, and regardless of what robe, uniform or military apparel he was called upon to wear, he donned it with total authority. I wistfully thought about Heston a lot while watching Kingdom of Heaven, in which Orlando Bloom, playing a blacksmith turned warrior and eventual peacemaker during the Crusades, gets completely swallowed up by HIS suit of armor. Bloom, like Josh Hartnett, Chris O'Donnell and other peers, not only comes across as far too modern for these epics but almost unceasingly confuses being contemporary and sensitive with total wimpiness. It's understandable that he came off in Pirates of the Caribbean as nothing more noticeable than The Guy Who Wasn't Johnny Depp, because Depp by design so thoroughly dominated that movie--but then, there's no excuse for the terminal blandness epidemic spread by him, Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and all The Guys Who Weren't Peter O'Toole in last year's Troy. Thus it shouldn't at all be surprising that Bloom is totally overshadowed by a fellow actor who never shows his real face onscreen, but Edward Norton infuses his role as a leprosy-ravaged king with so much complexity, decency and humanity that he communicates inner beauty buried beneath almost unbearable ugliness more forcefully than anyone since John Hurt in The Elephant Man a quarter-century ago. Norton is the major reason to see Kingdom of Heaven; Brendan Gleeson, who imbues his role as a sadistic war criminal with something surprisingly resembling tenderness, is another; Ridley Scott's frenetic battle scenes which here as in his Gladiator, are so furiously edited that you think you're seeing a lot more onscreen gore than you really are, is a third...but with reservations. Again, as with Gladiator, the extensive and obvious use of CGI in these sequences distances the viewer from really feeling the heat or experiencing the pain; compare Scott's slick, impersonal approach with the vibrancy of similar scenes in 2004's most unjustly maligned commercial film, Oliver Stone's Alexander, which brilliantly communicated both the exhiliaration and the terror of the troops racing to battle. Then again, I'm still not certain why or how a movie about a Christian-Muslim conflict whose repercussions are still being felt a thousand years later --and in some people's minds, is still considered a root cause of September 11-- with any sort of point of view or stance whatsoever...and, in fact, Kingdom of Heaven has none. It bends over so far backwards to be politically correct, nonoffensive and fair to all sides that its only villains are a small cabal of murderous fundamentalist Christians--a safe move for the producers because their audience equivalent is that small section of the Fox News-watching population who believe that the film industry has been overrun by liberal, secular humanists since the days of The Jazz Singer--the Al Jolson version, not the Neil Diamond one--and so won't be going anywhere near this movie anyway. As for the rest of us, the extremely lukewarm and indifferent critical and public reception given this film is not only just but extremely reassuring; if you remember how shocked Academy Award viewers were a few years ago when, in a move that undoubtedly was responsible for a heap of buyers' remorse on the part of the voters, they actually picked Scott's entertaining but inconsequential Gladiator as Best Picture of the Year, then it's definitely a relief to know that history will NOT be repeating itself. Expand
  10. KenH
    Jun 6, 2005
    6
    I had higher expectations and it didn't fulfill. Like all R. Scott movies, it visually is awesome, but like Black Hawk Down or G.I. Jane, the characters weren't likable or compelling. Worth seeing on the big screen though.
  11. KaroG
    Jul 25, 2005
    6
    My favorite thing about this film was the interesting character of King Baldwin IV, played by Edward Norton. I instantly recognized the voice of the character but was unable to connect it to Norton until the end credits were shown. The fact that the King was a competent leader and noble hearted man but was suffering immensely from leprosy and wore a mask because of it made him all the My favorite thing about this film was the interesting character of King Baldwin IV, played by Edward Norton. I instantly recognized the voice of the character but was unable to connect it to Norton until the end credits were shown. The fact that the King was a competent leader and noble hearted man but was suffering immensely from leprosy and wore a mask because of it made him all the more interesting. Additionally, the battle scenes and the character of Saladdin were also high points of the movie. Orlando Bloom's character, however, was a downfall, mostly because of his unrealistic transition from blacksmith to outstanding leader/warrior. I understand this is a movie, but if its going to be based on history, the events of the movie should be somewhat believeable. Expand
  12. SusanJ.
    Nov 2, 2005
    4
    This movie never really moved. It never climaxed or ended. The movie sequence and lack of acting skills(notwithstanding Liam) just kep this film at a monotone pace. Very disappointing!
  13. TonyB.
    Oct 19, 2005
    5
    Produced on a grand scale, Kingdom of Heaven is a lumbering sometimes confusing spectacle. Surely, the fortune spent on it could have been used to finance a dozen scripts more worthy of coming to the screen. Orlando Bloom, while giving a generally decent performance, is way out of his depth here and not capable of carrying the film.
  14. MarcD
    May 5, 2005
    6
    It is better than Alexander and more coherent than Troy. But, the pacing still seems a little off at times and you may find yourself a little lost due to the lack of information on the historical significance of the story being told. In the end, it is a solid effort.
