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The Eagle

Action . Drama . Adventure

In 140 AD, twenty years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire Ninth Legion in the mountains of Scotland, young centurion Marcus Aquila (Tatum) arrives from Rome to solve the mystery and restore the reputation of his father, the commander of the Ninth. Accompanied only by his British slave Esca (Bell), Marcus sets out across Hadrian's Wall into the uncharted highlands of Caledonia - to confront its savage tribes, make peace with his father's memory, and retrieve the lost legion's golden emblem, the Eagle of the Ninth.

Actors: Mark Strong , Channing Tatum , Jamie Bell , Pip Carter , Paul Ritter , Douglas Henshall , Dakin Matthews , Tahar Rahim , Denis O'Hare , Donald Sutherland , Bence Gerö , István Göz
Directors: Kevin Macdonald
Country: UK , USA
Release: 2011-02-11
More Info:
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The story and setting may be ancient, but under the direction of Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), and with a nicely textured screenplay by Macdonald's Scotland coscreenwriter Jeremy Brock, the vigor is fully modern.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Michael Wilmington

    Exciting and even moving, this robust epic is filled with action, male bonding, and a terrifying sense of wilderness.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    Do you like movies about gladiators? Well, lend me your ears: The Eagle will more than gratify your sword-and-sandal cravings.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • J. Hoberman

    The Eagle is full of action and fleet of foot-it's a movie of smoky, lowering battlefields and trippy, space-bending flashbacks, pausing only for admiring location shots of Scotland's wild, craggy vistas.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    An honest, basic story set forth with brevity, skill, care and intelligence.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    A rip-snorting adventure tale of the sort made before CGI, 3-D and alphabet soup in general took the fun out of moviegoing.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    The Eagle is furiously unsettled-thematically, temporally, meteorologically. Wild-eyed, long-haired Brits leap atop the Romans' shields as the soldiers blindly hack away, the bodies so close that you can barely tell the victor from the vanquished. The battles in the fog and rain have a hallucinatory power.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    The Eagle is an engaging, if straightforward and one-dimensional.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    While the movie doesn't wholly succeed, there's enough to like here -- including Channing Tatum's credible performance as a tradition-bound Roman soldier.

    Variety Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Yes, The Eagle is as bad as it sounds but also entertaining, in a "Mystery Science Theater 3000" sort of way that Macdonald didn't intend.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    It's pure speculation on the filmmakers' part that Gaelic pagans were adorned with bones, blue mud and Mohawks, but the fire-dancing spectacle is a welcome respite from the beefcake of the journey scenes.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    Though not deep, the movie is diverting.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    The Eagle becomes more interesting the further north it travels.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Kerry Lengel

    The many battle sequences, though carefully detailed, are lacking in energy and originality. There is some ambition here, but the results fall short.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    However you slice it, The Eagle is hokum, but modern-day Scots may get a kick out of the film's depiction of their ancestors as mud-caked hellions. Modern-day Romans will have to settle for less.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    McDonald's film never really finds its footing -- and The Eagle never takes flight.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Stephen Cole

    They're not much company, our Marcus and Esca. But there we are, mucking through crazy Scotland with them.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    A hodgepodge of bits cribbed from such films as "Centurion," "Apocalypto," "300" and "Gladiator."

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Amy Biancolli

    Through it all, Tatum tries like crazy to Act. His eyes pinch. His brow scrunches. Most of all, he clenches his jaw, little creases of muscle flexing below his ears as he labors to emote.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Sheri Linden

    Plays it straight down the middle, neither pushing its contemporary vantage point nor embracing the chance for B-movie glory.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    Lumbering along for a bit less than two hours, which passes like three, it feels more like a chore than like an adventure.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    Part of the trouble is casting. This is a movie that needs a great or gonzo performer to give it depth or heft.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    The formalities of the period dialogue and a wavering, inexplicable accent test him (Tatum) beyond his limits, and the film isn't thoughtful or original enough to survive it.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Bastardizes the source material to no good purpose, ending up with a strained combination of rah-rah, boy-bonding adventure and p.c. cross-cultural exploration. Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    A mildly engaging and roughly historical action picture.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Aside from the thin characterizations, The Eagle never manages to convey the importance of the heroes' quest.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Elvis Mitchell

    What he's missing in The Eagle is that spark of the insane - the slightly lunatic fever that makes us unable to keep our eyes off him (Channing Tatum).

    Movieline Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Manages to deliver a striking, nicely detailed, visceral thriller built on a corny, old-fashioned script.

    Orlando Sentinel Full Review
  • Helen O\'Hara

    Good fight scenes, but a confusion of plot, culture and accents make this a lesser example of the sword 'n' sandal epic.

    Empire Full Review
  • Steve Ramos

    The storytelling falters throughout and The Eagle, despite its grandeur.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    This old-fashioned sword-and-sandal drama has all the bread and circuses we've come to know from the movies. It flirts with interesting story choices, but ultimately, all roads lead to boredom.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Stephanie Merry

    Nothing more than an action-packed bagatelle masquerading as history.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    A long slog through ancient muck, so-so sword fights and dumb luck.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Scott Bowles

    What it became was bad. A movie that hopes to blend "Lethal Weapon" with "Gladiator" winds up not being a fraction of either.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    Much of Sutcliff's most charged material - the chariot scene, a wolf cub that Marcus rears - is omitted from the movie, and once he and Esca embark on their quest the sense of action grows listless, and our heroes start to seem anxious, wet, and bored. [14 & 21 Feb. 2011, p. 138]

    The New Yorker Full Review
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