Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: There Be Dragons is an epic action-adventure romance set during the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War. The story traces the lives of two young men, Josemaria Escriva and Manolo Torres, childhood friends who are separated by the political upheaval of pre-war Spain to find themselves on opposite sides as war erupts. Choosing peace, Josemaria becomes a priest and struggles to spread reconciliation by founding the movement Opus Dei (work of God). (Samuel Goldwyn Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 19
  2. Negative: 8 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    May 2, 2011
    Dragons may not be perfect, but it plays to the helmer's strengths, demonstrating an increasingly rare sense of scope and pageantry best served by the bigscreen.
  2. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    May 5, 2011
    Because his character is never clear, Manolo's choices lack emotional interest and narrative urgency.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    May 6, 2011
    This may be the most politically confusing movie about that conflict since "For Whom the Bell Tolls" -- I couldn't for the life of me figure out where Escriva stood.
  4. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    May 3, 2011
    Controversially, Escrivá started the Opus Dei, and There Be Dragons is best appreciated by those seeking more realism than the albino self-whipper of "The Da Vinci Code."
  5. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    May 5, 2011
    There Be Dragons is like fine wine, served in a Big Gulp cup. A little is very nice. A lot is way too much.
  6. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    May 5, 2011
    Certainly looks lavish, from the battle scenes to the beautiful period costuming, but it's so stilted and humorless that it's almost campy.
  7. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    May 2, 2011
    From its baldly overwritten dialogue to its claustrophobically stingy use of locations, Dragons is underdone in every way.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. Jul 14, 2011
    First let me say to Enrique, It sounds like you have an ax to grind with Opus Dei. you must have been privy to their secret memos about "influencing the media". Get real! Nobody knew what Opus Dei was until Dan Brown's silly little novel was made into a book and Tom Hanks and Ron Howard kept mentioning Opus Dei in the millions of press interviews promoting their movie. Opus Dei is an organization for people who want to live holy lives outside of church. No money making scheme here. They function on donations just as any other not-for-profit does. Members are not recruited they are "called" . And I am not a member or even a catholic I'm a CPA with a few Opus Dei clients . Enough said.
    On to the movie....Not perfect, but I agree with Christy, well worth the $13. You will be well entertained. It is much deeper than its flaws and makes the moviegoer think about his own actions and human imperfection. As a non-christian this movie was more moving than I expected. Hopefully when you see this movie you won't waste time with the minor details. They really are not all that destracting to the average person who enjoys a great story. And scenes and lines from the film pop into your thoughts for several days later.
  2. May 7, 2011
    To Enrique -- I do not belong to Opus Dei. However, I have several friends who do belong. For the past ten years, I have gone to some of their days of recollection. My friends who belong are some of the holiest people I have ever met.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. If you did not, that is your choice. But I think Your negative commentary was more than a movie review.
  3. May 14, 2011
    Excellent film, worth watching more than once to get the best out of it. I can't understand why some people can say bad things about this movie. This is exactly the kind of movie we need these days. Stories that makes us think and rethink our lives. Of course we all have to face our dragons (and deal with our sufferings)...the message of the film is one of forgiveness and redemption, more importantly about the mercy of God who is always ready to forgive us. THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE. Even in the technical aspect, the movie delivers; the photography is superb, the dialogue is beautiful, great sound effects and post production work; even the music is perfect (the composer did a great job). I don't think the point of the movie is to educate people about the Spanish Civil war nor about Opus Dei. The main point of this film is simple and beautiful (and there is a mystical beauty and truth to simple things)...FORGIVENESS, forgiveness in any context is good....people can critique this film and say whatever they want, but if they don't focus on the foundation of the message (they clearly failed to understand it).
    Enrique, coincidentally we share the same name, but totally diametrically opposite views. You are attacking irrevocably Opus Dei in a personal way, therefore you are not even contributing with objective opinion of the movie. It seems to me like you still have to face your dragons (which are entirely yours) . In fact, this movie can help you more than you think. My advice is go see it again with fresh eyes, get yourself out of the equation and think about all the good this movie can do for other people; people that are divorcing, separating, hating and unwilling to forgive. One more thing to all the potential viewers; this movie also speaks about humility which is one of the most difficult and mysterious things in life. Josemaria lived a heroic life, and no matter how much he has been attacked and put down, you should ask yourself why a director who is a non catholic decides to put his testimony on the big screen for other to see...and let others know that we can all (even you Enrique) be like him.
    We should be supporting this movie and echoing its universal messages of love, faith, friendship and can any of this be a bad thing?....everyone should see it!!!!
  4. lar
    May 8, 2011
    This is a very powerful message of forgiveness. As with many good movies such as Kings Speech, it is better the second time around. I think it is fair to say we all have a few dragons in our life and when we have the courage to face them it is very freeing. I think Jaffe nailed it with this one. Expand
  5. May 10, 2011
    Good film, as an Spaniard I think it's a good approach to our complicated civil war, as it falls far from the myths of one and other side, and gets close to how it really was. I paste here my comment in imdb, with some modifications:

