Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. 88
    As a visual spectacle, it is all but overwhelming, putting to shame some of the recent historical epics from Hollywood. If it has a flaw, and it does, it is expressed succinctly by the wife of its hero: "All Mongols do is kill and steal."
  2. 63
    While rich in ethnographic detail, the film ultimately recalls nothing more than pulp fictions like Robert E. Howard’s "Conan the Barbarian," which validate their worship of ubermensch-ian brawn by way of sad tales of childhood victimization.
  3. Mongol is a throwback to a more respectable tradition. The largeness of its scope arises naturally from the material, not the budget. The movie earns its stature.
  4. Quite grand, quite exotic, David Lean-style epic.
  5. I don't know the Mongolian word for panache, but Mongol's got plenty of it. The battle scenes are as notable for their clarity as their intensity; we can follow the strategies, get a sense of who's losing and who's winning. The physical production is sumptuous.
  6. Full of stunning views of China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan and showing an unexpected side of Genghis Kahn, Mongol feels like an old-fashioned epic.
  7. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Mongol is quality escapism: an exotic saga that compels, moves and envelops us with its grand and captivating story.
  8. 75
    Even at the movie's most ridiculous (and Mongol is not without its ridiculous moments), this is a picture you laugh with more than laugh at.
  9. Mongol is great cinema, great fun.
  10. 50
    By the time the film's abrupt conclusion arrives, you realize you've been watching a love story and not, as some might hope, "The Lord of the Rings: The Asian Edition."
  11. 75
    Oliver Stone tried encapsulating Alexander's life into one movie, only to discover the task was impossible. Bodrov knows better, using Mongol -- the first of an intended trilogy -- to center on Genghis Khan's formative years.
  12. 90
    Mongol -- or, as I prefer to think of it, "Genghis Khan: The Early Years" -- is a big, ponderous epic, its beautifully composed landscape shots punctuated by thundering hooves and bloody, slow-motion battle sequences.
  13. A grandly kitschy rendering of Genghis Khan's early years.
  14. Proves eye-opening in two ways: Sweeping, bloody battles will make your orbs pop, and you'll re-evaluate this supposedly “uncivilized” man who unified quarrelsome Central Asian tribes to create one of the largest empires in history.
  15. 50
    Mongol really isn't worth leaving your yurt for.
  16. Every performer is tough and charismatic, especially Honglei Sun, who, as Jamukha, gives so many neck-cracks, guttural howls and conspiratorial smiles he's like a Chinese Marlon Brando.
  17. The casting also works. As the Khan, Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano ("Zatoichi") is all effortless charisma, and Chinese actor Honglei Sun (as his best friend-turned-enemy) and Mongolian actress Khulan Chuluun (as his faithful wife, Borte) are just as effective.
  18. Sergei Bodrov's Mongol relates the story of Genghis Khan's early years in a plodding, uninspired fashion that doesn't bode well for the next two entries in a planned trilogy.
  19. In the end, we're about a third of the way through the great Khan's life; he hasn't even begun to take down the cities of Cathay or spread his seed. That suggests two sequels. I, for one, can't wait.
  20. In general the film is so impressive that we can't leave the theater without wanting more.
  21. This is a violent, romantic, beautifully shot and performed film -- with brutal battle scenes and charisma-bomb performances by Asano as the future Khan and Honglei Sun as a rival chieftain and brother-in-arms.
  22. Reviewed by: Will Lawrence
    With its breathtaking landscapes, bloody battles, bitter betrayals and an aching love story, Mongol is a sumptuously crafted epic.
  23. Reviewed by: Jason McBride
    As an epic action movie, Mongol is satisfying enough. Think "Braveheart." Think "300." Just don't think too much.
  24. Reviewed by: Alissa Simon
    This Central Asia-set historical epic from Russian helmer Sergei Bodrov ("Nomad") boasts breathtaking landscapes, dazzling cinematography, bloody battles and unique traditions.
  25. Reviewed by: Jim Ridley
    Last year's Academy Award nominee from Kazakhstan for Best Foreign Film, Mongol is purportedly the first in a multi-film saga on the wrath of Khan; as such, it's probably the last thing you'd expect--great fun.
  26. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    My only problem with Mongol is that--how often in life do you get to write this sentence?---Genghis Khan is a little too nice.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 5 out of 19
  1. Jan 30, 2011
    I find this movie to be an utter piece of trash . It was not entertaining , neither educational , concerning the history of Genghis Khan , it was a chaotic mixture of scenes , most of which do not make any logical sense , I mean seriously , you just cut the best part of it where he becomes khan for what ? Some random scenes of ... worshiping wolves and walking in the steppes , I mean half the movie is someone walking ... really ... really ? .... Oh and the fighting scenes could have been ALOT better . I'm even more dissapointed because of the hype around this ... well , "average" would be too much to say about it , but this .... Uhhh ... Full Review »
  2. Jan 8, 2011
    thought it was going to be all about the conquests and wars of Genghis Khan; about how he build his empire. Wrooong. It was solely about uninteresting events of his life that MAY have led him to become a great leader. You'll learn nothing about Genghis Khan that you really want to know about, for sure. AWFUL MOVIE!! not at all historically correct... RIP! This movies makes a false impression about Genghis Khan! Full Review »
  3. JayH.
    Oct 12, 2008
    7.5/10. Magnificent production, the cinematography and art direction is amazing. Great acting and direction, believably told and very convincing. It does have some slow stretches and it is overlong, but well worth seeing. Full Review »