Mixed or average reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 43
  2. Negative: 4 out of 43
  1. In a league with Hollywood's top historical epics, ancient or otherwise. It's stunningly handsome film, with an equally stunning cast and engrossing story.
  2. An exhilarating piece of epic filmmaking that it pulls you in, sweeps you up and works very much as its own thing.
  3. Reviewed by: Jeff Giles
    Troy is a fun, energizing piece of summer entertainment, even if it doesn't have the depth or the sustained intensity of "Gladiator."
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    In this vigorous, stalwart epic, they blend martial breadth and emotional intimacy, honor and obsession, romance and machismo to show the glamour and folly of war.
  5. 75
    Troy lacks the focus of Gladiator, not to mention that Oscar winner's scrappy wit. But why kick a gift horse when you're in summer-movie heaven?
  6. In sum, this is hardly an "Iliad" adaptation for the ages. But if you're hankering for sand, sandals, and swordplay, this could be the movie for you.
  7. A "Ben-Hur"-size epic with beefcake, beauty, outsize heroes, flashy duels and epic battles. There are breathtaking vistas, taut political intrigues, dangerous romantic liaisons and one of the greatest wardrobes ever assembled for a costume drama.
  8. When the film focuses on the Trojans, it's splendid. But when Troy attempts to sort out the competing agendas of the Greeks, it drags.
  9. All Hollywood and no Homer, but within its limits, it's a vigorous, entertaining movie.
  10. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Entertainingly epic eye candy.
  11. Reviewed by: Sara Brady
    Wolfgang Petersen's Troy recalls an age when Hollywood not only gambled on but flourished with grandiose epics and casts of thousands, and brings megawatt star power to what is, at root, a brilliantly told story.
  12. That's the only way to enjoy Wolfgang Petersen's nearly three-hour epic: as a Pitt vehicle. In a role that requires larger-than-life dimensions, he's pretty terrific.
  13. Far from great, but much farther from awful, Troy offers several popcorn buckets' worth of good old-fashioned time at the movies.
  14. 70
    The movie is successful -- harsh, serious, and both exhilarating and tragic, the right tonal combination for Homer. [17 May 2004, p. 107]
  15. When a spectacular film rests on at least a minimal armature of character and cogent action, as Troy does, we can just sink back and enjoy. What we enjoy is the sovereignty over time and place and the force of gravity that film has given to the world.
  16. 63
    For a movie whose characters are so preoccupied with immortality, Troy is curiously forgettable.
  17. 63
    There are times when Troy is stirring and engaging. However, at least as often, it is flat.
  18. 63
    This handsome and occasionally exciting movie flounders because it confuses Tinseltown glamour with legendary heroism and beauty.
  19. Reviewed by: Pete Vonder Haar
    Isn’t a bad film, simply an unspectacular one, which might be a more damaging statement.
  20. Reviewed by: Will Lawrence
    Bruising battles and some stirring performances make Troy enjoyable, if rather long. But if audiences can forgive the camp, they'll still struggle to empathise with the characters.
  21. Except for a few brilliant flashes, mostly from Peter O'Toole as Hector’s father, the Trojans' magisterially woebegone King Priam, Troy is a fairly routine action picture with an advanced case of grandeuritis.
  22. 60
    Homer would be hard-pressed to find any remaining shred of "The Iliad" in this over-the-top entertainment. It has a lot of loud passion but not much poetry, and that's appropriate for a movie that could well be subtitled My Big Fat Greek Bloodletting.
  23. For what it is -- a big, expensive, occasionally campy action movie full of well-known actors speaking in well-rounded accents -- Troy is not bad. It has the blocky, earnest integrity of a classic comic book, and it labors to respect the strangeness and grandeur of its classical sources.
  24. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Despite a sensationally attractive cast and an array of well-staged combat scenes presented on a vast scale, Wolfgang Petersen's highly telescoped rendition of the Trojan War lurches ahead in fits and starts for much of its hefty running time, to OK effect.
  25. It has plenty of visual sweep, fine action sequences, and, thanks especially to Brad Pitt (as Achilles) and Peter O'Toole (as King Priam), a deeper sense of character than one might expect from a sword-and-sandal epic.
  26. Reviewed by: Karen Karbo
    In the end, the battle scenes are elegant and compelling and there are some fine moments when O'Toole, as Priam, summons his inner Lawrence of Arabia and makes us believe that we're actually watching a tragic altercation that brought down great men descended from gods.
  27. A protracted and uninvolving affair in which men battle over issues that audiences may struggle to find compelling, and no central figure emerges to take command of the film.
  28. 50
    The movie sidesteps the existence of the Greek gods, turns its heroes into action movie cliches and demonstrates that we're getting tired of computer-generated armies.
  29. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    At its intermittent best, Troy suggests a primitive pro-wrestling smackdown with epochal consequences. At its worst, it's a throwback to the ham-fisted sword-and-sandal international coproductions of the early 1960s: "The 300 Spartans" with better sets. Barely.
  30. All costume and scant drama, the result is a curiously flat spectacle, neither offensive nor compelling.
  31. What do you get if you start with the first great narrative of Western civilization, then remove all the psychological complexity and profound characterization? Troy.
  32. 50
    Even the dramatic heavy hitters, who include Cox, Gleeson, O'Toole and Julie Christie, as Achilles' mother, are powerless in the face of Pitt's yawning hollowness.
