Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 33
  2. Negative: 3 out of 33

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Critic Reviews

  1. Such a sour, mindlessly inflated experience that seeing it may temporarily put you off historical movies.
  2. 80
    The Messenger may be a caricature of theology, but then Besson is a cartoonist of genius.
  3. 80
    If all history lessons were this stylish, elementary school would have been a better place.
  4. The horror and spectacle of medieval battle has never been re-created on film before with such ghastly beauty.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    A lively, nutty film, one full of clumsy, clanging battles filmed by the gifted, eccentric Besson with bloody brio.
  6. Blends great cinematic energy with an awkwardly mixed multinational cast and aggressively over-modernized dialogue.
  7. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    While The Messenger feeds our appetite for visual panache, it starves the soul.
  8. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    The lack of a plausible leading lady is enough to sink what is otherwise an eye-catching, although heavily '90s-style, telling of one of history's most frequently filmed stories.
  9. 70
    Inexplicable as it is, the Joan of Arc story encourages contemplation of ourselves as a species. The Messenger is more apt to prompt meditation on the nature of show business.
  10. 67
    It's Besson's stunning visual fluency that takes center stage, and in the end, that's not quite enough.
  11. You might be occasionally dumbfounded by The Messenger, but you won't be bored.
  12. 63
    The story's more sober elements are regularly leavened by hip visual flourishes and even some quiet comedy.

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