  15. ChrisR.
    May 8, 2005
    6
    The Kingdom of Heaven is a historical action-drama set mostly in the Middle East during the Crusades of the 12th Century. We follow the main character, Bailan (Orlando Bloom) as he raises from a common English blacksmith to become a Baron and the defender of the City of Jerusalem, i.e. the "Kingdom of Heaven". The Christians have possession of the city (and have had it for over 100 years) The Kingdom of Heaven is a historical action-drama set mostly in the Middle East during the Crusades of the 12th Century. We follow the main character, Bailan (Orlando Bloom) as he raises from a common English blacksmith to become a Baron and the defender of the City of Jerusalem, i.e. the "Kingdom of Heaven". The Christians have possession of the city (and have had it for over 100 years) and the Moslems want it back. Ultimately, Bailan (and the audience) learns that the true Kingdom of Heaven exists in the mind and soul of man, not in a piece of ground. My expectations of this movie were not realized. The movie is 2 and 1/2 hours long and, frankly, drags a bit as the film attempts to explain the historical background and the importance of the religious conflict over Jerusalem ... ho-hum. The climatic battle scene was the high point of the movie, but even that had its drawbacks as the director, Ridley Scott, used some of that "fakey fast motion" to make the actors appear to be in frantic combat, much like he did in Gladiator. Sorry, only give this one a 6.75. Expand
  16. DevonC.
    May 1, 2007
    5
    It started off with a good balance, then it got confusing as well as boring. William Monahan's writing was the only good thing about it. Ans also, bad casting, Orlando Bloom fits as a charming romantic character. But in this he's just, bad.
  17. Kieran
    Sep 22, 2008
    6
    The best version of this film is the Directors Cut. Its adds 45 mins extra and is worth every second. Directors cut is a 10/10. This version misses too much and spoils the navative.
  18. Kyle
    May 11, 2005
    5
    Good battle sequences; Bloom was good. But man, this story was convoluted! The historical innaccuracies were annoying, an the tired old "all religions are the same" message was stifled by the very plotline used to attempt to convey it.
  19. WakoJ.
    May 11, 2005
    6
    This movie is a cross between Gladiator and The Return of the King, without the grandeur of the latter or the emotional heft of the former... Orlando Bloom should be named Orlando Bland. The movie is confusing and choppy at times, and, although not exactly boring, it never fully satisfies the way great epics do. OK for a rainy afternoon, but not a must-see.
  20. BrutusO.
    May 17, 2005
    4
    Ponderous and meandering. The (highly dubious) romantic subplot was so facile as to to set a new low standard for historical epics - which is really saying something. Liam Neeson's preliminary involvement was also so uninteresting as to be unnecessary, and the bad guys (admittedly they were thoroughly nasty) were entirely peripheral to the plot as well. On the other hand, the battle Ponderous and meandering. The (highly dubious) romantic subplot was so facile as to to set a new low standard for historical epics - which is really saying something. Liam Neeson's preliminary involvement was also so uninteresting as to be unnecessary, and the bad guys (admittedly they were thoroughly nasty) were entirely peripheral to the plot as well. On the other hand, the battle scene for the fall of Jerusalem was sufficiently spectacular to give Lord of the Rings a run for its money, and there were a number of production values of note. Saladin's appearance towards the end gave the film a bit of a boost in terms of charisma as well. Shame about Orlando Bloom, the clunky dialogue, the random plot and the heavy handed exposition about how like, "barbaric" the Crusaders actually were. And a particular boo for the gratuitous CGI effect that ensured every fight scene (ie about half of the movie) was overlaid with spurts of arterial blood. So just an ordinary tale about a ditch digging, black-smithing, working class illegitimate boy (who just happens to inherit a vast desert property from his dad), before running off and forgetting all about his legacy in his rush to butcher thousands in an attempt to expiate his Catholic guilt about being a murderous nutter with a wife who committed suicide. As one does. Worse than Gladiator. I recommend arriving at the movie about an hour and ten minutes late, so you can skip the tiresome character development and the romance, and just catch the battle scene at the end. Expand
  21. BlueFalcon
    Jun 13, 2005
    6
    It reminded me of gladiator, but not nearly as good.
  22. Mar 4, 2013
    4
    Watch the directors cut. I saw kingdom of heavens when it was release in the cinemas and was very disappointed. Then I watched the directors cut and I was surprised how it turned out to be a good movie. Nevertheless when you judge the movie by its cinema release its average.
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Genuinely spectacular and historically quite respectable, Ridley Scott's latest epic is at its strongest in conveying the savagery spawned by fanaticism.
  2. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    60
    A frustratingly thin epic. You're left wanting more exposition, more character development, the tidying up of loose ends.
  3. 60
    One imagined that a movie about the Crusades would be gallant and mad; one feared that it might stoke some antiquated prejudice. But who could have dreamed that it would produce this rambling, hollow show about a boy?