  33. 50
    Wolfgang Petersen's popcorn epic doesn't fail exactly. It just takes on too much. Modern man is at something of a disadvantage-even aided by his trusty muse, the computer-when presuming to bring the stuff of gods, myths and timeless sacred texts to the big screen.
  34. The result is a pageant long but not deep, noisy but not stirring, expensive but not sumptuous.
  35. Hardly gay camp for nothing, sword-and-sandal epics cannot help but teeter on the brink of self-mockery, and Troy, for all its grim seriousness, embraces both the clichés and the beefcake.
  36. Given everything, it's no surprise that the verdict on the film has to be a split decision. Troy is a movie you believe in physically...Believing in Troy emotionally, however, presents a greater challenge.
  37. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Often plays like what it is: a clunky toga-and-sandals picture, with Hollywood compromises abounding.
  38. 40
    Petersen, a director who knows his way around a crane shot better than almost anyone, rallies his troops but can't ignite his actors, and the end result is the sound and fury of Homer undone.
  39. 40
    Troy isn't so much a simplified retelling of "The Iliad" as a re-imagined version of it, told wholly without imagination.
  40. What really wrecks Wolfgang Petersen's Troy is some of the worst casting in recent Hollywood history: The lackluster ensemble hired by the director is overwhelmed by the generally impressive sets and crowd scenes, by the task of playing epic heroes and by David Benioff's rambling, tone-deaf screenplay "inspired by Homer's 'Iliad.'"
  41. 30
    The thunderous clashes between armies of computer-generated Trojans and Mycenaeans, when they do arrive, feel decidedly un-epic, as though we were watching a child's toy-box war between plastic figurines. Which makes them perfectly in line with the rest of Petersen's artless approach.
  42. 30
    Troy does look good--so good, in fact, that it takes a while to reveal itself as a thundering dud with much action but little personality, human drama, or brains.
  43. In Troy, and in overreaching, underachieving productions like it, digital imagery is fast becoming both a Trojan horse and Achilles' heel.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 274 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 86 out of 137
  2. Negative: 27 out of 137
  1. Dec 18, 2012
    Seeing the Illiad recreated is quite enjoyable, but the movie just falls flat on as it doesn't transpire all the great qualities of the poem. It is just a lazy Hollywood movie that was made as a money machine for the producers. Full Review »
  2. Jun 13, 2013
    A lot of people are foggy enough about the battle of Troy’s origins to confuse the story laid out in the “Iliad” with history. I’m sure you’ll hear more than one movie-goer comment on the film’s historical accuracy. Last night I heard at least two. But, like Hidalgo, The Passion, or maybe more like Harry Potter, Troy is another ambitious adaptation that only manages as solid entertainment. The idea of taking Homer’s battle poem and turning it into a movie is a good one, since it instantly leans towards the epic and contains plenty of notable and screen worthy characters. It’s also a story strongly ingrained in our cultural consciousness, after centuries of required classroom reading. It has already received some comparison to Gladiator, but where that movie was a surely modern fighting flick, the story of Troy lends itself much more to Hollywood’s golden age, the sort of thing that would have attracted a younger Chuck Heston. As Achilles, Brad Pitt is either naked or fighting. There’s no in between. Achilles is a guy who only wears clothes when he’s killing. I'm not sure what that says about his character. But don’t worry guys, it isn’t real Pitt nudity, just side-nudity. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much side-nudity in any film. I now know every intimate inch of Brad Pitt’s naked profile. Troy lacks the courage to show full frontal or even a little bit of ass crack. Odd for any other R-rated movie, but not really for this one which only barelyshows enough carnage to warrant a rated R. It could easily have slipped by as PG-13 and one has to wonder why they bothered at all with an R when the removal of even a thimble-full of blood could have garnered them something lesser. If you’re going to go R, make it worthwhile. Don’t be afraid of women’s breasts. Don’t run away from realistic battle sequences. Hey, throw in a couple of decapitations! This is war, not West Side Story. What the film’s massive battle sequences sometimes lack in ugly realism is made only worse by Director Wolfgang Petersen’s strange propensity to focus in on one on one battles to the exclusion of all else. A hundred-thousand men clash on the field of battle, yet everything falls silent as soldiers form a big school-yard huddle whenever Hector picks up his sword. Should he dispatch a particularly difficult foe, he mutters “that’s enough” and all one-hundred thousand men just seem to wander home. Maybe I’ve been permanently spoiled by Peter Jackson’s groundbreaking siege in The Two Towers, but Troy’s bigger and supposedly badder battles just can’t compare. Troy fails to garner any excitement from its massive scale, but Petersen does have an amazing gift for filming one on one action. The final big battle between Achilles and Hector is engrossing and amazing. That’s due in no small part to both Pitt and Bana’s impressive performances, in which both brilliantly capture the physicality of their respective characters. Still, it is impossible to walk away from Troy completely unsatisfied. Despite some major directing flaws, Petersen does deliver an enjoyably huge (if a little too long) period adventure. Women will no doubt swoon at the legions of male characters clad in thigh revealing leather costumes. Men will go insane over Achilles kicking ass against anything and everything that moves. Troy is big, grandiose, and entertaining. With such a marvelous cast, I wish Petersen had delivered a masterpiece, but I’ll settle for some solid sandal-wearing fun. Full Review »
  3. Nov 8, 2012
    A stunningly gripping study of ancient Greece that is well paced and has the right amounts of every characteristic required by this genre's law.