    "The film is technically quite interesting. It starts with a short sequence that shows the deepest Spanish soul in a lost village near France. This sequence has an impeccable cut and setting, and works as introduction of the characters and situation. In my opinion the best sequence (speaking as cinema "freak"). The best thing in the film is the photography, which takes the viewer 1920s Spain.

    The script is also quite interesting. Although the main character in the film is the Spanish priest Josemaria Escriva, he is not the protagonist of the story (literally speaking, not meta-literally). This makes the film more interesting, as it plays with 2 people weighting their importance by their personality and their role in the story. Josemaria is the alter-ego Manolo, both are attractive persons that keep the attention of the viewer, which at the end should judge. Another success of the script is the usage of time. The main story happens in 1920 and 1930, but it is told as memories in the 80s, when the son of Manolo has to write an article about Josemaria, which is going to be canonized by the Catholic Church. Robert discovers that his father came from the same little village of Josemaria, and asks to his father about him. The answer give the title to the film "there be dragons".

    Now let's go with the dragons. The makers knew that the film was going to be surrounded by dragons. Opus Dei, communism, revolution, Catholics and the Spanish Civil War... this film has all the ingredients to be a big scandal. The film has the collaboration of some members of the Opus Dei (at least 2 of the producers are) and the organization has given information and access to the documentation about Josemaria. The film also shows a period of the Spanish history which still is a taboo in this country. In Spain, still today, there are mainly 2 opposite streams: pro-franquists and pro-republicans. The film success- in my opinion- to show that as in any war there were no good and bads (which has shocked the Spanish population), that in both sides there were good and bad people, good goals but bad means. My personal opinion is that it success to show the real left of Spain, breaking with the franquist propaganda of the left as communist criminals, but also breaking the view given to Americans by Hemingway that the left in Spain was the advocate of Democracy and freedom. Maybe the film fails to show the right-side of the war, but nevertheless is- in my opinion- the best representation of the civil war that I have seen in art.

    Only a non-Spanish could make such a good representation of the Civil War, and only a person like Joffe could dive enough to make such a good representation."
  6. May 9, 2011
    One of the things I liked is that the acting was good (especially Charlie Cox), and the film was entertaining (although the end dragged-on). The story was a bit lame, but it was trying to frame a larger story with a very deep meaning. I needed to see it more than once just to get all the lines. It is nice to finally see a movie that isn't paper thin, especially in these days of special effects. Most movies these days are like a meal insofar as I cannot even remember what I saw the next day. The message in this one was special because I couldn't stop thinking about it for a few days. Expand
  7. May 7, 2011
    People of Opus Dei: could you stop voting 10 for this movie? In every place where there are reviews about this movie, a group of people vote 10 without any kind of doubt. This is ridiculous, donâ Expand

See all 15 User Reviews