Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 303 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: An epic adventure about a common man who finds himself thrust into a decades-long war, a stranger in a strange land. He serves a doomed king, falls in love with an exotic forbidden queen, and rises to the knighthood. Ultimately, he must protect the people of Jerusalem from overwhelming forces while striving to keep a fragile peace. (20th Century Fox)

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. 88
    Better than "Gladiator" -- deeper, more thoughtful, more about human motivation and less about action.
  2. 80
    In its depiction of a fleeting, but nevertheless factual, peace in the Middle East, Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven may seem a more quixotic Hollywood fantasy than all six Star Wars movies lumped together.
  3. 75
    Odd as it is to say, Kingdom of Heaven loses its momentum the more Balian gets religion.
  4. 63
    But if the film disappoints on an intellectual level, at least it doesn't skimp on pageantry. This is, without question, one of the most beautifully crafted, visually thrilling war pictures ever made -- a painterly spectacle that leaves you looking for Caravaggio's name in the end credits.
  5. 60
    A handful of nifty battle scenes and some decent performances aren't quite enough to make Kingdom memorable.
  6. Bottom line: Kingdom of Heaven is the most exciting action-adventure yarn so far this year. Just don't expect anything deeper.
  7. To introduce an archetype like this to western audiences -- as the world weathers culturally and religiously demonizing times -- may have been worth this whole flawed movie. Too bad the story didn't just start with him.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 116
  2. Negative: 21 out of 116
  1. AaronM.
    Jan 21, 2006
    The movie is a fascinating look at at a fascinating historical period. It really focuses on both sides of the Crusade, and looks deep into the motives that caused it. An epic film. Expand
  2. Nov 4, 2012
    I don't know what it is with Ridley Scott films, but his director's cuts are vastly superior than theatrical versions. The director's cut is the only version of this film I acknowledge and it is one of the greatest movies of all time. Expand
  3. Oct 28, 2010
    I originally saw the Kingdom of Heaven theatrical release first, and my opinion of it was mixed, much like how I feel about Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. The film seemed poorly edited and was missing something. Then came the Directors Cut and it all made sense. Americans were robbed of an excellent story once again due to low expectations on what the general public would like. Whether or not his is true is another story all together. What I feel is true is that the directors cut elevates the movie to something more than another action story. It adds so much more to the dynamics of the characters, fleshing them out in much greater depth and detail, and providing more of a connection from one character to the next. The stories protagonist, Balian (played by Orlando Bloom) is a mixture of several different personalities from the period, but his view of the world at the time could be considered very tolerant/progressive. Bloom carries his role well, playing him as a reluctant "hero" who is more practical, preferring to rely on his mind as well as his fighting prowess. He tends to fall in line more on how the ideal knight, sans the arrogance, would act if he actually defended his oaths. He gets a lot of flack for this role for some reason, but I feel he fit very well. The rest of the cast is very well thought out, with Eva Green skillfully playing the role of Sibylla as a strong, intelligent woman who understands all too well what must be done to maintain power. Her character is probably one of the most tragic ones in the story, although the list of those is pretty long. Jeremy Irons portrays the grizzled and cynical veteran Tiberias, who does some chewing of the scenery, but not in the bad way as far as I'm concerned. His character is probably one of my favorites, as his expressions and manner of his delivery is perfect for his role. There are very few characters that I did not appreciate in this one, but needless to say it would take up a lot more text. Liam Neeson, Edward Norton, Marton Csokas all do excellent jobs in their roles as Balians father, King Baldwin IV, and the comic book villain that is Guy de Lusignan. The three that stood out the most for me were Ghassan Massoud as a very honorable and respectful Salah'ad-din, Brendan Gleeson as the vicious but entertaining Raynald de Chatillon, and finally David Thewlis as the Zen-like Hospitaller. Ridley Scott is one of my favorite directors of all time, and this movie definitely displays why. This movie is awash in his trademark visual aesthetics (gorgeous color palettes, the ever present snow flakes fluttering about, etc), excellent writing, and some of the best music I have ever heard in a movie. Any movie. All in all he weaves together a very complex, but not entirely historically accurate, story between the second and third Crusades. As much as the trailers would have you believe it, this is no action movie. The pacing is good but sometimes on the slower side, and if you live for constant scenes of blood and violence, then you will be disappointed. Kingdom of Heaven is a glimpse back in time through the eyes of Scott and Monahan and they did an amazing job. Expand
  4. HarryP.
    May 6, 2005
    This movie was the definition of epic. It bored me, it was predictable, everything was big and the action was hard to follow, an effeminate man was cast as the lead... everything you could want. I honestly don't know why they made this movie after King Arthur, Troy, and Alexander all bombed. Expand
  5. FabienL.
    Nov 28, 2005
    Quite an interesting piece of history, great cast, great photography.
  6. Kieran
    Sep 22, 2008
    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. Expand
  7. Aug 27, 2010
    Ridley Scott tries to rehash the same grandiose style that did him well in 'Gladiator' for the pitiful 'Kingdom of Heaven' but the terrible script/screenplay leaves no room for the viewer to have any interest in either the surplus battle scenes, the undeveloped characters, or the nonexistent plot. And as far as acting goes, Orlando Bloom is to Russell Crowe as Shia LaBeouf is to Harrison Ford. Expand

See all 116 User Reviews


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